• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone Developer Camps in July


    The Windows Phone Camps are events which will show you how to learn and build Windows Phone apps. You can work on your own projects with assistance from our Windows Phone MVPs, network with others and also have the option of attending short tutorial sessions on Windows Phone related topics. If you are new to Windows Phone, this is the ideal event for you as you will have the opportunity to understand the general approach and capabilities of Windows Phone development.

    The Windows Phone Camps will cover an introductory design session as well as a range of short tutorial sessions. Short tutorial sessions will include topics such as Introduction to Windows Phone Development, Controls & Control Toolkit, Execution Model, Storing Data, Launchers & Choosers, Accessing Cloud Services, Marketplace & Submission. There will also be informal Mango tutorial sessions on offer covering topics such as Multi-tasking, Debugging & Profiling, Motion API, Advertising SDK and Sockets.

    There are a basic set of things you should prepare before attending the camp. This includes bringing your own suitable laptop with the Windows Phone Developer tools installed (these are free) preferably these are the latest version of the tools.

    Lastly, please let us know as soon as you can if you cannot make the camp as there will be many developers who are keen to take your spot. Please let us know (via written email) at least 2 days in advance if you are unable to attend the camp or a £20 administration fee will be charged. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you have registered and committed.

    The Windows Phone Camp will kick off at 9am and finish at 9pm. Spaces are limited, so register your place in the Windows Phone Camp today!

    Click here to register now.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Ever downloaded a product and thought ok what now?



    Have you heard of Channel 9… http://channel9.msdn.com/
    1. Channel 9 is all about the conversation. Channel 9 should inspire Microsoft and our customers to talk in an honest and human voice. Channel 9 is not a marketing tool, not a PR tool, not a lead generation tool.
    2. Be a human being. Channel 9 is a place for us to be ourselves, to share who we are, and for us to learn who our customers are.
    3. Learn by listening. When our customers speak, learn from them. Don't get defensive, don't argue for the sake of argument. Listen and take what benefits you to heart.
    4. Be smart. Think before you speak, there are some conversations which have no benefit other than to reinforce stereotypes or create negative situations.
    5. Marketing has no place on Channel 9. When we spend money on Channel 9 the goal is to surprise and delight, not to promote or preach.
    6. Don't shock the system. Lasting change only happens in baby steps.
    7. Know when to turn the mic off. There are some topics which will only result in problems when you discuss them. This has nothing to do with censorship, but with working within the reality of the system that exists in our world today. You will not change anything by taking on legal or financial issues, you will only shock the system, spook the passengers, and create a negative situation.
    8. Don't be a jerk. Nobody likes mean people.
    9. Commit to the conversation. Don't stop listening just because you are busy. Don't stop participating because you don't agree with someone. Relationships are not built in a day, be in it for the long haul and we will all reap the benefits as an industry.
    Where we came from

    For the original story of where Channel 9 came from, don't miss the classic and inspirational The 9 Guys - Who We Are video. Then, check out this video to meet the current team!

    So if you want to know more about a product

    simply visit http://channel9.msdn.com/Browse/Tags

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Interested in creating Music and Audio Apps for Windows Phone – Nokia Lumia App Labs – 16th and 17th Jan



    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.

    Register Now


    Lumia App Labs: Nokia Music Windows Phone API - Thursday, January 17, 2013 4:00:00 PM GMT - 4:45:00 PM 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.

    Register Now

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Kinect for Windows SDK – It’s Here!

    Anticipation for the Kinect or Windows software development kit beta has been high from the UK Academic community.

    The SDK now available for free from Microsoft Research. The SDK includes not only drivers but also APIs, device interfaces, installer documents and resource materials. It’s another exciting milestone for a technology that has captured the imagination of millions, and has become the fastest selling computer electronics device of all time.

    With the release of the SDK today, we’re looking forward to another wave of creativity from academic researchers community in the UK.

    As part of the Channel9 Launch event, Microsoft has been holding a Code Camp where a select group of software developers were challenged to test the limits of their imaginations and show what they could do with audio technology, skeletal tracking system application programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor. Channel 9 is broadcasting live today, highlighting some of these amazing applications as well as providing in depth sessions on how to program on Windows using the SDK.

    The beta SDK is only the beginning! Microsoft’s vision of the natural user interface is that interactions between people and computers will ultimately become invisible, computers will understand gestures, voice commands and respond to facial expressions.

    As Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, said – “As breakthrough technologies like these reach scale, the resulting creativity and invention will open up a whole new world of possibilities for computing.” There is more to come, including a commercial SDK that is geared toward enabling independent software vendors (ISV’s) and businesses to develop commercial applications.

