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With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
The 2015 World Semi-Finals round of the Imagine Cup are now complete, this year we had over 150 teams from 64 countries competing.
Team Siymb from Exeter University will be representing the UK in the Innovation category at the 2015 World Wide Imagine Cup Finals in Seattle, on the 31st of July for a chance to win $50,000 & a 1-1 with Satya Nadella!
Please join me in congratulating team Siymb on this incredible achievement !!
Who are team Siymb?
Team Siymb are made up of Konstantin Wuenscher, Konstantin Delov and Jakob Zeitler who are a mixture of 1st & 2nd year Exeter University Students.
Siymb looks towards bringing conferences and exhibitions to the twenty first century. It will shatter the fishbowl full of business cards and burn their contents to ashes. The basic idea is using Microsoft Band wearable to transform the way people interact with each other during conferences and exhibitions.
With a simple handshake, participants will be able to exchange details about each other. No more looking for the right profile or lost contacts. All the information you need will be available through our integrated online system. To build our customer database simultaneously, they will be targeting the organisers of those event, rather than selling to individuals and offer them various benefits in return of their investment.
The team have already had a TV debut to an audience of over 2,000 viewers when they appeared on day 1 of the Azure Tech Days Special.
Having won the Cloud Innovation Award at the Imagine Make It Happen event back in March, the team shared their story with Andrew Fryer on how they are connecting data with their smart bracelet through the cloud and using Azure to solve some of the business challenges they faced whilst developing their Imagine Cup project.
What happens next?
The UK has a legacy of success at the World Wide Finals, taking the trophy home in 2013! with team Colinked
From now until the end of July we will be working with Team Siymb in for preparing for the World Wide Finals. If your interested in finding out who the competition is then see the full list of finalist here
What opportunities are in store for the team once they get to Seattle: The Imagine Cup 2015 Agenda
There are some fantastic opportunities in store for Team Siymb during their week-long visit to Seattle!
Find the full agenda below:
Briefing begins at 5:00pm
TechReady Ask the Experts
Event Ends 2pm CET
Our World Wide Final Imagine Cup 2015 Journey is just beginning and we are all very excited about what lies ahead!
Please help us amplify Team Siymb’s success by sharing their story on your and in your networks!
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/wriggle.rocks
Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/@siymb_com
With the standard being so high this year, all of our UK World Semi- Finalists have done incredibly well to get to this stage in the Imagine Cup if you want to read more about the UK finals see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoftuk/archive/2015/04/02/imagine-make-it-happen-uk-cup-finals.aspx
At \\Build 2015 Day 2 keynote John Shewchuk showed off ManifoldJS.
What is ManifoldJS
The example John Shewchuk showed in the Build Day2 Keynote was a fictional demo app called Shiftr which lets developers vote on developer frameworks.
In the demo, John simply created the cross platform app by using the following command
“ManifoldJS http:/www.samplesite.com” and ManifoldJS generated projects for Chrome, iOS, Android, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
He then loaded the Android solution via Android App Studio and fired up the Android Emulator which ran the app without any additional code changes.
So the demo clearly demonstrated that with ManifoldJS, developers can simply create the standard manifest, and ManifoldJS creates the apps for the different platforms and devices with minimal intervention.
Welcome to Windows 10 and our Four Universal Windows Platform Bridge toolkits that enable you to quickly bring your existing code base to the Universal Windows Platform and add capabilities such as live tiles, active notifications, and Windows Store in-app purchases.
What are Universal Windows Platform Bridges?
What are the toolkits?
Each toolkit provides you with tools and run-time technologies that are tailored for your codebase.
Android Runtime (Project Astoria)
Enables you to build apps using Android code to target Windows 10 phones without having to leave your Android IDE.
Enables you to build a universal Windows app from within Visual Studio 2015 using your existing Objective-C® code.
Classic Windows apps (Project Centennial)
Allows you to package and publish your current .NET and Win32-based Windows applications to the Windows Store, providing a new way of distributing and monetizing your application on Windows PCs and allows you to take advantage of Universal Windows Platform capabilities and APIs.
Web apps (Project Westminster)
Use this page https://projectipreviewsignup.windows.com/ to sign up for previews of the following UWP Bridge toolkits:
If you are interested in "Project Astoria", please visit the "Project Astoria" page.
This week at Build 2015 and Raspberry Pi and various other hardware vendors were present. One of the key announcement was the availability of Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview
The Windows 10 IoT Core Insider is a public release of Windows 10 for Raspberry Pi 2
So how do you get access to Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview
To get started register at http://ms-iot.github.io/content/GetStarted.htm
You need to create a connect account You need to have a windows 10 insider account http://insider.windows.com You have to take the survey on Connect and accept the terms before getting access to the downloads.
The Hardware support with IoT insider are
The RPI2 and Minnow run the Windows 10 IoT Core.
