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  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Band Web Tiles Preview




    The Microsoft Band Web Tiles Preview makes it simple to deliver “glanceable” information to Microsoft Band from virtually any data source accessible through the web.

    Web Tiles use the power of the Microsoft Health platform, leveraging internet connectivity, to bring content directly to the Microsoft Band.

    With Microsoft Band Web Tiles, developers “author” the web tile only once to support multiple mobile platforms (iOS, Android and Windows). Authoring a Tile is simple: Developers can choose to read the Web Tiles documentation and author the Web Tile using their favourite text editors, or they can choose to author the tiles using the newly released Web Tiles Authoring Tool which provides a UI-based, step-by-step guide to creating a Web Tile package in as little as five minutes.

    Microsoft Band Web Tiles are supported on all mobile platforms where Microsoft Health is available.

    Getting Started


    Developers should visit the Microsoft Band Web Tiles developer site, read the comprehensive documentation, download sample Web Tiles, and start creating new Web Tiles using the Web Tiles Authoring Tool.

    More details about the new Web Tiles for  Microsoft Band by @shanselman

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    BBC Micro:Bit and Cloud services for students



    The BBC together with Microsoft and a range of other partners will provide every Year 7 student (age 11-12) in the United Kingdom with their very own BBC micro:bit, a personal computing device that they can use to explore the possibilities of computer science, both in and out of the classroom.

    The device has been specifically designed for students starting with little or no computing experience, to show them that they can progress and ultimately create the type of computer games and other programmes and apps that they use every day.


    Microsoft has been working closely with a range of companies, including ARM, Farnell and Samsung, to create the BBC micro:bit. The device itself is less than half the size of a credit card, with a distinctive appearance designed to show off its circuitry and hardware.

    Microsoft is providing the web-based programming tool Block and Touchdevelop, the Microsoft Azure-based hosting service and teacher training materials.

    For more details on Touchdevelop see

    More detailed blog on the BBC Micro:bit and the Microsoft team see

    We also announced a Microsoft Azure offer for student

    Microsoft Azure for gets you started with the services you need to develop in the cloud at no cost:


    • Azure App Service Web Apps is a part of a fully managed cloud offering that enables you to build and deploy web apps in seconds. Use ASP.NET, Java, PHP, Node.js or Python. Run popular web apps and CMS solutions. Set up continuous integration and deployment workflows with VSO, GitHub, TeamCity, Hudson or BitBucket – enabling you to automatically build, test and deploy your web app on each successful code check-in or integration tests. 
    • MySQL Database from ClearDB adds the power of MySQL to your Web Apps. With clearDB MySQL you can deploy more kinds of web apps and CMS solutions such as Wordpress, Joomla, Acquia Drupal, phpBB, and more.
    • Application Insights provides a 360° view across availability, performance and usage of your ASP.NET services and mobile applications for Windows Phone, iOS and Android platforms. Search and analyze your data to continuously improve your application, prioritize future investments and improve overall customer experience.
    • Visual Studio Online is the fastest and easiest way yet to plan, build, and ship software across a variety of platforms. Get up and running in minutes on our cloud infrastructure without having to install or configure a single server.

    Microsoft Azure for DreamSpark is available now for all validated DreamSpark students at no cost and no commitment, with no time limit and no accidental charges.

    You can upgrade to more services later if you want, but you can host your web apps and websites today with the power of the Microsoft cloud behind you and it won’t cost you anything so its perfect for students building portfolio, career or blogs. see

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Team Siymb from Exeter - Representing the UK at the World Wide Imagine Cup Finals


    The 2015 World Semi-Finals round of the Imagine Cup are now complete, this year we had over 150 teams from 64 countries competing.

    Team Siymb from Exeter University will be representing the UK in the Innovation category at the 2015 World Wide Imagine Cup Finals in Seattle, on the 31st of July for a chance to win $50,000 & a 1-1 with Satya Nadella!

    Please join me in congratulating team Siymb on this incredible achievement !!


    Who are team Siymb?

    Team Siymb are made up of Konstantin Wuenscher, Konstantin Delov and Jakob Zeitler who are a mixture of 1st & 2nd year Exeter University Students.

    Siymb looks towards bringing conferences and exhibitions to the twenty first century. It will shatter the fishbowl full of business cards and burn their contents to ashes.

    The basic idea is using Microsoft Band wearable to transform the way people interact with each other during conferences and exhibitions.


    With a simple handshake, participants will be able to exchange details about each other. No more looking for the right profile or lost contacts. All the information you need will be available through our integrated online system.

