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With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
“Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.”
The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. It provides an opportunity for students to use their creativity, passion, and knowledge of technology to help solve global challenges and make a difference in the world. While competing for cash and prizes, students gain real-life experiences, make new friends, and change the world.
Now in its tenth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems. 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registered for the Imagine Cup 2011 Competition. The Imagine Cup is one way Microsoft encourages the brightest young minds to join together and use technology to take on the toughest problems facing our world today, whether it is combatting diseases, improving education or creating disaster communication systems.
How is Microsoft UK supporting Imagine Cup 2012?
This year we have changed our approach to the Imagine Cup competition in the UK.
Universities have the opportunity to hold local finals for the Software Design competition, to find the best team and project to represent their institution. The winning team of each institution that runs a local final is guaranteed a place in the UK final of the Imagine Cup, judged by a panel of the industry’s brightest and most influential business minds. Teams that do not win their local final can enter online for the chance to win a place in the Imagine Cup UK final.
Students who do not enter the Software Design competition through their institution are still eligible to submit projects into the Online Competition, judged by Microsoft, for a place in the UK final of the Imagine Cup.
To qualify for the Institution Competition:
1. The institution must commit to have a minimum of three teams entering the Imagine Cup 2012 Software Design competition. Two or more institutions can choose to run a joint competition, but only one winning team will be guaranteed a place in the UK final.
2. Each team must have one faculty mentor.
3. All competitors are bound by the Rules and Regulations of the worldwide Imagine Cup 2012 competition.
4. The Institution Competition must be clearly promoted as being part of the Imagine Cup.
5. The Institution must notify Microsoft of their interest in running a local Imagine Cup competition by sending an e-mail to email@example.com no later than 17:00 on Wednesday 30th November 2011.
The benefits of holding an Institution Competition include:
· The winning team from the Institution Competition is automatically through to the UK Imagine Cup Software Design final.
· Employees from Microsoft will be available to sit on the judging panel of the local final.
· Microsoft will endeavour to identify local technology companies that can offer industry mentors to the student teams.
· Microsoft will offer prizes to winners and runner-ups of local finals.
· Microsoft will provide Imagine Cup marketing materials to the Institution
· Microsoft will highlight the Institution Competition in blogs, on our web site and other channels.
· Teams from the Institution Competition that do not win their local final can enter the online competition for a place in the Imagine Cup UK final.
Get your students to register for Imagine Cup 2012.
The Online Competition will be for student teams who haven’t entered through their institutions or who have not won their Institution Competition for Software Design. Software Design teams entering through the Online Competition have the option to submit partially complete projects prior to the final deadline for review by, and feedback from, Microsoft.
All entrants of the Game Design and IT Challenge competitions must also enter online.
Wednesday 30th November 2011 - 17:00
Deadline for notifying Microsoft UK of the intention to run a local Institution Competition for the Imagine Cup 2012.
Sunday 4th March 2012 - 23:59
Deadline for submission of partially complete projects for review by, and feedback from, Microsoft. Feedback will be provided by Friday 16th March 5:30 pm.
Tuesday 13th March 2012
Deadline for preliminary summary of project submission online at www.imaginecup.com.
Sunday 15th April 2012 - 23:59
Project submission deadline online (both online entries and institution final winner entries).
Tuesday 17th April 2012
Announcement of shortlisted online Software Design entries.
Thursday 19th April 2012
Judging of finalists in London with external judging panel.
Wednesday 25th April 2012
Live broadcast of Imagine Cup UK final results and feedback.
Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia.
For any questions or more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
See last year’s Imagine Cup winner Team Hermes from Ireland
See Team Note-Taker from the USA’s entry here.
When your developing a mobile application how much time and effort do you spend on application design and user interface?
Mobile development has been growing since the day Apple introduced iPhone. Mobile browser has never been so robust and to make your application stand out you need to make the additional effort on the User Interface experience and its design.