Windows Remote Arduino
Windows Remote Arduino allows the control of an Arduino board through a Bluetooth or USB connection from a Universal app running on, say, a Windows 10 Phone or Desktop.
Windows Virtual Shields for Arduino
Windows Virtual Shields for Arduino abstracts (or virtualizes) Arduino libraries up into a Universal App on a Windows 10 device. This includes the Arduino wire library.
The Galileo runs a headless IoT version of Windows 8.1 with an Arduino IO profile
So interested in more fromhttp://build.windows.com \\Build 2015
Some key IoT Sessions and announcements
Sessions with the IoT content: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2015?t=internet-of-things
Raspberry Pi, Arduino IoT Session Windows for Makers- Raspberry Pi 2, Arduino and More
Getting a understanding of IoT - Internet of Things Overview
We first shared details about Project Spartan on January 21,at Build we announced that Project Spartan will be officially called Microsoft Edge.
The new browser is available for the first time for Windows Insiders to try out as part of the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview build for PCs. You can read more about the new Windows 10 Technical Preview build here, or check it out by joining the Windows Insider Program.
Amazing experiences with Edge
Inspired by the original Microsoft Flight Simulator, Flight Arcade (http://flightarcade.com) is a new web experience that will have you flying in seconds. With the latest web standard technologies – WebGL, WebAudio, GamePad API and more – it shows what’s possible on the new Microsoft Edge, the browser for doing. Yet all the code works great across browsers and devices. Learn how we made Flight Arcade at http://www.flightarcade.com/learn/
Watch the following Video on Flight Arcade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyaq9TPmXrA
See Microsoft Edge in Action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iH1D31YHsgY
Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s in the current build for Windows Insider users
For more details on Microsoft Edge see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iH1D31YHsgY and https://insider.windows.com
Download for Free Today
The Release Candidate (RC) for Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 is now available for you to download for free and is offered in all of the core Visual Studio languages. You can explore what’s new in this release by checking out our release notes or by watching short feature videos found on our new Connect (“on-demand”); Channel 9 page.
Visual Studio Code for Windows, Mac and Linux
Visual Studio Code is a lightweight cross-platform code editor for writing modern web and cloud applications that will run on OS X, Linux and Windows. The application is still officially in preview, but you can now download it here. Visual Studio Code can also be used with Middleware such as Unity3d solution with Intellisense and C# syntax highlighting all on a Mac.
This marks the first time that Microsoft offers developers a true cross-platform code editor. The full Visual Studio is still Windows-only, but today’s announcement shows the company’s commitment to supporting other platforms.
Learn more at https://www.visualstudio.com/products/code-vs
What is Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN? With the release of Visual Studio Enterprise 2015, MSDN subscribers get the value of both Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate features and benefits in a single edition. When Visual Studio 2015 ships later this year, customers who have an active subscription for Visual Studio Premium with MSDN or Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN will automatically get upgraded to Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with MSDN. For all the details see our blog post: Announcing the Visual Studio 2015 Product Lineup.
What can I expect from Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN? With Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 development teams get the most complete edition of Visual Studio and all the benefits from the most advanced MSDN subscription, including access to virtually all Microsoft software for dev/test, $150 USD per month in Azure credits, a 30-course Pluralsight subscription and much more. Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 delivers great new features such as IntelliTest (formerly Smart Unit Testing), improved functionality in IntelliTrace, Code Map, CodeLens, testing and many other capabilities. For complete list of Visual Studio 2015 features and MSDN benefits see our Visual Studio 2015 Product compare page.
Here is a key run down of all the Azure Announcement we made at \\Build 2015
SQL Database Enhancements
Developers building software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications can leverage SQL Database to provide flexibility to support both explosive growth and profitable business models. For workloads with unpredictable database resource consumption, we are introducing the elastic database model in preview –that provides you with the ability to pool resources to be leveraged among a group of databases. Instead of overprovisioning to meet peak demand, you can use an elastic database pool to let hundreds or thousands of databases leverage resources within a budget that you control. In addition, you can drive cost efficiencies with a purchase model that allows you to maintain control over price and performance across a group of databases. For additional information on using SQL Database to manage a large number of databases, read more here.
Transparent Data Encryption for Azure SQL Database is now available in preview at no additional cost. Transparent Data Encryption leverages the long-time trusted encryption technology found in SQL Server bringing it to the databases on the latest version of SQL Database (V12) for encrypting a customer’s database at rest to help further protect against the threat of malicious activity. In addition, for applications that manage text data stored in Azure SQL Database, Full-Text Search, now available in preview at no additional cost, adds the capability of providing fast, robust search functionality integrated into the database platform. For additional information on SQL Database, read more here.