    To build our customer database simultaneously, they will be targeting the organisers of those event, rather than selling to individuals and offer them various benefits in return of their investment.

    The team have already had a TV debut to an audience of over 2,000 viewers when they appeared on day 1 of the Azure Tech Days Special. 

    Having won the Cloud Innovation Award at the Imagine Make It Happen event back in March,  the team shared their story with Andrew Fryer on how they are connecting data with their smart bracelet through the cloud and using Azure to solve some of the business challenges they faced whilst developing their Imagine Cup project. 


    What happens next?

    The UK has a legacy of success at the World Wide Finals, taking the trophy home in 2013! with team Colinked

    From now until the end of July we will be working with Team Siymb in for preparing for the World Wide Finals. If your interested in finding out who the competition is then see the full list of finalist here

    What opportunities are in store for the team once they get to Seattle: The Imagine Cup 2015 Agenda

    There are some fantastic opportunities in store for Team Siymb during their week-long visit to Seattle!

    Find the full agenda below:

    Day 1

    Day 2

    Day 3

    Day 4

    Day 5

    Day 6


    27 July


    28 July


    29 July


    30 July


    31 July


    1 August


    Briefing begins at 5:00pm



    Showcase Setup

    TechReady Ask the Experts


    MSP Summit

    Live Presentations

    Hands-on Judging

    MS-wide Showcase


    Awards Presentation

    Community Day

    TechReady Party


    Championship webcast

    Event Ends 2pm CET


    Our  World Wide Final Imagine Cup 2015 Journey is just beginning and we are all very excited about what lies ahead!

    Please help us amplify Team Siymb’s success by sharing their story on your and in your networks!

    Facebook -

    Twitter -

    With the standard being so high this year, all of our UK World Semi- Finalists have done incredibly well to get to this stage in the Imagine Cup if you want to read more about the UK finals see

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    ManifoldJS - Open Source framework that that can take a website and create an application for Windows, iOS, Android, Chrome, and Firefox


    At \\Build 2015 Day 2 keynote John Shewchuk showed off ManifoldJS.

    What is ManifoldJS

    • ManifoldJS uses the W3C Manifest for Web Apps to create the apps for a number of platforms.
    • ManifoldJS Supports the delivery of native apps for iOS, Android, Windows 8.1, Chrome, FireFox OS, and now Windows 10.
    • ManifoldJS runs as a command line tool through node.js or you can use the web based tool at

    The example John Shewchuk showed in the Build Day2 Keynote was a fictional demo app called Shiftr which lets developers vote on developer frameworks.

    In the demo, John simply created the cross platform app by using the following command

    “ManifoldJS http:/” and ManifoldJS generated projects for Chrome, iOS, Android, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.


    He then loaded the Android solution via Android App Studio and fired up the Android Emulator which ran the app without any additional code changes.


    So the demo clearly demonstrated that with ManifoldJS, developers can simply create the standard manifest, and ManifoldJS creates the apps for the different platforms and devices with minimal intervention.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows 10 - Universal Windows Platform Bridges



    Welcome to Windows 10 and our Four Universal Windows Platform Bridge toolkits that enable you to quickly bring your existing code base to the Universal Windows Platform and add capabilities such as live tiles, active notifications, and Windows Store in-app purchases.

    What are Universal Windows Platform Bridges?

    This year, Microsoft will release four Universal Windows Platform Bridge (UWP Bridge) toolkits that make it easier for you to bring your existing code to Windows and the Windows Store. Over the next few months, Microsoft will start sharing these toolkits via Limited Developer Preview programs. These preview releases are scoped to a limited number of developers, enabling the engineering teams to get feedback on what we’re building and to ensure that the toolkits meet the needs of the developer community.

    What are the toolkits?

    Each toolkit provides you with tools and run-time technologies that are tailored for your codebase.

    Android Runtime (Project Astoria)

    Enables you to build apps using Android code to target Windows 10 phones without having to leave your Android IDE.

    iOS (Project Islandwood)

    Enables you to build a universal Windows app from within Visual Studio 2015 using your existing Objective-C® code.

    Classic Windows apps (Project Centennial)

    Allows you to package and publish your current .NET and Win32-based Windows applications to the Windows Store, providing a new way of distributing and monetizing your application on Windows PCs and allows you to take advantage of Universal Windows Platform capabilities and APIs.

