Faculty Connection is an online set of real-world resources and shared peer knowledge, the goal of the Faculty Connection site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips of technology educators.
The UK Academic Team is responsible for offering IT students and faculty members free access to software, for enhancing knowledge and skills by providing curriculum materials and other learning opportunities, for helping students achieve their dreams by organizing an international competition, and finally for assisting last year students through career resources and job opportunities at our customers and partners.
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
Today the Cocos2d-x community released the v2.0 version of Cocos2d-x for Windows Phone 8.
Note that it is the first version for wp8 which has v2.x API set migrated, this has been a cooperation between the Open Source community Microsoft and Nokia
Download link: Cocos2dx-2.1.0-wp8-2.0-alpha.zip Github repo: https://github.com/cocos2d-x/cocos2dx-win8/tree/wp8_v2
This branch of Cocos2d-x uses Direct X 11 for rendering while still uses C++ to program, with the same API as Cocos2d-x v2.1.
There are already many games in the pipeline and scheduled to be available soon in Windows Phone Store, using Cocos2d-x WP8 2.0.
Work is also well under way for a Cocos2D layer on top of MonoGame see https://github.com/mono/cocos2d-xna
For the most high-fidelity and rich experiences in 3D games, you’ll want to use the Windows 8 DirectX APIs. This is the easiest version of DirectX to develop with. It supports a wide range of graphics feature levels, from DirectX 9.1 to all the latest hardware features exposed in DirectX 11.1. It allows you to tailor your game to every PC, from power-efficient ARM-based portable Windows 8 tablets, to over-clocked multi-GPU gamer rigs.
With C++, you have a direct line to the GPU, CPU and low-level services of the Windows 8 platform. You can write high-performance code. With the new C++/CX language extensions, the syntax approaches the simplicity of C#. You get transparent object management via reference counting, and yet there’s no runtime layer, garbage collection or just-in-time compilation behaviour that could compromise the smooth performance of your game.
DirectX is easier with Windows 8 because graphics stack is better integrated. This makes Direct2D, Direct3D, DirectVideo and DirectCompute components easier to use together and requiring fewer duplicated resources than before.
There is built-in support for the Xbox controllers with the XInput library. To learn more, see Working with input and controls in your DirectX game. The improved APIs for audio and sound mixing with XAudio2 are covered in the Working with audio in your DirectX game section, and simplified math functions and types are covered in the DirectXMath Programming Guide.
Perhaps your an academic coming a different platform, iOS, Android or you have previously developed and curriculum for game development on an earlier version of DirectX on Windows XP or Windows 7.
As a Student you may simply want to explore whether developing your game for the Windows Store is an attractive proposition for you in terms of developing a real portfolio or even developing an Indie Career or getting some sales to pay for your University fees.
Here are some reasons to invest in the Windows Store:
The following blog is a great basis to start from when considering developing for Windows 8:
Another great link is:
This includes an excellent post on moving from DX9 to DX 11.1
So if you presently studying or teaching DX9, DX10 it will cover the how’s and why’s of moving from DX9 to DX11.1:
As well as moving to DX 11.1 a few more things to consider are below. Further links/info on all of these can be found in the top two links above.
Windows Phone Next App Star is a 21-day tournament style challenge between March 19th and April 8th
Windows Phone Next App Star is a contest designed to get developers more visibility with more customers by allowing them to compete for the chance to have their app featured in a Windows Phone prime-time TV ad in the U.S. For three weeks 64 apps will compete daily in head-to-head match ups, with the winner chosen by popular vote. The last app standing will be crowned Windows Phone Next App Star.
What we need you to do is vote for your favourite
Windows Phone Store offers more than 130,000 certified apps and games designed to help people personalize their Windows Phone through unique features like Live Tiles and Kids Corner. We work hard to inspire developers to deliver hundreds of new titles every day across the categories that matter most to our customers; things like music, gaming, social, entertainment and kids & family.
We need you to vote on head-to-head app matchups via a beautiful Facebook page, sending the winner to the next round and registering each voter for a chance to win a Nokia Lumia 920 every day of the contest. This campaign is designed to impact both developers and consumers by highlighting the Windows Phone developer opportunity and showcasing a new wave of great apps on the platform. Windows Phone will be promoting matchups and announcing winners throughout the contest. So head to http://nas.newwp.it
The UK Developers selected are below so VOTE for your favourite
The following FAQ outlines why this competition is being undertaken
Q: What is Windows Phone Next App Star?
Windows Phone Next App Star is a tournament-style challenge to give one developer the chance to see their app featured in a Windows Phone TV ad campaign in the US. 64 apps and games will compete head-to-head over a 3-week period. The 64 apps will be divided into two categories – free and paid – and organized into a single-elimination head-to-head matchup bracket, with winners determined by public voting until one grand prize App Star winner is left standing.
