March, 2014 - Microsoft UK Faculty Connection - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

March, 2014


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    What programmes/competitions does Microsoft UK have live at the moment?


    Join the game

    Here are the details of the various programmes/competitions we have live at the moment so you can have a look around them. 

    If your a new Start-up doing any technology then  BizSpark should be of interest to you, you can find more details at

    If your a start-up then funding is one of your biggest challenges you should take a look at  AppCampus. Appcampus is  great way of getting your app live and getting some funding to take the development forward, you can visit their website at

    Here are a few more activities and events taking place  

    GameDev Related

    Port your Unity3d games to Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows Phone in a day!

    Nokia, Microsoft and Unity are hosting a series of Unity porting days across the UK and we would love to see you there! Attend and receive a token for FREE registration to the Microsoft App Store!

    There will be hands-on advice and Unity experts to help you port your existing or new mobile games. Don’t delay… there are just 100 places per venue on a first come, first served basis.

    Unity Porting Days

    Power Up: The Beautiful Game competition

    The competition is open to all UK games developers who port and publish their games titles to Microsoft Windows 8 and/or Windows Phone Stores. Each game entered will receive points based on a wide range of game experiences and the number of downloads in the Stores. The top 20 games will win great prizes (prize fund in excess of $50,000!) and all entrants have an opportunity for their games to be discovered and downloaded by 100,000s to millions of players.

    Power Up - The Beautiful Game

    Global Unity Games Program

    Microsoft is supporting the creation and launch of the best made-with-Unity games and apps on Windows Phone/Windows Store. The new offer helps to clear the way for talented and committed Unity developers to reach millions of new players and users.

    Global Unity

    Unity & Nokia

    Apps and Competitions for both developers and consumers


    The UK AppChallenge is designed to support and uncover great UK developer talent, by showcasing hidden gems and brand new apps to Windows & Windows Phone super fans! All you have to do is whack a line of code in your app that connects it to the UK AppChallenge app. You’ll immediately start rising through the Windows Store rankings. Plus, UK AppChallenge users will be able to see your app promoted in other apps. Which means even more hits. Finally, you could even be selected as a featured app – then the downloads really start flooding in.


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Getting ready for Build 2014?



    Are you ready?

    Are you Excited? 

    Build 2014 is now only a few days away!

    So make sure your ready for the announcements and opportunities for engagement that will bring. Check out the sessions

    We will be Tweeting from the live streaming of the BUILD keynote at Cardinal Place in London on Wednesday if you want to attend this event please register at only a few places left available

    Follow our the MVP’s who are attending Build and providing a virtual diary of their experience via #MVPBUILD on Twitter

    Please join the conversation @msdevuk on Twitter

    And if your in or heading out to San Francisco have a great time!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Project Siena Beta 2



    Microsoft Project Siena Beta 2 is now available in the Windows Store. (If you already have installed Siena Beta 1 - Click on Settings charm for Store > App Updates > Check for updates)

    News about the Beta 2

    Soma Blog:

    Siena Blog:

    Here are some excellent resources for Project Siena Beta 2.

    Siena Beta 2 Samples:

    What’s New in Beta 2:

    Beta2 Release Notes:

    Beta2 Video Walkthroughs:

    Services Related:

    Bing Search:

    Bing Search API :

    Bing API FAQ :

    Introduction and frequently asked questions about the Bing Search API.

    Bing API Quick Start & Code :

    This document describes how to get started with code samples using jQuery, AJAX, C++ and Objective-C.

    Bing API Schema Guide :

    This document provides schema information for accessing the Bing API: input parameters , options and response properties.

    Bing Microsoft Translator:

    Bing MicrosoftTranslator API :

    Bing Translator Language Codes:


    Yammer REST API:


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Nokia, Microsoft and Unity are hosting a series of Unity porting days across the UK and we would love to see you there!



    Attend and receive a token for FREE registration to the Microsoft App Store!

    Over the last 12 months, Windows 8 and Windows Phone market share has increased rapidly. More and more consumers are purchasing Windows Phones and tablets and we are seeing amazing success on the Windows ecosystem from game developers with titles such as:

    • Reindeer Round-Up from Christian West – over 10,000 paid downloads in just 8 days following his port at the London Unity porting event
    • Wilson's Adventure from Richard Hawkins – getting over 148k downloads in 3 weeks since his port at the London Unity porting event

    Now it's your turn to share in the success. Bring your game along to one of our porting days and we’ll help you port your title in one day!

    Don't delay… there are just 100 places per venue on a first come, first served basis.

    Register today

    There will be hands-on advice and Unity experts to help you port your existing or new mobile games to the Windows Phone or Windows Store.

    If you don’t have the necessary hardware to port to Windows Phone or Windows Store, we have that covered! We have a number of  PC laptops running all the necessary developer tools and will provide Windows QuickStart kits for iOS developers (which will run Windows 8 Pro on your MAC OS X via Parallels Desktop 9).