    Web apps (Project Westminster)

    Windows 10 will make it easy for you to create a Windows app that packages your website for publishing to the Store. Once installed, your website can update and call Windows APIs from JavaScript, creating a more engaging user experience. Publishing your website into the store will be as easy as providing your URL and clicking ‘publish’.

    Sign-Up for UWP Bridge Toolkit Dev Previews

    Use this page to sign up for previews of the following UWP Bridge toolkits:

    • "Project Islandwood": Enables iOS® developers to build a universal Windows app using their existing Objective-C® code.
    • "Project Centennial": Enables developers to package and publish their existing .NET and Win32-based Windows applications to the Windows Store. Developers can also use Centennial to call common UWP APIs and services.
    • "Project Westminster": Enables developers to create a Windows app that packages a website for publishing to the Store. Once published, you can continue to evolve and change your website without updating your app in the store.

    If you are interested in "Project Astoria", please visit the "Project Astoria" page.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows 10 on Embedded devices now available via Windows IoT Insider



    This week at  Build 2015  and Raspberry Pi and various other hardware vendors were present. One of the key announcement was the availability of Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview


    The Windows 10 IoT Core Insider is a public release of Windows 10 for Raspberry Pi 2

    So how do you get access to Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview

    To get started register at


    You need to create a connect account
    You need to have a windows 10 insider account
    You have to take the survey on Connect and accept the terms before getting access to the downloads.

      The Hardware support with IoT insider are


      The RPI2 and Minnow run the Windows 10 IoT Core.



      Windows Remote Arduino

      Windows Remote Arduino allows the control of an Arduino board through a Bluetooth or USB connection from a Universal app running on, say, a Windows 10 Phone or Desktop.

      Windows Virtual Shields for Arduino

      Windows Virtual Shields for Arduino abstracts (or virtualizes) Arduino libraries up into a Universal App on a Windows 10 device. This includes the Arduino wire library.

      The Galileo

      The Galileo runs a headless IoT version of Windows 8.1 with an Arduino IO profile

      So interested in more from \\Build 2015

      Some key  IoT Sessions and announcements

      Sessions with the IoT content:

      Raspberry Pi, Arduino  IoT Session Windows for Makers- Raspberry Pi 2, Arduino and More

      Getting a understanding of IoT - Internet of Things Overview

    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      Windows 10 and a new browser Microsoft Edge (Project Spartan)


      We first shared details about Project Spartan on January 21,at Build we announced that Project Spartan will be officially called Microsoft Edge.


      The new browser is available for the first time for Windows Insiders to try out as part of the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview build for PCs. You can read more about the new Windows 10 Technical Preview build here, or check it out by joining the Windows Insider Program.

      Amazing experiences with Edge


      Inspired by the original Microsoft Flight Simulator, Flight Arcade ( is a new web experience that will have you flying in seconds. With the latest web standard technologies – WebGL, WebAudio, GamePad API and more – it shows what’s possible on the new Microsoft Edge, the browser for doing. Yet all the code works great across browsers and devices. Learn how we made Flight Arcade at

      Watch the following Video on Flight Arcade


      See Microsoft Edge in Action

      Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s in the current build for Windows Insider users

      • Cortana is built-in and ready to assist: Cortana in Project Spartan is a personal assistant that helps make Web browsing easier for you, with whatever you’re trying to get done. Cortana offers help at just the right moment, based on what she knows about the Web, about you and what you might be trying to do. She remains in the background but provides additional information when you need it, making browsing easier and more efficient. Cortana in Spartan will be available in the US versions of this build, and available more broadly later.
      • Inking and sharing so you can capture and communicate your thoughts: Everyone uses the Web routinely to share questions, thoughts, info and comments with friends and colleagues. Now with new inking capabilities, Project Spartan enables you to write or type directly on the page, comment on what’s interesting or clip what you want – then easily share this “Web Note” via mail, or a social network. Researching and collecting information from the Web is just as easy, as you can save your notes directly to OneNote.
      • Distraction-free reading with Reading List and Reading View: Keeping up with information overload on the Web is one of the challenges that we all have to manage.  Project Spartan helps with a beautiful new Reading List to collect everything you want to read, including the ability to save any webpage or PDF for convenient access later, and an integrated, distraction-free Reading View that keeps you focused on the content.
      • A new engine for the modern Web: Project Spartan’s new rendering engine is built around the idea that the Web “just works,” while being fast, more secure and more reliable. As we shared in our recent developer workshop, we made some changes to the rendering engine that you will see in this build.