To help you start up your mobile development, here are some useful insights into the design aspect required to create awesome appealing apps.
On way-finding graphics
On mobile audio
On light & space in architecture
The Windows Phone Experience
Useful Resources and tips for building windows phone applications
In this lesson you discover the process of conceptualizing an application, such as gaining an understanding of the user’s needs and goals. You also find out how to start your prototype using Expression Blend and the SketchFlow for Windows Phone template.
In this module you will add sample data, and then edit both the ItemsPanel and the ItemTemplate of a ListBox to create a professional look for your data.
In this module, users discover how to custom edit their data templates for their phone app by importing images and adding motion.
In this module, viewers discover how to drop in Native Adobe Illustrator artwork and turn it into working controls. They also find out how to edit the button template, take advantage of states, transitions and behaviors.
In this section, you discover how to use the sample data, along with some behaviors and state changes to replicate selection choices in a ListBox.
Metro is the name of the new design language created for the Windows Phone 7 interface. When given the chance for a fresh start, the Windows Phone design team drew from many sources of inspiration to determine the guiding principles for the next generation phone interface.
Microsoft Expression Blend offers a feature rich environment for designing highly interactive experiences on Windows Phone 7.
The following list of tips and tricks will help you design and develop Windows Phone 7 applications.
One of the more powerful features that Silverlight offers you is an array of container controls providing a simple way to accomplish the layout of your dynamic applications.
In this tutorial, you discover how to use Photoshop Windows Phone 7 template files to create pixel-perfect application layouts for your Windows Phone 7 application.
FXG is an acronym for Flash XML Graphics File, and it describes an XML-based graphics interchange format created by Adobe for the Flash Platform, and is supported by Microsoft Expression Blend.
No longer do smart phones of today depend only on hardware keyboards or the stylus of the past. Windows Phone 7 devices come equipped with a capacitive touch screen that offers a smooth, accurate, multi-touch enabled experience for the user.
Did you know that you can build your next mobile app on Windows Azure?
The process of building mobile apps is now easier than ever with the Windows Azure Toolkits for Devices. With support for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, these toolkits let you easily build apps that use Windows Azure cloud services.
Cloud services and phone applications are a powerful combination. You can now use the Windows Azure platform as a backend for your next phone application. Windows Azure provides you scalability so you can focus on your application as opposed to the infrastructure.
The process of building mobile applications using Windows Azure is now easier than ever with the Windows Azure Toolkits for Devices. With support for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android, the Windows Azure Toolkit for Devices lets you easily build mobile applications that use Windows Azure cloud services.
Get started now:
iOS Toolkit Download the iOS Toolkit
Android Toolkit Download the Android Toolkit
WP Toolkit Download the WP Toolkit
(Skip this step if you have the SDK)
Preview Windows 8 Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, recently unveiled the touch-first user interface of Windows 8, along with a whole host of other new features. Be the first in your department to explore Windows 8 using the New Windows Dev Center. There you will find the Windows Developer Preview guide, code samples, forums, docs, and other resources. To provide Microsoft Windows 8 free to your students, check whether your institution is already a member of MSDN Academic Alliance.
2012 Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship Program Microsoft Research is inviting nominations for its Faculty Fellowship program. The objective is to stimulate and support the research of promising individuals who have the potential to make a profound impact on the state-of-the-art in their research disciplines and to become future thought leaders.
Don't delay: The nominations and application deadline is October 31, 2011.
The Faculty Connection Resource Center is a multi-language collection including course outlines, textbooks, tests, labs, source code, and other materials developed by Microsoft or contributed by faculty worldwide. Highlighted below are some of the newest resources added this past month:
Building Applications for Windows Phone 7.5 This introductory content covers how to create Windows Phone "Mango" solutions, edit program source files, add and manage program resources, and then build and run the solution. Once you are done with the basics, continue on with additional Jump Start sessions that examine Silverlight, building interfaces with Expression, app data storage, using Bing Maps, developing with XNA, and even selling apps. This material is designed for 1st and 2nd year university students.