    This event is for developers who have developed a title using Unity and published to iOS App Store, Google Play, Amazon, Blackberry Store or other App Stores.

    Read Windows Porting success stories here

    Interested in porting but cannot make any of the days? Click here to learn how to port your apps to Windows

    Get on the AppCampus Program

    During the day we will also give you advice on how to get onto the exclusive AppCampus Program.

    Pick your Venue

    Glasgow  - Saturday 29th March 2014 @ Digital Design Studio, The Hub, Pacific Quay,
    Glasgow, G51 1DZ

    Birmingham - Saturday 5th April 2014 @ Innovation Birmingham Ltd, Faraday Wharf, Innovation Birmingham Campus, Holt Street, Birmingham Science Park Aston, Birmingham, B7 4BB.

    Manchester - Saturday 17th May 2014 @ TechHub Manchester, 3rd Floor, Carver's Warehouse, 77 Dale Street, Manchester, M1 2HG

    London - Saturday 31st May 2014 @ Nokia UK (London), 2 Kingdom Street, W2 6BD London

    AppCampusNokia logoUnity logoMicrosoft

    Register today

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Play a part in something special – help the attempt to secure a Guinness World Record and have some fun whilst doing it



    Date for your diary: from 7pm GMT, Friday, March 14th

    Game studio Illyriad, powered by Windows Azure, are mounting an attempt on the existing Guinness World Record for the Largest Videogame Player vs Player (PvP) Battle on Friday March 14th.  The attempt will be part of the public Alpha test of their exciting new space based resource and battle game, Age of Ascent.

    A new class of online gaming…

    Illyriad are harnessing the power of Windows Azure to deliver a visual and immersive gaming experience in your browser.  In doing so they are helping to create a new class of online gaming – the Ultra Massively Multiplayer Online, or Ultra MMO, gaming experience.

    James Niesewand, CEO of Illyriad, explains “It’s essentially trying to prove the worth of some of the technology that we are working with, namely WebGL and Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud technology. WebGL allows games to run natively in your browser without downloads, installs, or plugins. That’s how Age of Ascent and the March 14 record breaking attempt will work. You’ll go to the URL, be assigned to a red or blue team, and go.  The single node architecture that MMOs typically use has reached its limit, and that Age of Ascent’s technology has more in common with a Wall Street algorithmic trading company than a traditional gaming company.  Age of Ascent will monitor ship movements in a similar way that these Wall Street trading algorithms monitor commodity price movement in multiple markets in microseconds.”

    Play your part in something great….

    The attempt on the Guinness World Record is being made jointly by Illyriad and Microsoft.  We need your help in securing it.  All you need to do is go online via any of the modern browsers (IE11, Google Chrome, Firefox etc) and play your part in making some gaming history!  You do not need to download anything, register for anything or install anything.  Friction free gaming!

    Seeing is believing!

    To get a taste of what to expect from the heart-pounding gameplay, visit: to view the latest in-game footage

    Please join us online at 7pm GMT on Friday, March 14th you will not only be part of the of the record attempt but also take part in one of the biggest MMO sandboxes and help create a new class of online gaming.

    What next?

    Step One: Visit now and bookmark the page

    Step Two: Join us at 7pm GMT on March 14th and go to the website

    Step Three: Join the Red or Blue team

    Step Four: Blow things up!

    Step Five: Tweet about it whilst you are playing.  We’d love to see all that you have to say.  Use #ageofascent

    Play your part now by Liking the Facebook page, tweeting about your support for the attempt or looking at the You Tube videos


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Power Up: The Beautiful Game Competition


    Exclusive for UK Games Developers


    Microsoft and supporting games industry partners are working together to help encourage the growth in the UK games industry which seeks to recognise and help game studios and developers of all sizes. As part of this ambition we have developed a competition which seeks to provide new Store opportunities for your games as well as helping you to get your titles discovered and downloaded.

    Go to:

    Power Up: The Beautiful Game competition commences from 3rd March until 20th June 2014. The competition is open to all UK games developers who port and publish their new or existing games titles to Microsoft Windows 8 and/or Windows Phone Stores. Each game entered will receive points based on a wide range of game experiences, as well as recognising the quality of the game, any marketing activities, plus the number of downloads the games get on the Windows or Windows Phone Stores. The top 20 games with the most points secured will win great prizes for their developers but all entrants have an opportunity for their games to be discovered and downloaded by 100,000’s to millions of players. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your game(s) to a much wider audience and be generously rewarded.

    Boost your downloads

    We want to ensure that your game is discovered and downloaded. The quality of the game does not always guarantee success. As such we have partnered with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) to provide some guidance on good practice apps marketing. Visit the competition website for more details.
    Points are awarded for: Game experience – quality of audio execution, visual execution and gameplay. Downloads per store – as an additional measure of the game’s quality we will count the downloads in both the Windows and Windows Phone store.