    We look forward to seeing what’s next with Kinect and getting your feedback and input so if your a UK academic we would love to hear from you.

    Those interested in the SDK will find community resources, general information and download links at http://research.microsoft.com/kinectsdk.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    The challenges ahead, Kinect SDK in UK HE


    This month has been a very exciting time for Microsoft, the Guinness World Records has added the Kinect for being the fastest-selling electronic device in history. Kinetc has sold an average of 133,333 units per day, giving it a total of eight million units in its first 60 days on sale from 4 November 2010 to 3 January this year.

    "The sales figures here speak for themselves," says Gaz Deaves, editor of Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer’s Edition. "We can confirm that no other consumer electronics device sold faster within a 60-day time span, an incredible achievement considering the strength of the sector." The new record will be included in the next Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition.

    A further two million Kinect devices have been sold since the beginning of January - 10 million units in all additionally Microsoft's has also sold over eight million Kinect games. As a result this means that a large number of children are aware of have used the kinect device.

    Take a look at this video of how young children are simply using Kinect without any thought or guidance.

    There has also been a number of new features for the Xbox this spring, including Kinect-enabled applications allowing users to use hand gestures and their voice to control films on Xbox Live. Also coming this year is Avatar Kinect, allowing players to control their avatar's movements and expressions by smiling, frowning, nodding or speaking. Players can get together with up to seven friends in a range of themed environments.

     What is really exicting from a Academic perspective is that Microsoft has announced that it will release a Kinect for Windows SDK "starter kit" this spring "to make it simpler for the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich natural user interfaces" using the motion-sensing device.

    "Microsoft's investments in natural user interfaces are vital to our long-term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us," said Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie when announcing the non-commercial SDK. The non-commercial SDK will "give users access to deep Kinect system information such as audio, system application-programming interfaces, and direct control of the Kinect sensor." With the release of the SDK we're going to see lots of new ideas and a number of challenges in relation to how technology supports teaching and learning in a more immersive and innovative ways, additionally if you consider the video above of the young children the experience of using this technology will make their lecture standing in front of an Blackboard or interactive whiteboard look very old school.

    The following videos are examples of how researchers and developers have integrated a number of applications using Natural User Interfaces and the Kinect devices.





    The challenge for you now is how can you use the Kinect SDK in your teaching and learning or research?

    So if your interested in the challenge, or have ideas that you would like to share and discuss please do get in contact.



  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup 2012 UK Results



    On Wednesday 25h April at 16:00 BST, the UK hosted its local Imagine Cup finals webcast at the Microsoft Campus in Reading. The 6 finalists from the Software Design competition who were chosen from a round of preliminary judging were whittled down to the two top teams on 19th April through 5 hours of judging in a sealed room at our Microsoft offices in London Victoria. Through much deliberation over the next few days, we chose one team to represent the UK at the Imagine Cup worldwide finals in Sydney, Australia!

    Imagine Cup Software Design in the UK this year: A few stats



    · We had 991 registrations for the Imagine Cup UK this year

    · 374 of them signed up to the Software Design competition

    · 49 teams were formed for the Software Design competition

    · 26 teams submitted a Round 1 entry

    · 6 teams were selected for the UK final

    · 1 team won and will go to the worldwide finals in Sydney to represent the UK

    The Judges


    The Teams


    Bazinga! From Motherwell College – were inspired to use smartphone technology to inspire students all about Science! “Professor Duffy’s Interactive Labs app” is a complete science Lab on the phone utilising various sensors on the phone to demonstrate the practical side of science in a fun and interactive way.

    Teesside 0x32: From Teesside University was inspired to develop Cloud Doctor – In Ethiopia for example there is 1 doctor to 50,000 patients. Cloud Doctor, as the name implies, harnesses Windows Azure and Cloud technologies combined with Windows Phone and Windows 8 tablets to deliver an on-demand, flexible and intelligent collaboration system – connecting healthcare workers in the developing world with specialists and doctors all over the world who volunteer their time to help patients on the ground.

    Team EyeWorks: From Northumbria University and Newcastle College were inspired to develop MIRA (a Mobile Intelligent Retinal Analysis platform). MIRA is a cloud based platform that utilises Smartphone technology coupled with a specialist lens attachment developed at Northumbria University to identify early stage sight loss in the developing world.

    WykeWare: From the University of Hull were inspired to develop a smartphone application to assist those people with a risk of falling be it the elderly or people prone to fainting. Their submission embraced cloud technology to match emergencies and responders to identify how to prioritise how best to help.

