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With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
Try F# beta web based IDE, which makes it easy to learn the F# programming language, create programs by using F#, and share information all through a web browser.
The new Try F# allows developers and students to experience F# 3.0’s unique information-rich programming features for Big and Broad Data analytics, and solve functional programming problems more efficiently.
· Try the Try F# beta
· Learn about the Try F# beta in this video
· Read our blog
Guest blog by Dr John Kirby, Senior Lecturer and Knowledge Transfer Champion, Sheffield Hallam University
At Sheffield Hallam University we understand that the "cloud" is fundamentally changing computing. And this change will require increasing numbers of people with the right kind of training and skills. This is why we introduced our MSc in "Web and Cloud Computing".
This course focuses on giving students the technical and related skills needed to provide successful web and cloud computing solutions to real business problems. The course is aimed at both practising professionals and recent graduates who wish to study for a higher qualification, while gaining relevant experience in this rapidly advancing area.
Students gain skills in developing and applying cloud-related technology and learn about the benefits and challenges of cloud computing. They investigate a range of topics including advanced data handling, cloud computing security and collective intelligence based on user-generated content. Students study the different types of cloud and the various cloud service models including • software-as-a-service • platform-as-a-service • infrastructure-as-a-service.
Our Cloud Applications module focuses on platform as a service and half of the teaching on this module focuses on Windows Azure. Students are introduced to the Azure SDK for Visual Studio through a number of lab class exercises concentrating on the object models used in accessing Table and Blob storage for creating, reading, updating and deleting data. Development is carried out using the Compute and Storage emulators on the local machine.
I feel that it is important that students gain real practical experience of deploying their applications in the Windows Azure cloud. Deployment to Azure is not only the thing that makes these lab exercises "cloud" applications but it also gives students the experience and confidence to go on to use Azure in real commercial settings. This is why the very first lab exercise involves students deploying their applications to the Windows Azure platform. Students are shown how to use the Windows Azure Platform to deploy their application, create a storage account, set up firewall rules and run their application "in the cloud".
The main assessed work for Cloud Applications module focuses on a programming project and report. Last year all of the students felt sufficiently confident to use Windows Azure to complete their projects. Students were required to demonstrate their applications running on the Windows Azure cloud platform.
Our Handling Data in the Cloud module reviews a number of approaches to storing data in the cloud including the Windows Azure SQL Database (formerly SQL Azure). Students are introduced to the Management Portal for SQL Azure which they use in lab classes to create a small database.
They then carry out another lab exercise in which they create a Federation and investigate its operation and features.
John thanks for this overall great use of Cloud services within academic curriculum.
If your interested in using Windows Azure cloud services within education please register for a FREE Azure pass from http://www.windowsazure.com/education
What included in the FREE pass
Microsoft provides grants for educators wanting to use Windows Azure in their curricula. These grants are facilitated through Windows Azure academic passes, which provide the following resources:
Grant applications are designated for faculty who are teaching Windows Azure in their curricula as well as faculty preparing to integrate Windows Azure into their curricula. Educator Grant awards are subject to demand and availability. Educators will receive a special 12-month pass for their exclusive use, and may request 5-month non-renewable passes for distribution to their students. Each pass is valid from the date of redemption. Educators may apply for passes for each of the courses they are teaching, and may only distribute these passes to students registered as part of their educational institution.
To apply for an Educator Grant fill out this simple application form and provide us with:
Now You Can Change the Future Challenge ends February 3, 2013
Design an app for Windows Phone that showcases how to create, connect and maximise the use of the Windows Phone Platfrom.
Mobile apps are used by millions of people worldwide on a daily basis and are now a way many of us take control of your day-to-day life. Today they help you wake up, dress, commute, stay on top of news and reach the important people in your life throughout the day, and at their best they help you do things the way YOU want to do them. But what more could your apps do for you tomorrow?
Well this is where the app to the future challenge fits in!
App to the Future is an app design competition open to the international design community, challenging entrants to design and mockup conceptual apps for the Windows Phone platform to help with their day-to-day challenges, better connect with their family or friends, or showcase an innovative, new app idea. The goals of Core77 and Microsoft are to showcase and triumph innovative designs through the Core77 Design Network of websites and the Microsoft Windows Phone Store and related websites such as Channel 9.
Top winning entrants will be further encouraged to develop and sell their app in the Windows Phone Store utilizing prizes, resources and assistance provided by Core77 and Microsoft.
So REGISTER NOW to design your own App to the Future! Full details: http://apptothefuture.core77.com/
5 WINNERS WILL RECEIVE:
A Microsoft Surface Tablet
A Windows Phone 8 device
And a one year subscription to the Windows Phone DEV CENTER which as a student you already get via DreamSpark
In December we announced a number of competitions in partnership with various middleware vendors, the aim of the competition was to simply design, develop and publish a Windows 8 game using one of the various middleware technologies.