      For more details on Microsoft Edge see and

    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 Release Candidate Now Available and Visual Studio Code for Mac, Windows and Linux




      Download for Free Today

      The Release Candidate (RC) for Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 is now available for you to download for free and is offered in all of the core Visual Studio languages. You can explore what’s new in this release by checking out our release notes or by watching short feature videos found on our new Connect (“on-demand”); Channel 9 page.

      Visual Studio Code for Windows, Mac and Linux


      Visual Studio Code is a lightweight cross-platform code editor for writing modern web and cloud applications that will run on OS X, Linux and Windows. The application is still officially in preview, but you can now download it here. Visual Studio Code can also be used with Middleware such as Unity3d solution with Intellisense and C# syntax highlighting all on a Mac.


      This marks the first time that Microsoft offers developers a true cross-platform code editor. The full Visual Studio is still Windows-only, but today’s announcement shows the company’s commitment to supporting other platforms.

      Learn more at


      What is Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN?

      With the release of Visual Studio Enterprise 2015, MSDN subscribers get the value of both Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate features and benefits in a single edition.

      When Visual Studio 2015 ships later this year, customers who have an active subscription for Visual Studio Premium with MSDN or Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN will automatically get upgraded to Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with MSDN. For all the details see our blog post: Announcing the Visual Studio 2015 Product Lineup.

      What can I expect from Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN?

      With Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 development teams get the most complete edition of Visual Studio and all the benefits from the most advanced MSDN subscription, including access to virtually all Microsoft software for dev/test, $150 USD per month in Azure credits, a 30-course Pluralsight subscription and much more.

      Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 delivers great new features such as IntelliTest (formerly Smart Unit Testing), improved functionality in IntelliTrace, Code Map, CodeLens, testing and many other capabilities. For complete list of Visual Studio 2015 features and MSDN benefits see our Visual Studio 2015 Product compare page.

    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      A quick run down of Azure announcement at \\Build 2015




      Here is a key run down of all the Azure Announcement we made at \\Build 2015

      SQL Database Enhancements

      Developers building software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications can leverage SQL Database to provide flexibility to support both explosive growth and profitable business models. For workloads with unpredictable database resource consumption, we are introducing the elastic database model in preview –that provides you with the ability to pool resources to be leveraged among a group of databases. Instead of overprovisioning to meet peak demand, you can use an elastic database pool to let hundreds or thousands of databases leverage resources within a budget that you control. In addition, you can drive cost efficiencies with a purchase model that allows you to maintain control over price and performance across a group of databases. For additional information on using SQL Database to manage a large number of databases, read more here.

      Transparent Data Encryption for Azure SQL Database is now available in preview at no additional cost. Transparent Data Encryption leverages the long-time trusted encryption technology found in SQL Server bringing it to the databases on the latest version of SQL Database (V12) for encrypting a customer’s database at rest to help further protect against the threat of malicious activity. In addition, for applications that manage text data stored in Azure SQL Database, Full-Text Search, now available in preview at no additional cost, adds the capability of providing fast, robust search functionality integrated into the database platform. For additional information on SQL Database, read more here.

      Azure Data Lake

      As part of Microsoft’s big data and analytics portfolio of products, we pre-announced Azure Data Lake, a hyper scale repository for big data analytic workloads. It provides organizations a single place to store every type of data prior to any formal definition of schema or transformation requirements. It has no fixed limits to either file or account size and massive throughput to increase analytic performance. Azure Data Lake is a Hadoop File System compatible with HDFS that works with the Hadoop ecosystem providing integration with Azure HDInsight and will be integrated with Microsoft offerings such as Revolution-R Enterprise, industry standard distributions like Hortonworks and Cloudera, and individual Hadoop projects like Spark, Storm, Flume, Sqoop, Kafka, etc. More information can be found on and sign-up to be notified once the public preview is available.

      Azure SQL Data Warehouse

      We are also pleased to preannounce Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse. As part of Microsoft’s extension to Data Warehousing, Azure SQL Data Warehouse is an elastic data warehouse-as-a-service with enterprise-grade features based on SQL Server’s massively parallel processing architecture. It provides customers the ability to scale data, either on premise, or in our cloud. It’s the first Enterprise-Class cloud data warehouse that can dynamically grow or shrink compute in seconds independently of storage enabling customers to only pay for the query performance they need when they need it. SQL Data Warehouse enables customer to use their existing T-SQL skills to integrate queries across structured and unstructured data.  Integrating with our existing data platform tools including Azure HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning, Azure Data Factory and Power BI, it is a complete data warehousing and business intelligence solution in the cloud.  With SQL Data Warehouse, customers have a choice about where to keep their data, based on performance, security and scale requirements, enabled by SQL Data Warehouse either in the cloud or on-premises. Sign-up to be notified once the public preview is available.