    Prizes galore!

    A total prize fund in excess of $50,000! Prizes include: Unity Pro licenses, Supercar all inclusive weekend rental, holiday in Slovakia, Nokia Lumia
    1520, 1020s and 520s, Dell Tablet, a Chartered Institute of Marketing Apps Marketing course, a chance to attend a special mentoring event with
    selected Board members from TIGA and UKIE, and an awards ceremony at Dolby’s prestigious theatre in Soho Square. For full prize listing go to:


    The Resources

    How to score points and win plus details of the prizes on offer see.The competition

    Enter the competition by completing our online registration form. Register now
    Download our one page marketing plan template. Marketing plan
    Find out more about our partners in Power Up: The Beautiful Game. Industry partners
    Full details of the competition rules. Terms and conditions
  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    UK Appchallenge - How do I get my apps involved?



    Follow the developer instruction below to add a line of code to your app.

    Once you’ve added the code, send over your App Details (App GUID code & AppChallenge GUID code) to

    Developer Instructions before you can be included you need to do a little bit of development work to ensure inclusion. Please see the below instructions for further details.

    1. In your app’s “About” or “Settings” section, add the AppChallenge button included in this email.

    The sample below demonstrates how to use the application settings API and settings flyouts to integrate an app's settings UI with the Settings charm.

    With the Settings charm app can include app-specified settings commands in the Settings charm and launch the corresponding settings UI from that standard entry point such as volume, brightness etc. 

    2. Generate your Private GUID for each of your apps by visiting

    3. For Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 link the button with this:

       1: await Launcher.LaunchUriAsync(new Uri("appchallengeuk:appGuid=YOUR PRIVATE GUID", UriKind.Absolute));

    4. For Windows Phone 7 (app compiled on WP7 but can run on WP8), link the button with this:

    The AppChallenge logo should be displayed only if the user has a WP8 (because AppChallenge is not available on WP7). This is done via the code:

       1: if (Environment.OSVersion.Version.Major> = 8)
       2:      imageAppChallenge.Visibility = Visibility.Visible;
       3: else
       4:      imageAppChallenge.Visibility = Visibility.Collapsed;

    Then, on the event Tapped of the image, write the following command:

       1: WebBrowserTask wbTask = new WebBrowserTask();
       2: wbTask.Uri = new 

    3: Uri(" PRIVATE GUID",UriKind.RelativeOrAbsolute);

       4: wbTask.Show();

    5. Once your app’s on the Windows Store, send a table of correspondence between its GUID and the one you generate for AppChallenge to

    GUID Store

    GUID AppChallenge



    If you have any questions please email

    Thank you very much for your participation and support of The UK App Challenge.

    See more details at :

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    The UK AppChallenge


    To celebrate UK app developer creative talent, Microsoft is excited to announce the UK AppChallenge

    AppChallenge Mobile

    The AppChallenge will encourage you to explore & discover new Windows & Windows Phone apps. Plus, you will get the opportunity to be rewarded with fantastic Windows devices.

    It's simple to get started. First of all, download the UK Application from the Windows Phone or Windows 8 store, as appropriate (the "App"). Within the App, participate in the weekly challenge and earn points by downloading and sharing the suggested other apps suggested. The more apps you download and share, the more points you will be awarded. The top 3 competitors (those with the most points accumulated within a week) will walk away with the Windows device prizes each week.

    Download The UK AppChallenge App for Windows 8


    Q: Where do I do go to download the UK AppChallenge app?
    A: Search for Store within either Windows 8 or Windows Phone and type in 'The UK AppChallenge' and download the app.

    Q: Can I participate in I am not a resident of the UK?
    A: Unfortunately no. To participate in the AppChallenge, you must be a current UK resident.

    Q: How do I maximise my chances to top the leaderboard?
    A: Make sure you have downloaded and shared all the selected apps as soon as it becomes available within each week of the challenge.

    Q: When does each challenge start and end?
    A: Each new challenge starts at Monday 12:01 AM and finishes on Sunday at 11:59 PM. This means that a new set of selected apps will be available for you to download and share on Monday.

    Q: I have a Windows Phone 7 handset, am I eligible to participate in this AppChallenge?
    A: Sorry, this AppChallenge is only available for Windows Phone 8 users.

    Q: I've downloaded the app now. How do I earn the points?
    How to earn points - Download app

    Q: I've shared the app now. How do I earn the points?
    How to earn points - Sharing

    Q: I've added a Facebook login now. How do I earn the points?
    How to earn points - Facebook

    Q: How do I know if I have won the weekly challenge?
    A: We will communicate to you via email within 3 days at the end of each weekly challenge with further details of prize delivery.

    Q: Can I win more than once in the AppChallenge?
    A: Yes, but you can only win a maximum of 4 prizes in total.

    Q: I have other questions, where can I get answers from?
    A: Drop an email to

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