• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Azure Platform Training Kit - August Update


    AzureMarket windowsAzureLogo

    The Windows Azure Platform Training Kit includes a comprehensive set of technical content including hands-on labs, presentations, and demos that are designed to help you learn how to use the Windows Azure platform, including: Windows Azure, SQL Azure and the Windows Azure AppFabric.

    August 2011 Update

    The August 2011 update of the training kit includes the following updates:

    • [New Hands-On Lab] Introduction to Windows Azure Marketplace for Applications
    • [Updated] Labs and Demos to leverage the August 2011 release of the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
    • [Updated] Windows Azure Deployment to use the latest version of the Azure Management Cmdlets
    • [Updated] Exploring Windows Azure Storage to support deleting snapshots
    • Applied several minor fixes in content

    You can download the updated Windows Azure Platform Training Kit – August 2011 Refresh from download centre or view online now on the Windows Azure Platform Training Course on MSDN.


    The important take away is that in the Hands-On Lab will take an application through the full provisioning process. This is extremely valuable if your looking to publish your applications into the Windows Azure Marketplace.

    Hands-On Lab Details

    There are five exercises in the Hands-On Lab:

    • Exercise 0: Understanding a SaaS Subscription Scenario
    • Exercise 1: Modify your Application to support Windows Azure Marketplace Subscriptions
    • Exercise 2: Register the Application in Windows Azure Marketplace and Test Subscriptions with the Dev Playground
    • Exercise 3: Add Support for Unsubscribe messages
    • Exercise 4: Learn how to Publish in Windows Azure Marketplace, Explore the Finished App

    You can take a look at the SaaS application live in the marketplace: https://datamarket.azure.com/application/AA1EA7A3-E3FE-4EE5-B7B5-CBF4142CB983


    The Windows Azure team are always looking to make improvements to updates and releases so if you encounter any bugs or have any problems, please send us feedback at: azcfeed@microsoft.com. Additionally, if there’s additional content you’d like to see in the training kit, please let us know on the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit Forum – you’re feedback is highly valued.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Update on Dare to be Digital Windows Phone teams


    Dare to be Digital is a video games development competition for extremely talented students at Universities and Colleges of Art. Teams of 5 students assemble at Abertay University for 9 weeks during June to August to develop a prototype video game.

    Not only do the winners receive funding for the game, they also get to attend the BAFTA Video Games Awards to compete for the coveted “Ones to Watch Award”.

    You may remember that last year one of the nominees for the One to Watch BAFTA Award was Windows Phone 7 game Mush – which came about from the Dare to be Digital competition.

    Follow the progress of two the Windows Phone entries, check them out below Team Tea and Techno and Team Rebel Donut we wish them both the best of luck!

    Find out more from the team developing this game on their YouTube channel and Facebook Page.

    Find out more from the team developing this game on their YouTube channel and Facebook Page.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft’s Cloud– Dublin Datacentre


    Microsoft Datacentre team has made the following video tour of our Datacentres available for all to see.

    In a few weeks time I will be visiting the Dublin Datacentre with representatives from JaNET and number of UK Institutions.  The visit will include a tour of the Datacentre which is one of the worlds largest and modern at 330,000 ft2

    So that's..

    0.56 x the area of the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza
    5.1 x the area of a FIFA sanctioned football pitch

    All under one roof and hosting the services which support UK academic institutions including Bing, Live@Edu , Office365, Sharepoint Hosted , SkyDrive, Windows Live, Exchange Hosted , Windows Azure and SQL Azure.

    So if your interested in Microsoft Datacentre strategy and the understanding the scale of the operation please watch the following video and visit the MS Datacentres Blog for further details.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Kinect SDK BETA refresh interview with Rob Relyea


    The Microsoft Windows SDK Beta 1 Refresh has now been live for over 24 hours.

    Microsoft Channel 9 had a chance to talk to Rob Relyea, Principal Program Manager Lead on the Kinect for Windows SDK.