      Azure Service Fabric

      Developer preview of Azure Service Fabric – a high control platform that enables developers and ISVs to build cloud services with a high degree of scalability and customization. As we discussed last week, Service Fabric supports creating both stateless and stateful microservices – an architectural approach where complex applications are composed of small, independently versioned services – to power the most complex, low-latency, data-intensive scenarios and scale them into the cloud. In addition, integrated Visual Studio tooling as well as command line support, enables developers to quickly and easily build, test, debug, deploy and update their Service Fabric applications on single-box deployments, test deployments and production deployments. For more information on Azure Service Fabric and to download the SDK, please read more here.

      Azure App Service Premium

      Public preview of Azure App Service Environment, a new Premium service plan option for applications requiring high scale and direct corporate connectivity.  Developers can enjoy the extensive features and devops flexibility of Azure App Service while benefiting from expanded scaling head-room with the introduction of new P4 compute resources (8 Cores and 14GB Ram). Apps gain secure, direct access over virtual networks to their most sensitive corporate resources connected via Site-to-Site or ExpressRoute connections. The base environment contains two P2 frontends and two P1 compute resources created in a customer’s Virtual Network. Customers can scale out front end and compute resources independently using combinations of P1 – P4 instances. Customers also pay only for what is used at $0.10 per core per hour (preview pricing), with up to 50 total instances inside each environment. To get started using Azure App Service Environment or for more information, please visit

      Azure Resource Manager Support for VMs, Storage and Networking

      Azure Resource Manager Support for Virtual Machines, Storage and Networking is now available in public preview. Azure Resource Manager templates enable single click deployments of complex applications into a resource group. A resource groups can contain all elements of an application and can be managed as a single unit providing granular access control via role based authentication and control (RBAC). Furthermore, you have ability to tag resources so you can better manage resources with a granular understanding of costs. We will have also have a starting set of more than 80 templates available in GitHub at preview release.

      As part of our Azure Resource Manager availability, we are announcing partnerships across a broad set of PaaS, orchestration and management partners building on the new scalable Resource Manager for IaaS, including Cloud Foundry, Mesosphere, Juju, Apprenda, Jelastic and Scalr. We will also make available templates for Apprenda and Mesosphere directly in GitHub. The initial set of templates will also include many open-source solutions from many sources, including a template for MySQL, Chef, ElasticSearch, Zookeeper, MongoDB, and PostGreSQL. For more information, please visit

      Azure Marketplace Enhancements

      After launching the Microsoft Azure Certified process at WPC last year and the Microsoft Azure Marketplace at TechED Europe, we’ve made a number of key investments to streamline the on-boarding process and enhance provisioning of single virtual machine offers. Partners interested in publishing a single virtual machine in the Azure Marketplace will now benefit from increased capacity and automated processes, which minimizes their time to market and investment to partner with Azure. Visit Azure Marketplace to learn more.


      Interested in learning more check out the Official Microsoft blog and Scott Guthrie’s blog.

      Also, you can view all the sessions from  //build via Channel 9

      Learn more by joining our camps and webinars:

    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      Break into Code challenge $3000 competition for 9–18 year olds using



      Break Into Code!

      We want to give all students  the opportunity to learn coding, so why not get started today with and have a chance of winning $3000

      Microsoft Imagine introduces the Break Into Code challenge as a beginner level challenge that will get students excited about coding even if they don’t have any previous experience. We’ve teamed up with Microsoft Research’s Touch Develop to get students of all ages started with a simple, easy to follow tutorial on coding a brick breaker game. The tutorial will get them started from a blank slate to a working game which they can then personalize and reinvent to make it their own. They can use any device with a browser and internet connection to participate.


      · Students register on and are directed to start with the Touch Develop brick breaker tutorial

      · Once they have completed the game tutorial, they can make whatever modifications they like so long as they stay within the spirit of the game

      · Students will submit their re-imagined games as entries to our contest 

      · The entries will be Judged on Customization, Quality, and Presentation

      Timeline: April 22th to June 7th

      Target Audience: 9-18 year olds

      Competition Age Brackets: 9-13, 14-18

      Prize: Winners from each bracket receive USD $3000 for 1st, $2000 for 2nd, $1000 for 3rd

      Tool: Microsoft Research Touch Develop

      Touch Develop Brick Breaker Tutorial and fully functioning game


      Touch Develop Brick Breaker with customizations

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