    Sentient Systems: From the University of Reading were inspired to develop “Sentience” a cost effective software solution designed to run affordable , advanced and customizable robot systems utilising cloud based distribution, plug-in architectures, commodity frameworks and low cost hardware specifically Kinect!

    Team Loading: From The University of Manchester were inspired to develop Project Sky High. Project Sky High is a Windows Phone application combined with a netduino hardware sensor to allow aid workers in the developing world to transform a smartphone into a cost effective portable ultrasound scanner and mobile blood pressure monitor. The patient data will be recorded in the cloud in Windows Azure and accessible by a medical professional.

    The Winners

    In 3rd place and winners of a pocket digital video camcorder each were…


    In 2nd place and winners of a Windows Phone each were…


    In 1st place and winners of a Windows Phone each, a trip to the Microsoft Technology Center in Reading to spend a day with the experts and also the grand prize of a trip to Sydney, Australia to compete in the worldwide finals were…


    A huge congratulation to all teams who competed and this year the decision was made much harder than ever before as the entries this year far surpassed previous years.

    All teams who submitted a Round 2 video entry will be receiving feedback and teams who have won prizes will be hearing from the Academic Team very soon! Congratulations to Team EyeWorks and we will be seeing you in Sydney!

    Watch the Video of the Imagine Cup 2012 UK Live Web Cast relieving the Winners of the UK Imagine Cup entries

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Interested in the next generation Kinect for Windows sensor




    You can apply to take part in the Kinect for Windows developer kit program. This program, which begins in November 2013, will provide developers with tools and a pre-release sensor as soon as possible so they can start building new applications before general availability in 2014.

    The program fee will be US$399 (or local equivalent) and offers the following benefits:

    Direct access to the Kinect for Windows engineering team via a private forum and exclusive webcasts
    Early SDK access (alpha, beta, and any updates along the way to release)
    Private access to all API and sample documentation
    A pre-release/alpha sensor
    A final, released sensor at launch

    There are a limited number of spots in the program. Applications must be completed by July 31, 2013, 9:00 A.M. (Pacific Time). Register here http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindowsdev/newdevkit.aspx

    We will begin notifying successful applicants in August.

    Additionally, in September the Kinect for Windows SDK will be updated with several exciting updates including:

    • The ability to extract the user from the background in real time
    • The ability to develop Kinect for Windows desktop applications by using HTML5/JavaScript
    • Enhancements to Kinect Fusion, including capture of color data and improvements to tracking robustness and accuracy

    The feature enhancements will enable even better Kinect for Windows-based applications for businesses and end users, and the convenience of HTML5 will make it easier for developers to build leading-edge touch-free experiences.

    This will be the fourth significant update to the Kinect for Windows SDK since the Kinect team launched 17 months ago.The Kinect team are committed to continuing to improve the existing Kinect for Windows platform and with the announcement of the programme above were excited to see what the academic community can do with the new generation Kinect for Windows sensor and SDK. 

    If you aren’t already using Kinect for Windows to develop touch-free solutions, now is a great time to start for more details see the Kinect for Windows Blog  .

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/kinectforwindows and Resources at http://www.kinectforwindows.com

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Using the Windows Azure Cloud - Makes all your development dreams possible


    Following on from Sarah Lamb great post at UK MSDN “Imagine a scenario in which you were able to add new levels to a platform game immediately after they have been built. Using a cloud backend makes this all possible, and when you can also track significant quantities of data to keep your game flow smooth and your players engaged, you give your title the best chance it has at being great at player retention.”

    I wanted to ask the following questions…

    How many of you use the cloud today in your gaming experience?

    Take a look at following video

    Now ask yourself the question again? 

    So this is how we see the use of games and apps on modern devices 


    How do you see your consumers using devices, apps, services and infrastructure?

    What does Windows Azure Offer?


    what you can do


    How many of want to use the cloud but not sure where to start?

    Simply go to http://www.windowsazure.com

    Windows Azure 3 month free trial

    • // Quickly build, deploy & manage applications.
    • // Use any operating system, language or tool.
    • // No obligation, totally free.

    your free trial contains

    Or if your a academic or student go to http://www.windowsazure.com/education

    How many are you just really interested in learning more about the cloud?

    One of the key features for mobile app/game developers is Azure Mobile Services https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/mobile/ which supports Windows, iOS, Android and HTML

    What does Azure Mobile Services offer?


    Interested to hear what the thought leaders in the RU Gaming Industry think re: The opportunity of the Cloud?

    See the following summary document EU Cloud Gaming Conference 2013

    simply click on the image to download your PDF copy to keep.


