• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    DreamSpark and Apphub Creation step by step guide



    So if your a Student or Academic and you want to get a free Dreamspark account and upload some phone apps via App Hub waiving the $99 fee. follow the following step by step by step process.

    1) Go to https://www.dreamspark.com/verify/default.aspx and sign in with a LiveID (you can create a LiveID using your .ac.uk email address or a personal email address if preferred) or if your a school or college administrator with a .org.uk email you can register your school.


    2) Select your country and status

    1) UK
    2) Verify as a Student
    3) Get verified through my school
    4) Click Continue


    4) Select correct School, college or University.


    5) Type in your information, and be sure to use your .ac.uk email address.


    6) Check your .ac.uk email for verification:


    7) Follow instructions to activate by clicking on the link and typing in the code sent to your email address.


    8) After this is done, go to https://users.create.msdn.com/Register/ and choose account type, “Student”. This will waive the $99 fee.


    9) Go through the entire App Hub account creation process. follow the step by step guide here

    10) It will lead to another email to confirm your App Hub account.


    11) To register your phone handsets

    1. Turn on your phone and if necessary unlock the phone screen.

    2. On your phone, ensure that the date and time are correct.

    3. Using the USB cable that came with your phone, connect your phone to your computer. On your computer, the Zune software starts automatically. If Zune does not start, then start it manually.

    4. On your computer, click Start, click All Programs, and then click Windows Phone SDK 7.1.

    5. Click Windows Phone Developer Registration.The application starts, as shown in the following image. Verify that the Status message displays Phone ready. Please enter your Windows Live ID and password and click "Register" to begin.


      If your phone is already registered, the Status message will indicate this and you will see an Unregister button.

    6. Enter the Windows Live ID and password that correspond to your App Hub membership.

    7. Click Register.

    After your phone is successfully registered, the Status message will display Your phone has successfully been registered. You can now deploy applications to the Windows Phone. If you ever need to, you can also unregister the device by clicking Unregister in the tool.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Python Tools for Visual Studio 1.1 Alpha now with support for Kinect



    We’re pleased to announce the release of Python Tools for Visual Studio 1.1 Alpha. Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) is an open-source plug-in for Visual Studio which supports programming with the Python programming language.

    Python Tools for Visual Studio – an open source (Apache) & free plug-in that turns VS into a world-class Python development environment.

    Python Tools for Visual Studio - has a cool feature for students/academics: PyKinect, which enables writing Kinect games using Python!

    Project Link:  http://pytools.codeplex.com

    C9 video: http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Charles/Announcing-Python-Tools-for-Visual-Studio-11-Alpha

    What’s new?

    1. Over 100 bug fixes and new small features: http://pytools.codeplex.com/releases/view/69667

    2. Pyvot – A Python to/from Excel connector:  http://pytools.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Pyvot

    3. PyKinect – Write Kinect games using Python! : http://pytools.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=PyKinect

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Teaching UI and UX want some reference style guides–Metro



    From a design point of view a nice thing about Windows Phone is that it brings with it a whole set of design guidelines which are referred to as “Metro”.

    Microsoft has developed a sets of guides to  how controls are supposed to look and establishes a set of criteria that your applications should meet if they are to be “good looking applications.”

    For further details see the Metro style document, you can find the style guide here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh202915.aspx

    This is well worth a look if you want to publish your programs in the Marketplace, where your potential customers will have certain expectations of how things should look and work.

    Additionally the following interviews are a GREAT virtual guest lecture for teaching UI and UX course attendees on concept and theories of design.