    Watch the video below to understand the changes in the Beta 1 Refresh.

    If you're on Twitter, make sure to follow the KinectSDKTeam to ensure your update with the latest information on the Windows SDK.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Announcing Office Specialist (MOS) and Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification benefits for IT Academy members


    Microsoft IT Academy Program

    We are pleased to announce that starting September 1, 2011, IT Academy members can take advantage of improved Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification benefits!

    So what are the changes?

    As an IT Academy member, you will be able to request ten complimentary MOS Microsoft Office Specialist  exam vouchers and twenty complimentary MTA Microsoft Technology Associate exam vouchers annually for your professional development.


    10 x MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) Vouchers

    About Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

    Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) is the world-recognized standards-based certification - the premier credential chosen by students seeking to validate their skills using the full features and functionality of the Microsoft Office system. MOS promotes academic preparedness and workforce readiness for the student, optimizes course effectiveness and classroom efficiency for the teacher, and strengthens the programs, curricula, relevance and stature of the institution.


    20  MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) Vouchers

    This benefit is renewable every twelve months aligned with the expiration date of your IT Academy membership.

    About Microsoft Technology Associate Certification

    Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification is a cost-effective, industry-relevant solution to validate fundamental technology knowledge in demand today. MTA provides Schools, Colleges and Universities with the prestige of offering an official Microsoft certification to help attract and retain high-caliber students, drive further education acceptances, and increase internship, work experience and employability opportunities. MTA provides students with low investment career exploration paths and confidence to continue studies in technology, compete more successfully on admissions, and differentiate themselves amongst peers.


    So what can these vouchers be used for?


    - Teacher Readiness – teachers can use these vouchers and subscribe to our Microsoft Certified Trainer Programme (MCT) that they get for free through IT Academy already

    - Student Employability and Technology Adoption – MOS and MTA are great additions to a student CV.  MTA is an ideal introduction to Microsoft technology, programming and Windows Phone App development as well as the perfect route towards MCP certification

    In order to take advantage of this offer, each IT Academy member will need to become a test center. Just be sure to use your complimentary exam vouchers each year - unused exam vouchers will not roll over with your IT Academy membership renewal.

    How to become a test centre


    How to Redeem.

    On or after September 1, 2011, simply log in to the IT Academy member site and navigate your way to the Certification Exams benefits page. On either the MTA or MOS certification tabs, click on the "Redeem My Voucher Benefit" link. This link will take you to a registration page hosted by Certiport, Microsoft's exam solution provider for both MOS and MTA. The registration page will walk you through the process to request and redeem your complimentary exam vouchers. You will receive another email with the appropriate member site links once this new benefit is active.

    Additional Links

    Microsoft Learning  http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/default.aspx

    Microsoft MTA http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mta.aspx

    Certiport Portal http://www.certiport.com/portal/DesktopDefault.aspx?page=common/pagelibrary/MTA_overview.html


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    How do you make your notes - OneNote Mobile



    OneNote Mobile is now available on the iPhone.

    It’s official – the OneNote iPhone app is here, so you can say goodbye to scribbled notes and crumpled papers. Whether you use an iPhone, Windows Phone 7, or Office Web Apps, OneNote is the perfect way to capture ideas and stay on top of your notes, no matter where the inspiration may strike.
    Download now for FREE
    Limited time only!
    Experience OneNote Mobile on Windows Phone 7

    Learn More >

    Access and update notes virtually anywhere with OneNote Web App

    Get started FREE >

    Follow OneNote on Facebook

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Build Conference Sold Out!



    Sorry but due to demand the BUILD Windows Conference, which takes place on September 13-16 in Anaheim, CA, has been sold out.

    So if you haven’t registered for the event you will be able to watch keynotes live and the sessions the following day.

