The goal of this site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
This week sees the launch of Visual Studio 2012. On the 12th of Sept we launch Visual Studio 2012 with Jason Zander CVP who will be presenting the keynote.
This is where the development of apps really starts! Visual Studio 2012 is the most significant Tools product we have ever launched and has been 18 months in the making.
Visual Studio 2012 is key to enabling Agile software development.
Tim Anderson has been recently been undertaking interviews for The Register and The Guardian. If you’re not familiar with his work then you can see the first review he has written here: Visual Studio 2012: 50 Shades of Grey by Microsoft
The launch of Visual Studio 2012 on the 12th of September will be streamed on line: http://www.visualstudiolaunch.com/vs2012vle/Home
Visual Studio 2012 Roadshow
During the first week of Oct the UK Visual Studio team will be travelling the country bringing the launch experience to Edinburgh, Manchester, London and Reading. Further details about the Roadshow can be found here: Visual Studio 2012 Launch Roadshow
Download Visual Studio Now
Visual Studio 2012 can be downloaded for free from Microsoft DreamSpark
We all now demand beautiful, elegant apps that are alive with activity. If your an IT Academy you can now get your students demonstrating there expertise at designing and developing the fast and fluid Windows 8 apps by earning the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
If your interested in IT Academy please visit http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/itacademy/
With new certification for Windows Store Apps. There are two paths to achieving this certification—using HTML5 or C#.
To earn the MCSD certification, take the exams indicated below
If you want to upgrade your current certification to validate your up to date skills:
Find out more about upgrade paths
Take the exams needed to upgrade to MCSD: Windows Store Apps
If you’re new to certification, check out the Microsoft certification tracks available to you.
Get your MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5
Get your MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using C#
Note: Exams 70-480, 70-481, 70-482, 70-483, 70-484, and 70-485 will become available in beta version during the summer of 2012. If you are interested in taking the beta exams, be sure to complete a Microsoft Learning SME profile to indicate your skills and experience with Visual Studio 2012, or watch for announcements about upcoming beta exams at Born to Learn. MCSD certification requires candidates to show continued ability to perform in their chosen solution area by completing a recertification exam every two years.
Upgrade your MCPD certification to MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5
Upgrade your MCPD certification to MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using C#
Note: Upgrade exams will be available in the spring of 2013.
So if your interested in developing application of games for Windows 8 ARM devices the following white paper on ARM Development is an essential read
Additionally we have produced some best practice guidance for developing applications and games using HTML5/JS C# C++
For more details on Windows 8 see http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8
Microsoft supports the dreams and aspirations of the next generation of technology innovators the students now studying will drive the next wave of technology innovation and Microsoft is committed to helping them achieve their goals through programs such as Microsoft Students to Business (“S2B”).
What is the S2B Program?
The Microsoft S2B program connects companies with talented university or post-graduate students like you for entry-level jobs or internships in the technology industry by matching qualified candidates with open positions.
Why should you register?
In one word: access! Students are given FREE access to
· Training and certification offers to help them develop the necessary skills for a successful career;
· Software via DreamSpark
· Jobs via Microsoft’s vast network of partner companies looking for qualified students to help their businesses grow.
At S2B, we believe: Skills + Software + Experience = Jobs
Register today at www.microsoft.com/s2b
So if you don't like the all White look of Visual Studio 2012 you can now customize the Visual Studio 2012 colour palette, with a FREE extension.
This extension is supported for Visual Studio 2012 Professional and higher.
Simply download the extension here to select the theme.
To use the new theme colour, within Visual Studio simply choose the theme and select the colour scheme desired.
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 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.
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.
Windows Server 2012 Training & Certification Now Available to all Microsoft IT Academy members
if your interested in IT Academy please visit http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/itacademy/
1) Certifications and official Microsoft training and certifications are now available for Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, Private Cloud, Windows Store Application
In addition to this we now have new structure for Microsoft Technical Certifications
With a dedicated number of suitable examinations for the FE/HE education market which adds added value to the student experience and curriculum content aligning your courses with employees requirements.
2) Windows Server Certification and examination tracks
3) Microsoft Second Shot promotion is active so students (and lecturers) get a FREE retake if they do not pass first time for more info click here
4) Courseware available for Windows Server 2012 is now available to all Microsoft IT Academy members
Module 1: Managing a Windows Server 2012 Infrastructure
•What's New in Server Manager
•Introducing IP Address Management
•PowerShell and Server Core Enhancements
•What’s New in Active Directory
•Introducing Dynamic Access Control
Module 2: Network, Storage, and Service Access in Windows Server 2012
•What's New in Remote Access
•New and Improved Networking Technologies
Module 3: Server Virtualization in Windows Server 2012
•What’s New in Networking
•Introducing Hyper-V Replica
•What’s New in Live Migration
•What’s New in Guest Clustering and VM Monitoring
First Look Clinic Syllabus
Hands On Lab Syllabus
5) Microsoft IT Academy now includes a number of enhanced resources including new online digital content and resources for more information click here
Click Here for the FREE E-Book on Windows Server 2012
Well this week marked another important milestone for Microsoft with the release of Windows Server 2012, on Tuesday 4th of September, Microsoft made the official announcement of Windows Server 2012 you watch all the content at http://www.windows-server-launch.com
What’s new in Server 2012
Microsoft has positioned this as a very cloud-friendly OS. So its more important then ever to start ensuring your teaching cloud fundamentals to your students to help with this we have dedicated curriculum at http://www.microsoft.com/faculty
Here are some of the new features.
So, what are the press and analyst saying about Windows Server 2012?