Windows Phone 7.5 Tutorials The newly released tutorials on .toolbox illustrate how Silverlight and Expression Blend can help you build stellar apps on Windows Phone using the new "Mango" features and capabilities. The .toolbox site is a fun online learning environment, where you will learn basic design concepts and how to apply them, as well as the fundamentals of creating Silverlight applications using the Expression Studio tools.
Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 is an exciting CS course in game and simulation development using C# and the XNA framework. Video tutorials and extensive labs enable students to apply foundational programming skills to learn advanced skills. This material is designed for high school or introductory classes.
What's New in Windows Phone 7.5 The latest release of Windows Phone has hundreds of improvements and new features. Explore these features plus learn how to get Windows Phone 7.5 on your current phone. If you are teaching your students about mobile applications, consider trying Windows Phone 7 curriculum resources.
Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone The Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone is designed to make it easier to build mobile applications that leverage cloud services. The toolkit includes Visual Studio project templates for Windows Phone and Windows Azure, class libraries optimized for use on the phone, sample applications, and documentation.
The Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance Workshop 2011 is a 1 1/2 day event to be held at Avans Hogeschool, University of Applied Science in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, November 28-29, 2011.
Professors and educators will come together to enhance their knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics and the use of technology in the classroom. This event offers an opportunity to collaborate with educators and learn more about the world of Microsoft Dynamics, and provides an important forum for the exchange of ideas and information for current and prospective Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance members.
There is no cost for this workshop, but registration is required. Please visit the Workshop 2011 event page on Faculty Connection for more information about this event and how to attend.
The 8th Microsoft UK Partners in Learning Forum is a one-day conference, free of charge to all teachers and educators who wish to attend. The workshops and keynotes this year have a STEM ‘flavour’ and address the theme of ‘Teach more, learn more, inspire more.’
This year the Forum is being held at the Microsoft Headquarters, Thames Valley Park in Reading on the 24th Nov 2011.
We have a rich agenda that includes as Keynote speakers, the world renowned Ian Livingstone OBE, Life President of Eidos , Alex Bellos, the author of the popular science book Alex's Adventures in Numberland and Ollie Bray, the National Adviser for Emerging Technologies at Education Scotland
In addition, delegates will be able to choose from a range of workshops. I would suggest that you sign up as soon as possible as places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
· Bringing classrooms together with Skype
In this interactive workshop, Jacqueline Botterill, head of social good for Skype, will explain and demonstrate how over 17,500 educators from over 170 countries are already using the free online community to connect with each other.
Using the Kinect SDK/Kodu in the classroom
Classroom Teachers Ray Chambers from Lodge Park Technology College & Nicki Maddams from Hartsdown College, give hands-on practical guidance on how to programme and create games in the classroom
Everyone is a Maths genius, can computer science/technology prove it?
Dr Chris Imafidon – is one of the “World’s foremost scholars on leveraging informatics for learning and exceptional achievement. This workshop will discuss how computer science/technology exposed the myths of natural Intelligence, genes, gender, IQ, age, background, post-code.
Computing: The Science of Nearly Everything?
Dr Tom Crick, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), looks at the big question: How are we developing and encouraging the next generation of technology innovators in the UK?
Be a Maker: learn to build gadgets with .NET Gadgeteer
Dr Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche from Microsoft Research.Do you like computer gadgets? Would you like to learn how to build and program gadgets to your own design? Then this workshop is for you!
Medicines and innovation – the missing link
Kandarp Thakkar - STEM Ambassador Programme - This workshop will introduce the STEM programme and give some ‘real-life’ case studies of successful use of this programme in delivering high quality university admissions.
Guerrilla Teaching & Learning
Daniel Raven-Ellison is a guerrilla educator, co-founder of The Geography Collective and creative director of Mission:Explore. Join this workshop to receive initial training in how to be a guerrilla teacher and learner.