    Microsoft will be announcing the developer strategy for Windows 8 at the BUILD Windows conference. BUILD is a new event that shows modern hardware and software developers how to take advantage of the future of Windows. Learn how to work with the all new touch-centric user experience to create fast, fluid, and dynamic applications that leverage the power and flexibility of the core of Windows, used by more than a billion people around the world.

    So make sure you watch the Live Stream and learn how the new Windows 8 UI has been designed to work seamlessly with a diversity of devices and form factors.  Go behind the scenes and learn all about the new app models that allows you to create powerful new apps. All while retaining the ability to use your existing apps. Learn more about web-connected and web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript which will have rich access to the PC. Learn more about Touch-optimized browsing, with the full power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10.

    BUILD will be the first place to take a dive deep into the future of Windows.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Do your kids have access to the right software


    Today the news in filled with impact of the global funding crisis, the US debit Crisis and issues more closer to home with the Euro in Greece, Ireland and Spain. With the global impact of the economy the workforce and opportunities for students is changing.

    In todays economy more than 50% of today’s jobs require some technology skills, workforce experts predict this will increase to 77% in the next decade. Today’s reality: jobs in every industry, and at every level, require basic proficiency with computers and other digital technologies. The question I have as a parent and a advisor is are the skills and tools being taught in school necessary and appropriate?

    I have blogged before about Microsoft DreamSpark and Microsoft IT Academy programs, these programs help students increase their technical skills to better compete in the global economy. However one thing which I haven't stressed is that Microsoft DreamSpark is available to all school students worldwide. For a number of years, Microsoft has offered university students worldwide access to the latest professional-level developer and designer tools for FREE. There has been millions downloads already and the package has been a valuable tool for college and University students.

    However the goal of DreamSpark is to empower students to pursue their academic and professional goals, so they are 100% ready to take their place as the next generation of business leaders. This program eases some pressure from the individual student their parents, teachers and administrators who are balancing the need for students to gain tech skills with diminishing resources.

    School administrators will need to register their schools to help verify their school as an accredited institution so their students can get access to all the software for FREE. The first step to get verified is to have a Microsoft LiveID and then simply sign in and verify at the DreamSpark website https://www.dreamspark.com for more information on the program see https://www.dreamspark.com/FAQ/Default.aspx?i=gen# for how to sign up and resources:

    We all know that todays students hold the key to long-term economic stability. Microsoft DreamSpark and access software means students will learn the skills required of a demanding workplace, which triggers greater creativity, opportunity and greater success.

    So please use these resources so that students can learn and succeed through technology.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Kinect SDK Beta Refresh is now available



    Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Refresh

    Today we released Beta refresh of Kinect SDK Beta the update contains the following features

    · Updated RSS feed with release announcement is now live: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/kinectsdk/kdkrss.xml

    · Blog post: http://bit.ly/KinectSDKBeta1RefreshBlogPost

    · Details of fixes:  http://bit.ly/KinectSDKBeta1RefreshDetails

    · Web content updated:  http://research.microsoft.com/KinectSDK

    The updated doc links are also all live at http://bit.ly/KinectSDKDocs

    Updated FAQ - http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/kinectsdk/faq.aspx

    Update Promo on home page, now says “Explore the project gallery” and links to http://channel9.msdn.com/coding4fun/kinect/

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Your chance to win a Windows Phone



    Windows Phone Mango Completion

    There are 30 more Mango developer phones up for grabs for great student prototypes. Here’s what to do if you want one (and be honest, you want one):

    1. Make sure you’re registered for DreamSpark

    2. Download and install Expression Studio Ultimate and the new Mango Windows Phone Developer Tools (available free as a member of DreamSpark)

    3. Get the free Sketchflow Template for Windows Phone and create a Sketchflow mock-up of your app

    4. Post the Sketchflow mock-up somewhere online and tweet out the link using the hash tag #WPAppItUp

    5. We will review all prototypes and will contact the developers who submit the best ones and send them a special Mango developer device

    More details at the blog: http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2011/07/29/mango-device-love-for-wpappitup-prototypes.aspx

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