Windows Server 2012 offers a major step in function capabilities aligned with several major strategic trends for both Microsoft and the rest of the industry.
The team at Forrester posted a blog titled, “Microsoft Announces Windows Server 2012,” Here are just a few quotes.
On the release of Windows Server 2012 as a whole:
“Make no mistake, this is a really major restructuring of the OS, and a major step in function capabilities aligned with several major strategic trends for both Microsoft and the rest of the industry. While Microsoft’s high level message is centered on the cloud, and on the Windows Server 2012 features that make it a productive platform upon which both enterprises and service providers can build a cost-effective cloud, its features will be immensely valuable to a wide range of businesses.”
“There is no doubt that this is the most significant jump in OS capabilities since Microsoft first introduced Windows as a server OS.”
Forrester Says Evaluate Windows Server 2012 NOW:
“But, and this is critical, you must begin to evaluate and pilot it even if you are still completing your rollout of Windows Server 2008, as many Forrester clients still are. My guess is that WS2012 is the future of Windows OS, and will probably serve as the core of Microsoft’s strategy for the next decade. I doubt their ability to produce a radical upgrade to this in the next four or five years, and even the next version of the OS is likely to look like WS2012. This implies that you need to understand how this new OS will change and enable your strategic IT road map, particularly since the new OS has features and capabilities that, if properly exploited by you (or by your competitors), could generate real competitive differentiation such as the ability to deploy applications more rapidly, manage them more efficiently, etc.”
What does this mean For IT Students and curricula?
Firstly if your teaching infrastructure, administration, storage, cloud or virtualisation its critical, that you begin to evaluate and become familiar with Windows Server 2012. As academics you have a number of ways of doing this.
1. Download a trial version from http://www.windows-server-launch.com
2. Download and install a full version for FREE for teaching, learning and research in your labs and computer clusters from DreamSpark Premium – http://www.dreamspark.com
3. Point your students at www.dreamspark.com and get them to install windows server 2012 and get familiar. For further details and FAQ click here
The key thing is that understand how this new OS will change and enable your strategic curricula roadmap, particularly since the new OS has features and capabilities that, could generate real competitive differentiation for your student employability giving them experience of skills such as the ability to deploy applications more rapidly, manage them more efficiently have experience of the Windows Azure IaaS, PaaS and SaaS options and virtualisation using HyperV.
1. You should evaluate this new release.
2. Make use of FREE training resources for your IT Services and support teams at https://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/
3. Attend one of our FREE IT Camps to get deeper understanding of Windows Server 2012 http://uktechdays.cloudapp.net/it-camps.aspx
4. Make use of the curricula and teaching resources at http://www.microsoft.com/faculty
5. Consider running older OS and software stacks within a VM, particularly given the improvements to the overall Hyper-V environment.
6. If your contemplating a major new cloud or virtualization project or initiative, Windows Server 2012 should be the platform of choice, simply because of the FREE licensing options for teaching, learning and research as part of DreamSpark premium.
To drive innovation and business opportunities in Finland's mobile ecosystem and beyond, Microsoft Corporations and Nokia invested up to 9 million euros into "AppCampus" program -a newly established mobile application development program at Aalto University during the next three years. The AppCampus program has been set up to foster the creation of innovative mobile applications for the Windows Phone ecosystem, and in addition, Nokia platforms, including Symbian and Series 40, to create a new generation of self-sustaining mobile startups.
Kicked off in May 2012, AppCampus is led and managed by Aalto University, which has a growing reputation as a hotbed of new startup companies. AppCampus is intended to attract thousands of application proposals from students and entrepreneurs from all over the world.
Apart from investing 20,000 – 70,000 euros per project, AppCampus also supports the admitted applicants with comprehensive support, training in mobile technology, design and usability, and funding to create innovative new mobile apps and services. Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store offer local and global business opportunities to program participants via distribution to consumers around the world.
We don't take equity or commission from the investment. Successful applications are expected to be available exclusively on Windows Phone and other Nokia platforms for the first six months.
For more details see http://www.appcampus.fi
The simple answer is they can use this index to quickly find the user experience (UX) guidelines that can help you create a great Windows 8 style app.
This PDF file.
Windows 8 UI style apps are the focal point of the user experience on Windows 8, and great apps share an important set of traits that provide a consistent, elegant, and compelling user experience.
Use touch interactions that keep the user in control and confident, and leverage the screen or device edge so people can confidently find commands. See Touch interaction design.
These features help you create great experiences for every form factor and every viewing option your users have.
Contracts are the glue that binds Metro style apps together and to the system UI. Two apps that have implemented the same contract can work together to complete a broad or complex scenario. Some contracts are represented by charms. See a complete list of app contracts.
Capabilities identify the device features your app uses.
A tile is the front door into an app. Sitting on the Start screen, it is an extension of the app and can provide much more personal and engaging information than a traditional icon. Invest in designing a great tile to draw people into your app.
Provide fresh content through live tiles and notifications to let people feel connected to your app. Make sure you help your users connect with the people and devices that they care about.
Design your app's UI to showcase the content. Minimize distraction and help people get immersed in the content by leaving only the most relevant elements on screen. Following these guidelines will help you provide a consistent, elegant, and compelling user experience.
Text and input
Create a continuous experience across devices by roaming data and settings that lets people pick up a task right where they left off and that preserves the UX they care most about, regardless of the device they're using.
Every app should always have a solid foundation in order to reach as many people as possible.
Teaching Curricula see http://www.microsoft.com/faculty
Windows 8 resources for UK Developers see http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8
Windows 8 resources for Gaming Developer see http://www.ubelly.com/gaming