I am happy to confirm the winners! of the Scirra Construct2 competition:
Fireflies by Richard Kesuma. Well done, you win an XBox 360 games bundle and the coveted Flying Monkey!
Saloon Madness by Aditya Anwar T. Well done, you win an XBox 360 games bundle!
Maru Toy Catch by Vito Budiman Jr. Well done, you win an XBox 360 games bundle!
Telebeanies by Febndy Kwik. Well done, you win an XBox 360 games bundle!
R.U.Nuts by Olivier Saighi. Well done, you win an XBox 360 games bundle!
Nutty Run by Ben Ward & Stan Ruzmetov. Well done, you win a Construct 2 Personal license and XBox 360 games bundle!
Blast 'em All by Anthony Wijaya. Well done, you win a Construct 2 Personal license and XBox 360 games bundle!
Vartun's Pillar by Braycen Jackwitz. A nicely designed retro style adventure game. Congratulations, you win a Construct 2 Personal license and XBox 360 games bundle!
Neon Galaxy by Joe Chang. An engaging and fast-paced neo-retro action game with lots of bright visuals, enemies, powerups, explosions and lighting effects. Congratulations, you win a Nokia Lumia 920 and a Construct 2 Business license!
Mortar Melon by Daniel Da Rocha & Henry Hoffman. This is a very well designed physics-based puzzler with beautiful artwork and atmospherics, a carefully tuned learning curve, and enough fruit to run a smoothie shop. Congratulations, you win a Windows 8 tablet, a Nokia Lumia 920 and a Construct 2 Business license!
Congratulations to all our winners! We will be in touch shortly to arrange delivery of your prizes. And thank you to everyone who entered - we were delighted to receive an amazing number of entries.
We hope you all enjoyed making your games and getting published to the Windows 8 Store and look forwards to seeing what you all make in future!
If your entering this years Global Game Jam in the UK then enter your Windows 8 game into the following competition to win some awesome prizes http://www.ubelly.com/global-game-jam/ you can build your Windows 8 game using any middleware, toolkits or languages and the more games you enter the greater the chance of winning.
The DirectXMath API provides SIMD-friendly C++ types and functions for common linear algebra and graphics math operations common to DirectX applications. The library provides optimized versions for Windows 32-bit (x86), Windows 64-bit (x64), and Windows RT through SSE2 and ARM-NEON intrinsic support in the Visual Studio compiler.
The Windows SDK for Windows 8 ships with the DirectXMath library which is the next major revision of the C++ SIMD graphics math library known as “XNAMath” in the DirectX SDK and Xbox 360 XDK.
The DirectXMath Programming Guide on MSDN provides full detail on What’s New in the library, and a Code Migration guide for current users of XNAMath. For developers using DirectXMath for the first time, the Getting Started page has been expanded to provide more basic usage information.
DirectXMath provides a math solution optimized for Windows for more indepth details please see DirectXMath Programming Guide and reference material for the DirectXMath Library DirectXMath Programming Reference
The DirectXMath library is designed for C++ developers working on games and DirectX graphics in Windows Store apps and traditional desktop apps for Windows 8 and later. For more details see the DirectXMath Programming Guide section on “Using DirectXMath with Direct3D” <http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ff729728(v=vs.85).aspx>
Here are some DirectXMath links you might want to take a look at as well
Guest blog by Dr Tommy Thompson. University of Derby
I’m Dr Tommy Thompson, a lecturer at the University of Derby. Since completing my undergraduate degree in Computer Science back in 2004, I have worked as a commercial software developer for a variety of companies while pursuing a career in research; completing an MSc in Artificial Intelligence in 2006 from the University of Edinburgh and a Ph.D in AI applied to games from the University of Strathclyde in 2010.
I’m the Programme Leader for the BSc in Computer Games Programming at the University of Derby and teach our introductory modules in C# and XNA as well as our final year module in AI for games .
The University of Derby recently moved to a 20-credit system and we saw an opportunity to shake-up our curriculum to do something new. This resulted in our new Game Development module, where our students in the Computer Games Programming degree would be working alongside their peers in the BSc in Computer Game Modelling and Animation. The remit of the module was simple; construct a game-concept you could present to a publisher within 12 weeks. We constrained the games to revolve around concepts of ‘Zombies’ and ‘time’, which resulted in a range of games that were completely unique. It was our intent to put students through the creative processes of commercial game development but within a severely protracted timeframe.