    On type


    On way-finding graphics


    On mobile audio


    On light & space in architecture


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Kinect SDK Beta 2 Release



    Today is a very special day, the Kinect device has turn 1 and we have released beta2 of the Windows SDK for Kinect along with a new web site and branding see http://kinectforwindows.org/

    Microsoft built Kinect to revolutionize the way you play games and how you experience entertainment. But along the way, people started using Kinect in ways we never imagined. From helping children with autism, to helping doctors in the operating room, people are taking Kinect beyond games. And that’s what we call the Kinect Effect. h

    So whether you’re educating students, exploring new research, or redefining what’s possible when humans and computers interact, you can create something amazing with Kinect for Windows. The Kinect for Windows SDK Beta 2 is now available for download 

    Watch the following video from Microsoft Channel 9 where Rob Relyea give a refresher on what the Kinect SDK can do, and what's new for Beta 2. There are a number of under-the-hood improvements including faster and more accurate skeletal tracking, support for x64, and support for multi-core machines and support for Windows 8. Microsoft have also added a new StatusChanged event to know when a Kinect has been connected, disconnected, or doesn't have enough power, as well as new APIs to better manage using multiple Kinects.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Kinect - Happy Birthday! 1 year old on 04/11/2011– See how academic research contributions make a huge success



    Kinect for Xbox 360 has been a smashing success since its November 2010 debut, thanks in part to contributions from Microsoft Research to its audio, skeletal-tracking, and facial-recognition capabilities. And further refinements could mean the best is yet to come. Read the following to learn more about the science behind Kinect - http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/about/feature/contributionstokinectforxbox360.aspx

    Over the last few months,Microsoft Research have published a series of feature stories to outline the contributions they have made to the ground breaking Kinect for Xbox 360 product, which Guinness World Records has dubbed the fastest-selling consumer electronic device ever.
    This week, the Kinect team is marking the one-year anniversary of Kinect. Read the following blog for more details and watch the an amazing video detailing their contribution http://blogs.technet.com/b/inside_microsoft_research/archive/2011/11/03/the-research-behind-kinect.aspx

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    New curricula material and resources for Windows Phone 7.5

    Windows Phone Programming in C# (Windows Phone Version 7.5)


    Main Text – FREE Ebook Windows Phone Programming in C# by Rob Miles
    The main text is provided as a Word document and PDF file. This contains the entire text, broken into chapters.

    The Demos folder contains a folder for each of the chapters that have demonstration programs.

    Teaching Content
    For each of the chapters there is a folder with the presentations and lab content for that chapter. Each presentation is for that section of the chapter and has a corresponding folder containing the demonstrations for that chapter. The Demonstration slides in the presentation contain step by step instructions for that demonstration in the slide notes. Note that not all the demonstrations have sample projects associated with them, for these demonstrations the program will be created during the presentation.

    The first 9 chapters also have a lab document which contains a set of lab exercises for that chapter. Some of the lab documents also have answer documents.

    The following chapters are covered in this material:

    1. Windows Phone
    2. Introduction to Silverlight
    3. Visual Studio Solution Management
    4. Constructing a Program with Silverlight
    5. Isolated Storage on Windows Phone
    6. Using Databases on Windows Phone
    7. Networking with Windows Phone
    8. XNA on Windows Phone
    9. Creating Windows Phone Applications
    10. Windows Phone Marketplace

    To download this great resource simply visit Microsoft Faculty Connection Resource

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Touch Mouse: From an idea to award-winning paper to amazing product



    Touch Mouse

    For the past few weeks I have been getting to grips with my new Touch Mouse. Microsoft first unveiled the Touch Mouse, a new multi-touch device designed exclusively for Windows 7 that enables users to click, flick, scroll, and swipe at 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show.

    The Touch mouse makes it easier and more fun to interact with a PC. Touch Mouse combines the virtues of a traditional mouse with the rich natural language of gesture. The new mouse has already received an accolade, winning ‘Best Peripheral’ at CES from Endgadget,

    So what's special about this mouse - two fingers snap windows into place, three fingers quickly switch tasks, and your thumb can move forwards and backwards through websites, photos and documents.’

    Like many of Microsoft products the Touch Mouse began in 2009 as part of a research project called ‘Mouse 2.0’ conducted by Microsoft Research and Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group. The results of that research were presented in 2009 during the Association for Computing Machinery's Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, garnering a best-paper award.