Contest voters can vote on every match-up once per round, while also receiving one entry per vote for a chance to win a new Windows Phone 8 device. If the voter selects “share” at the end of each round, and at least one friend follows the link, the voter’s number of entries toward a new device will be automatically doubled for that and future rounds of voting.
All 64 developer challengers will receive a new Nokia Windows Phone 8, a 1-year free Dev Center subscription and featured promotion in the Windows Phone Store. Developers will continue to win prizes for each round they win. The final App Star winner will receive all previously mentioned prizes and the app will be included in a Windows Phone television campaign in the U.S.
Q: Why you we hosting this contest? Are you simply trying to spur development of more Windows Phone apps? Microsoft has featured 152 apps and games in TV commercials since the launch of Windows Phone 8. This contest gives our developers a chance to have their apps featured and puts the power to decide into the voting public. Next App Star gives developers what they want most – a shot at the big time. The contest will give great exposure to 64 new apps, while giving one lucky winner a primetime TV ad placement. Windows Phone Store is all about giving developers the most ways to be successful.
Q: Won’t existing popular apps have an unfair advantage?
Windows Phone Next App Star is about helping new and rising developers get the credit and support they need to reach the next level. Any app already featured in a TV ad is ineligible as are any apps published by Microsoft, Microsoft employees, and our hardware and mobile operator partners.
Q: How were apps selected to be entered into the contest (developers)? The Windows Phone Store team reviewed apps that developers opted-in and submitted, making a determination based on ratings and app quality. The assessment was based 50% on customer ratings from March 6, 2013 to March 12, 2013, and 50% on our evaluation of the app’s quality, based on published criteria. More developer guidance is available at www.windowsphone.com/nextappstarofficialrules.
Q: How will the winning App Star be selected (consumers)?
The Windows Phone App Star is determined by public Internet voting at nas.newwp.it starting March 19, 2013. Voting guidelines are available at http://nextappstar.zaaz.com/rules.
Through this one day event we will have keynote speakers from Microsoft and Nokia. Hear first-hand from developers who have built apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
There is a chance to build your own app during our Hackathon where you can win Microsoft prizes!
With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Store’s you have a choice of control schemes, a variety of devices tablets, notebooks, all in ones to a stunning array of phones from manufactures such as Nokia, HTC and Samsung.
With Windows 8 features such as live tiles, snapped view, sharing charms and more you’re application comes alive. Your beautiful apps are delivered through the Windows Store available in over 200 markets, as an app developers can make money the way you want.
9.00 - 9.10 Keynote Welcome and to Windows - Andrew McCartney, Microsoft 9.10 - 10.00 The opportunity of Windows 8 - Lee Stott, Microsoft
10.00 - 11.00 Introduction to Windows Phone 8 - Adam Giles, Nokia
11.00 - 11.15 Break
11.15 - 13.00 Design Beautiful Apps - Rich Holdsworth, Wapple.net
13.00 - 14.00 Lunch
14.00 - 15.00 Building a Windows 8 Apps - Martin Beeby, Microsoft
15.00 - 16.00 Building a Windows Phone 8 App - Andy Wigley, Microsoft
16.00 -16.10 Break
16.10 - 17.00 Developing Windows 8 Apps - Martin Beeby, Microsoft, ZipApp.co.uk
Optional Evening Event:
17:00 - 19:00 Windows 8 Hackathon using Zipapp.co.uk
Prizes up for grabs from Microsoft for best app developed in 2 hours! (Bring your own laptop).
Register Here http://uopmicrosoftapp.eventbrite.co.uk/
Microsoft provides grants for educators wanting to use Windows Azure in their curricula. We want to hear from our members and offer them the access to join the following programme.
Educators, Researchers your invited to join Windows Azure University Faculties!
Membership in this group entitles you to receive many benefits such as:
Windows Azure Educator Grants – see below for details on Grants
Deep engagement with Windows Azure Academic Team
Early access to Windows 8 and Windows Azure educational collaterals
Ability to view your students’ activity on Windows Azure platform
Opportunities to publish and present at Microsoft events
Please send an email to AzureU@microsoft.com with subject line “RSVP AzureU Faculties” and your information. We will contact you with registration and detailed program information.
We look forward to hearing from you!
So what is Windows Azure?
Check out these great poster which you can download for display in your computer labs they explain the principles of cloud computing
Interested in learning or teaching Cloud Computing Educators and academics can get access to Azure with a Educator grant http://www.windowsazure.com/education you can get access to the following resources at ZERO cost.
These grants are facilitated through Windows Azure academic passes, which provide the following resources:
Grant applications are designated for faculty who are teaching Windows Azure in their curricula as well as faculty preparing to integrate Windows Azure into their curricula. Educator Grant awards are subject to demand and availability. Educators will receive a special 12-month pass for their exclusive use, and may request 5-month non-renewable passes for distribution to their students. Each pass is valid from the date of redemption. Educators may apply for passes for each of the courses they are teaching, and may only distribute these passes to students registered as part of their educational institution.