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Marmalade Developer Day 19th Nov at Birmingham City Uni


    MSMar Logo

    Marmalade and Microsoft along with Birmingham City University are hosting one of the largest Marmalade and Windows Phone 8 porting events in the UK and they would love to see you there! By attending this free one day event you’ll receive the latest information regarding Marmalade 7 and Windows Phone 8.

    Over the last 12 months we have seen the Windows Phone UK market share increase rapidly, more and more consumers are purchasing Windows Phones and Windows tablets and we are seeing amazing success on the Windows ecosystem from game developers with titles such as Mortar Melon reach 750k+ downloads; Guns4Hire & Judge Dredd with 1m+; Royal Revolt with 1m+ in 6 weeks and Lego Hero Factory: Brain Attack with 500k downloads in 4 weeks.

    There will be hands-on advice from Marmalade experts to help you port your existing or new mobile games to the Windows Phone

    If you don't have the necessary hardware to port to Windows Phone we have that covered! We will provide hardware running all the necessary developer tools and will provide access to Marmalade 7.

    This event is for new and existing marmalade developers and students

    10.00 Registration
    10.30 - 10.40 Intro from Uni
    10.40 - 11.00 Welcome from Microsoft/Marmalade
    11.00 - 12.00 Getting started with Marmalade - Jamie Grossman Marmalade
    12.00-13.00 Lunch Break
    13.00-14.00 Using Marmalade walkthrough popup lab tutorial - Jamie Grossman Marmalade
    14.00-15.00 Designing beautiful windows phone games - Lee Stott Microsoft
    15.00 -15.10 Break
    15.10 - 16.00 Microsoft/Nokia developer programmes and Opportunity - Lee Stott Microsoft
    16:00 -20:00 Hackathon/Gameaton with Marmalade for Windows Phone 8
    20:00 - 20.30 Games Showcase
    21:00 Close

    Register Now http://aka.ms/microsoftmarmaladeday

    Free devcies

    Register Now http://aka.ms/microsoftmarmaladeday

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft @ ALT-C 2012



    ALT-C is an annual conference for learning technologists. This year it will be held at the University of Manchester on 11th – 13th September and Microsoft and Collabco will be exhibiting here for the first time.

    collabco office365moodle

    Collabco will be supporting the Microsoft exhibition at the ALT Conference, showcasing the work that we have carried out at Blackpool & the Fylde College.  The project involved adding value to an Office 365 for education solution for the college.  Collabco’s Hub Metro solution, is a SharePoint 2010 based solution. It pulls together the essential elements of Office 365 for education, such as e-mail, MySites and calendars, together with the systems students need access to on a daily basis such as timetable, Moodle, e-payments and library systems. 



    Giving students (and ultimately staff) this “single pane” view of all the systems they need, with seamless access to the collaboration tools in SharePoint and Office 365 for education, delivers a compelling solution.  This addresses many of the college’s requirements of an integrated learning platform and helps to further integrate Moodle into the delivery of learning to students.  The college is able to customise the look and feel of the platform and add further connectors to new systems as they are brought on stream. 



    A further phase of the project will allow the college to deliver all of this information easily to the students mobile devices and smartphone, allowing them to be kept fully up to date and informed of assignment deadlines, overdue library books, room changes and other useful information.

    With Windows 8 Live tiles on the Windows Start screen display information from your website and service and turn your app into a real time awareness engine - even when it’s not running. Your services and your app, will grab your users’ attention and keep them informed of the latest announcements and updates.

    Windows 8 gives you the opportunity as an educational institution huge potential by personalising the learning and interactions with your students, the ability to list your apps in the Windows Store to current and potential students of your institution allows you to reach millions of potential applicants, learners or associated partners.

    I will be attending ALT-C, so if you are interested in leverage your existing technical staffs skills, Code fast, fluid, immersive and beautiful Windows 8 applications in HTML5/JavaScript, XAML/C# and C/C++ come by the Microsoft stand for a discussion.  If you’re simply interested in existing and new Microsoft
    Platform and Developer technologies and want to be informed of where our languages, platforms and tools are heading or simply try out Windows 8.

    Further details of Microsoft Windows 8 development http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8

    Running Moodle on Windows Azure

    Integrating Moddle and Live@edu

    Running Opensource Applications on Azure

    Building Custom Office or SharePoint apps

    Windows Azure Educator and Student Passes for teaching, learning and research

    Building Mobile Application with cloud services

    So if you’re interested in exploring the use of any of these drop by the Microsoft stand for chat.

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