The tools and technology used was driven entirely by the students. We are one of the few UK institutions to have both Windows 7 and 8 running on our systems and we provide a range of tools such as Visual Studio and Unreal Development Kit to our programming students on these builds. Given our students intent to develop games that can subsequently be released to a larger audience, it makes sense to start working on Windows systems, which hold the largest market share in PC gaming.
The teaching of the module was a relatively smooth process; we left many of the technical challenges in the hands of the students, but guided them through key milestones of development such as concept art and documentation, creating their alpha build, testing for quality and refining the mechanics to ensure the fun factor shone through. My colleagues Minsi Chen and Jon Pledger were instrumental in bringing this about and their prior experience from working with large studios in the AAA industry proved vital.
Our teaching team have been very vocal about transitioning to Windows 8 on our lab machines and subsequently integrating it into our teaching curriculum. We feel it’s crucial our students across all years are aware of the paradigm shift that is occurring in Microsoft technologies. Thankfully the school management have been very receptive and it has been a very smooth transition.
The main focus of the Game Development module is to produce high-quality portfolio material. At this stage of their academic career it is crucial that they present some work that is a reflection of their technical ability. Having our students showcase this work as part of the Games@Derby expo aids them not only in presenting their work publically, but ensuring they place greater attention to detail and quality in their work. Meanwhile, our CGP students were working on more portfolio material with my colleague Wayne Rippin to develop Windows 8 apps in our Systems Programming module.
We’re hoping to show off this work at our next Games@Derby event running on 8th February.
If you want to change the look of your Windows Phone 8 emulator
You can now do this using the WP8 Emulator Skin Switcher to make it look like a Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X or Samsung Ativ S. Which is perfect for when you need to run demos and the emulators during a presentation.
Here are some of the awesome devices available
It has been less than four months since we introduced the first public preview for Windows Azure Mobile Services and in this short time we have seen continual improvements to the service offering including:
· SDKs for Windows Store, Windows Phone 8 and iOS app
· Auth using Microsoft Account, Facebook, Google and Twitter
· Push Notification support via WNS, MPNS and APNS
· Structured storage
· Deployments in East and West US and European data centres
New functionality has been released for Mobile Application developers on all platforms.
· Scheduler (a.k.a “CRON”): you can now run a server script on a pre-set schedule.
· Availability in the North Europe datacenter: you can now deploy your mobile services in Europe to enjoy reduced latency for your European customers.
· Command-line support: you can now use the Windows Azure command line tools to create and manage your mobile services.
Learn how Windows Azure can be used in curricula, support research endeavours, and enable student projects. Institution administrators can explore how to use Windows Azure for infrastructural and application needs
Would you like to start teaching the cloud? Apply for a grant - http://www.windowsazure.com/education
Got a great idea for a Windows Azure project? Compete in the Imagine Cup and you can get access to Windows Azure for 9 months and could win a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, and up to $10,000 in the 2013 Windows Azure Challenge! Get all the details and get started at http://www.ImagineCup.com/.
Not ready to take the Imagine Cup challenge? As a student you can take advantage of the free Windows Azure trial offer and run a Small Windows Azure instance with a 1GB SQL Azure database for 90 days*.
We have released 6 new sample applications that demonstrate step-by-step how users can use the key functionality available within Windows Azure Mobile Services from your Windows Store apps. Each of these samples is released in both XAML/C# and HTML/JS in the Dev Center for Windows Store apps MSDN Code Gallery
Event Buddy Sample - Storage, Auth and Push Notifications with Mobile Services (New)
In this sample you will start with a disconnected Windows Store app that manages events & sessions. You will connect it to Windows Azure Mobile Service to provide structured storage, auth using Twitter or Facebook and push notifications.
Get Started with Data in Windows Azure Mobile Services Tutorial Sample
This sample supports the Get started with data in Mobile Services tutorial, which shows you how to use Windows Azure Mobile Services to leverage data in a Windows Store app.
Visual Studio Toolbox – Using Mobile Services in a Windows 8 App (New)
In episode 56 of Visual Studio Toolbox Robert Green demonstrates a sample Windows 8 app that uses Azure Mobile Services. This sample is the corresponding app which manages customers and their projects. The code shows you how you connect to the mobile service and how to perform CRUD operations on data.
Authenticate Microsoft Account, Facebook, Twitter and Google w/ Mobile Services (New)
This sample demonstrates how you can easily wire up your Windows Store application to require your users to Authenticate against well know social identity such as Microsoft Account, Facebook, Twitter and Google using Windows Azure Mobile Services.
Tile, Toast and Badge Push Notifications using Windows Azure Mobile Services (New)
This sample demonstrates how you can easily register a channel in Windows Azure Mobile Services and then send different types of push notifications such as tile, toast and badge notifications from a server side script to your client application.