To apply for an Educator Grant fill out this simple application form and provide us with:
I was having a discussion at weekend and got into the discussion of client meeting and UI/UX workshops and got into discussing the great blogs by the Cooper teams. I am sure as part of your academic reading lists Alan Cooper, “The Inmates are Running the Asylum” and “About Face” will be cited..
Here are three great blog posts from the Cooper team demonstrating how they use Microsoft OneNote as their design tool of choice:
OneNote for Interaction Designers
OneNote for Interaction Designers: The Nuts and Bolts
OneNote for IxD Research and Presentation
Like any technology don't expect to be expert overnight and it will obviously takes some practice before you have the confidence to do this to the scale and quality of the blogs above but I’d encourage you all to try using OneNote and Windows 8 version of OneNote.
I would like to make you aware of new enhancements to “Design Inspiration” these include case studies and content updates on http://design.windows.com
Design principles – This a new document in the design guidance section that focuses on the Microsoft design principles.
New design inspiration and case study documents
1. Financial apps: SunGard
2. Financial apps: SmartSight
3. Medical apps: In-patient
4. Medical apps: Manipal Hospital
5. Retail apps: Social CRM
6. LOB -> Windows Store app
Additionally I would like to make you aware of the refreshed the contents at
1. Navigation patterns
2. Commanding patterns
3. Touch interaction patterns
4. Advertising patterns
5. Branding patterns
Finally I would like to make you aware of Microsoft Research FREE epub “Things We’ve Learnt About…” magazine,
MS Research Thing We’ve learned about.. edition “Search & Web Use”.
In this edition the team wrap up a number of years of research and design work and talk about the way we search online, and how we spend our time on the web describing 5 different ways in which people spend their time online Purposefully, Opportunistically, Orient themselves, as a form of Respite and finally simply to Lean-Back. With this context. In the edition they present a number of different prototypes and ideas for thinking about our lives online, that we hope will inspire your own work.
All these magazines are available for download as free PDFs.
One of the prerequisites for teaching mobile development in many institutions is the availability of access to iOS, Android and Windows. So from recent discussions with a number of institutions re this summer hardware refresh one of the key questions is how can I make Windows Phone 8 development labs available in our Apple Mac’s lab?
So the following is a quick guide to how to do this
One of the key requirement of the Windows Phone 8 SDK is that the host machine needs to have Hyper-V capability and must be running Windows 8 Pro 64 bit edition.
The majority of all new computer hardware PC and Mac’s has the necessary hardware, and it is possible to install the SDK in a virtual environment running Windows 8 and still use the Emulator on both Windows and OSX.
So what are the options?
1. Use Boot Camp, dual boot into Windows 8 Pro, and go from there.
2. Use Boot Camp, Dual boot into Windows 7 and use a Virtual Machine
3. Use a OSX with a Virtual Machine Client to run multiple host operating system
Using Boot Camp is the preferred option and would be free, additionally this would provide native performance and a great experience to students.
However I am aware a number of IT Department aren't ready to roll out Windows 8 as the institution wide Managed Desktop Environment and a number of institutions local IT Support team have result to utilising VM clients as interim step.
The following is a step by step guide to the requirement and how and to’s of setting up Windows Phone 8 SDK under a Virtual Machine
Running a VM within VM
Even the VMware Workstation approach is really just a hack – running VMs in VMs is by no means a good idea, but it will solve the problem
You will need
Testing SLAT Capability of the Hardware
You will also need the following software for testing of your PC Hardware:
Getting the SDK
The first step is to check if your computer supports Windows 8 Hyper-V or not. If it does then you will be able to Install a VM Client of your choice and enable it on the VM.
Assuming that you have already downloaded the Coreinfo tool, the next steps are:
C:\Tools>Coreinfo.exe -v Coreinfo v3.1 - Dump information on system CPU and memory topologyCopyright (C) 2008-2012 Mark RussinovichSysinternals - www.sysinternals.com Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2620M CPU @ 2.70GHzIntel64 Family 6 Model 42 Stepping 7, GenuineIntelHYPERVISOR - Hypervisor is presentVMX * Supports Intel hardware-assisted virtualizationEPT * Supports Intel extended page tables (SLAT)
If you have a SLAT enabled CPU (marked by an asterisk), you can proceed with this guide. If not, you may consider upgrading your hardware.
What if your Hardware isn't SLAT Enabled?
The only viable option is physical handsets, you then simply need t developer unlocked device you won't need the Emulator, you can install the SDK and then use the device for testing. In this case you can use Windows 8 basic edition (instead of pro/enterprise) and you can skip the instructions on editing manually the .VMX file and the HYPER-V setup.
How to setup a Virtual Machine on a host operating system?
The following guide uses evaluation versions of VMWare Workstation/Fusion as an example but you could use other solutions such as Parallels http://www.developer.nokia.com/Community/Wiki/Windows_Phone_8_SDK_on_a_Virtual_Machine_with_Working_Emulator