Who’s afraid of the big bad ‘network’
Dan Roberts from saltash.net community school, presents light-hearted perspective and interactive & engaging discussion which considers the challenges & issues of schools using social networking, how these can be overcome?
Also, find out who are the recipients of this year’s Microsoft UK Partners in Learning Teacher Awards.The awards will be presented to Teachers who have submitted projects that illustrate the innovative use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. Not only will they receive award recognition, but have the chance to be invited to the next Partners in Learning Forum and win a Xbox 360 and Kinect package for their school. These projects will be on display at the event.
Don’t miss out, register today – Registration now open
Today Microsoft Announced great plans about Hadoop adoption to deliver enterprise class Apache Hadoop based distributions on both Windows Server and Windows Azure.
See the official Announcements at:-
Microsoft will provide simplified download, installation and configuration experience of several Hadoop related technologies i.e.
The Hadoop based service for Windows Azure will allow any developer or user to submit and run standard Hadoop jobs directly on the Azure cloud with a simple user experience. Therefore you should be able to take any standard Hadoop job and deploy it on our platform, without considering what platform you have developing your Hadoop jobs.
What is for developers:
What is for end users:
Released today: New connectors to enable customers, work effectively with both structured and unstructured data.
Kinect for Windows SDK Beta and .NET Gadgeteer Makes it to Future of Technology in Eduction FOTE 2011
The session discussed Microsoft Kinect within teaching, learning and research. Since its release of Kinect, there has been tremendous enthusiasm and fascination. Kinect is not only a tool to help navigation and interaction, but a tool to help students to get even more engaged in learning.
Kinect is already making a difference in getting students more excited about their learning environment, and helping students to get engaged…and actually get more excited about studying. We are at an exciting time with the availability of the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK). Kinect and NUI will bring more interactive classroom environments, the development of new learning styles that will help students with and without disabilities to get more engaged with learning, as well as the potential for much more interactive navigation tools, helping to get students involved in the teaching, learning and research. The power of Kinect is here it’s now your turn for ideas and exploration, for more details of the event and to watch the presentation see http://fote-conference.com/wordpress/
The Microsoft stand was represented by a two-way partnership between the Microsoft Research Connections team and the Microsoft Faculty Connection team and contained demos of Kinect for Windows SDK beta, Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer, and Microsoft Robotics with support from Microsoft Research Connections
Kinect and Gadgeteer also made an attendance at the World Maker Faire 2011
The Maker Fair is an inspiring showcase of creativity and cool technology that celebrates technology enthusiasts of all ages. From September 17 to 18 at the New York Hall of Science, Microsoft was represented by a three-way partnership between the Kinect for Windows SDK beta, Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer, and Microsoft Robotics with support from Microsoft Research Connections. The showpieces were the launch of Robotics Developer Studio 4 beta and a new reference design robot, Eddie, from Parallax, Inc. Which had a number of Kinect SDK beta demos which included: on-board robot sensing and natural user interface (NUI) robot control, including a roving “party photographer” robot.
Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Interest in the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) beta, released on June 16, 2011, has been strong, and we’re delighted to learn that so many academic developers and researchers are experimenting with natural user interface (NUI) applications and have taken advantage of the SDK to explore the potential of the Kinect sensor. In support of our commitment to encourage researchers and enthusiasts in their exploration of the exciting possibilities of the Kinect sensor. The community has provided us with a lot of good feedback, and we hope the latest release addresses some of the top items you’ve told us about.
Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is an open-source platform for building and refining prototype electronic devices quickly and easily. It was developed by Nic Villar and James Scott in the Sensors and Devices group at Microsoft Research Cambridge that is managed by Steve Hodges. The Microsoft EMEA Press Centre announced its commercial availability and the hardware is available for pre-order through GHI Electronics. Learn more.