Raw Notifications using Windows Azure Mobile Services (New)
This sample demonstrates how you can easily send Raw push notifications to your Windows Store apps using Windows Azure Mobile Services.
Send Push Notifications at Periodic Interval with the Mobile Services Scheduler (New)
This sample demonstrates how you can offload work from your Windows Store app to be processed on a scheduled basis using Windows Azure Mobile Services. It shows how to create a Scheduled Script that polls a feed and send a Push Notification to update the tile with latest news.
Geolocation sample end to end using Windows Azure Mobile Services (New)
This sample provides an end to end location scenario with a Windows Store app using Bing Maps and a Windows Azure Mobile Services backend. It shows how to add places to the Map, store place coordinates in a Mobile Services table, and how to query for places near your location.
Enqueue and Dequeue messages with Windows Azure Mobile Services and Services Bus (New)
My Store - This sample demonstrates how you can enqueue and dequeue messages from your Windows Store apps into a Windows Azure Service Bus Queue via Windows Azure Mobile Services. This code sample builds out an ordering scenario with both a Sales and Storeroom and app.
Capture, Store and Email app Feedback using Windows Azure Mobile Services (New)
This sample shows how you can implement a Feedback charm option in your Windows Store application and submit the feedback to be both stored Windows Azure Mobile Services and emailed directly to you.
Upload File to Windows Azure Blob Storage using Windows Azure Mobile Services (New)
This demonstrates how to store your files such as images, videos, docs or any binary data off device in the cloud using Windows Azure Blob Storage. In this example we focus on capturing and uploading images, with the same approach you can upload any binary data to Blob Storage.
Create a Game Leaderboard using Windows Azure Mobile Services (New)
The My Trivia sample demonstrates how you can easily add, update and view a leaderboard from your Windows Store applications using Windows Azure Mobile Services.
We just launched a new Windows Azure Mobile Services series to help people get started with each of the Mobile Services features. In addition to the previous channel9 videos from Scott Guthrie and Josh. We have published 8 new getting started and how-to videos for Windows 8 & Mobile Services. We will add more videos to this series for iOS and Windows Phone 8 soon.
Introduction to Windows Azure Mobile Services
Creating your first app using the Windows Azure Mobile Services Quick Start (New)
Connecting your Windows Store app to Windows Azure Mobile Services (New)
Validate and Modify Data with Server Scripts in Windows Azure Mobile Services(New)
Getting Started with Authentication in Windows Azure Mobile Services (New)
Authenticate and Authorize users with Server Scripts in Windows Azure Mobile Services (New)
Add Push Notifications to your apps with Windows Azure Mobile Services (New)
Getting Started with the Windows Azure Mobile Services Scheduler (New)
iOS Support in Windows Azure Mobile Services
Creating your first iOS app with the Windows Azure Mobile Services Quick Start (New)
· Tech Q&A – Use this MSDN forum
· Feature voting – Use this UserVoice forum
· Customer Feedback – please email this DL
Lumia App Labs: Games on Windows Phone 8 Wednesday, January 23, 2013 8:00:00 AM GMT - 8:45:00 AM GMT
Microsoft Windows Phone 8 offers native code support that enables development and porting of high-performance games. This training-lab webinar will give you an overview of Windows Phone 8 capabilities supporting complex games development. It also will introduce available tools and frameworks that increase developer productivity and will demonstrate a hands-on approach to games development with the Windows Phone SDK 8. By leveraging frameworks such as the Microsoft Direct3D API and support for popular physics and rendering engines, you can now create games with native performance as well as use your own or third-party engines and middleware for games development for Windows Phone 8 users. We suggest that you install the Microsoft Windows Phone SDK 8.0 in advance to get the most out of this training lab. While you’ll learn a lot with or without the SDK, you’ll learn more if you have the SDK installed and can begin using the API as soon as you complete the training. It will also help to have a Lumia phone built on Windows Phone 8 available for testing.
Lumia App Labs: Games on Windows Phone 8 Thursday, January 24, 2013 4:00:00 PM GMT - 4:45:00 PM GMT
Lumia App Labs: Nokia Music Windows Phone API - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 8:00:00 AM GMT - 8:45:00 AM GMT
We suggest that you install the Microsoft Windows Phone SDK 8.0 in advance to get the most out of this training lab.
While you’ll learn a lot with or without the SDK, you’ll learn more if you have the SDK installed and can begin using the API as soon as you complete the training. It will also help to have a Lumia phone built on Windows Phone 8 available for testing.
Lumia App Labs: Nokia Music Windows Phone API - Thursday, January 17, 2013 4:00:00 PM GMT - 4:45:00 PM GMT