    Nic Villar

    Lead paper author from MSRC, Nic Villar, is particularly excited about the product release “When I finished my PhD at Lancaster University three years ago and came to work for Microsoft, I didn’t imagine that my research would contribute to a new product for the company so quickly or in such a tangible way. What’s particularly pleasing about this project is the close collaboration between MSR Cambridge and our colleagues in Redmond, which was critical to the successful transition from research to product. Following the initial research insights described in the award-winning ‘Mouse 2.0’ paper, the MSRC Innovation and Development team worked closely with the Hardware product team in Redmond to turn the research prototype into the commercial product that’s being released this year.”

    A huge advantage Microsoft has is nearly every product which Microsoft ships includes some form of technologies from Microsoft Research. So what does this advantage mean, through exploration and cross company collaboration we can advance the state of art computer science.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Welcome to F# 3.0


    A developer preview of F# 3.0 was made available as part of the preview-release of Visual Studio 11 announced at //build/ in Los Angeles.

    F# brings a powerful, succinct, efficient and expressive language, which allows the user to write simple code to solve complex problems. F# is a productivity accelerator it is used by a growing community to solve analytical programming problems in a variety of domains, such as trading, finance, bio-informatics, blog analysis, advertising, and energy markets. To learn more about F#, visit the F# Developer Center.

    With F# 3.0, the team is maintaining and expanding this vision through the addition of F# Information Rich Programming, including F# Type Providers and F# LINQ Queries.

    Check out Don Syme's talk at //build/ here

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Price changes Microsoft Azure Storage



    Effective immediately, Microsoft are lowering the price of Windows Azure Storage (from $0.15 to $0.14 per GB per month.)

    Additionally Microsoft are now offering volume discounts, which will give high-volume customers additional savings.

    All Windows Azure Storage customers will automatically receive the reduced storage price effective October 26, 2011. High-volume customers with regular usage are eligible for additional savings through the Storage Core Offer.

    A breakdown of pricing discounts is listed below. Please note, the prices below are price tiers, not graduated prices. For example, if you store 400 TBs using the commitment offer your price will be $0.112 per GB per month for the full amount, not just the amount over 50TBs.

    For prices above 5 Petabytes per month, customers are asked to contact Microsoft Education Account Manager for assistance.

    For additional details on Azure and this offer, please click here.

    Microsoft are thrilled to extend these price discounts following last month’s addition of geo-replication to Windows Azure Storage, which together provide the best value in the industry for cloud storage.


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Are you teaching Android or iOS mobile development? Consider porting your apps…



    Many institutions are already teaching existing Mobile Development curricula using iOS or Android, some of you are now considering or starting to develop and implement Windows Phone curricula. For those of you teaching iOS and Android you may be interested in the tools Microsoft has developed for porting iPhone & Android apps to Windows Phone. Microsoft has additionally developed the following resources which are helping support your teaching curricula. Additionally we hope the resources will allow you to easily demonstrate to your students the value of having applications in all the main vendors mobile application Market Places.

    Earlier this month Microsoft announced new guidance based on migration samples and a SQLite to SQL Server Compact database conversion tool. I hope that these new items combined with our previous extensive guides (for Android, iPhone, and Symbian Qt) will accelerate your ramp up time and improve your teaching experience of porting apps from vendor to vendor. Read more at the Windows Phone Developer Blog.

    Again if your teaching gaming development or have an existing application or game that you want to bring to Windows Phone 7.5? Microsoft has developed  a new series of videos where your shown exactly how to migrate these to Windows Phone, step by step. Each video has a corresponding code sample to help get you started.

    1. From XNA to SL XNA
    2. Adding FAS to XNA
    3. Adding FAS to a Typical Silverlight Application
    4. Adding Secondary Tiles NEW!
    5. Adding Background Agents NEW!
    6. Using a Live Camera Feed NEW!
    7. Using Push Notifications with Secondary Tiles and Deep Toast NEW!

    Watch the series and get more information from http://create.msdn.com/en-gb and visit http://create.msdn.com/en-gb/education/gamedevelopment

    For those of you, who are thinking about Windows Phone and mobile curricula we have developed a comprehensive Mobile Development curricula and resources at Microsoft Faculty Connection.

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