Azure Data Lake
As part of Microsoft’s big data and analytics portfolio of products, we pre-announced Azure Data Lake, a hyper scale repository for big data analytic workloads. It provides organizations a single place to store every type of data prior to any formal definition of schema or transformation requirements. It has no fixed limits to either file or account size and massive throughput to increase analytic performance. Azure Data Lake is a Hadoop File System compatible with HDFS that works with the Hadoop ecosystem providing integration with Azure HDInsight and will be integrated with Microsoft offerings such as Revolution-R Enterprise, industry standard distributions like Hortonworks and Cloudera, and individual Hadoop projects like Spark, Storm, Flume, Sqoop, Kafka, etc. More information can be found on http://azure.com/datalake and sign-up to be notified once the public preview is available.
Azure SQL Data Warehouse
We are also pleased to preannounce Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse. As part of Microsoft’s extension to Data Warehousing, Azure SQL Data Warehouse is an elastic data warehouse-as-a-service with enterprise-grade features based on SQL Server’s massively parallel processing architecture. It provides customers the ability to scale data, either on premise, or in our cloud. It’s the first Enterprise-Class cloud data warehouse that can dynamically grow or shrink compute in seconds independently of storage enabling customers to only pay for the query performance they need when they need it. SQL Data Warehouse enables customer to use their existing T-SQL skills to integrate queries across structured and unstructured data. Integrating with our existing data platform tools including Azure HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning, Azure Data Factory and Power BI, it is a complete data warehousing and business intelligence solution in the cloud. With SQL Data Warehouse, customers have a choice about where to keep their data, based on performance, security and scale requirements, enabled by SQL Data Warehouse either in the cloud or on-premises. Sign-up to be notified once the public preview is available.
Azure Service Fabric
Developer preview of Azure Service Fabric – a high control platform that enables developers and ISVs to build cloud services with a high degree of scalability and customization. As we discussed last week, Service Fabric supports creating both stateless and stateful microservices – an architectural approach where complex applications are composed of small, independently versioned services – to power the most complex, low-latency, data-intensive scenarios and scale them into the cloud. In addition, integrated Visual Studio tooling as well as command line support, enables developers to quickly and easily build, test, debug, deploy and update their Service Fabric applications on single-box deployments, test deployments and production deployments. For more information on Azure Service Fabric and to download the SDK, please read more here.
Azure App Service Premium
Public preview of Azure App Service Environment, a new Premium service plan option for applications requiring high scale and direct corporate connectivity. Developers can enjoy the extensive features and devops flexibility of Azure App Service while benefiting from expanded scaling head-room with the introduction of new P4 compute resources (8 Cores and 14GB Ram). Apps gain secure, direct access over virtual networks to their most sensitive corporate resources connected via Site-to-Site or ExpressRoute connections. The base environment contains two P2 frontends and two P1 compute resources created in a customer’s Virtual Network. Customers can scale out front end and compute resources independently using combinations of P1 – P4 instances. Customers also pay only for what is used at $0.10 per core per hour (preview pricing), with up to 50 total instances inside each environment. To get started using Azure App Service Environment or for more information, please visit http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/app-service/.
Azure Resource Manager Support for VMs, Storage and Networking
Azure Resource Manager Support for Virtual Machines, Storage and Networking is now available in public preview. Azure Resource Manager templates enable single click deployments of complex applications into a resource group. A resource groups can contain all elements of an application and can be managed as a single unit providing granular access control via role based authentication and control (RBAC). Furthermore, you have ability to tag resources so you can better manage resources with a granular understanding of costs. We will have also have a starting set of more than 80 templates available in GitHub at preview release.
As part of our Azure Resource Manager availability, we are announcing partnerships across a broad set of PaaS, orchestration and management partners building on the new scalable Resource Manager for IaaS, including Cloud Foundry, Mesosphere, Juju, Apprenda, Jelastic and Scalr. We will also make available templates for Apprenda and Mesosphere directly in GitHub. The initial set of templates will also include many open-source solutions from many sources, including a template for MySQL, Chef, ElasticSearch, Zookeeper, MongoDB, and PostGreSQL. For more information, please visit https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/resource-group-overview/
Azure Marketplace Enhancements
After launching the Microsoft Azure Certified process at WPC last year and the Microsoft Azure Marketplace at TechED Europe, we’ve made a number of key investments to streamline the on-boarding process and enhance provisioning of single virtual machine offers. Partners interested in publishing a single virtual machine in the Azure Marketplace will now benefit from increased capacity and automated processes, which minimizes their time to market and investment to partner with Azure. Visit Azure Marketplace to learn more.
Interested in learning more check out the Official Microsoft blog and Scott Guthrie’s blog.
Also, you can view all the sessions from //build via Channel 9 http://channel9.msdn.com
Learn more by joining our camps and webinars: http://aka.ms/freecloudtraining
Break Into Code!
We want to give all students the opportunity to learn coding, so why not get started today with www.Touchdevelop.com and have a chance of winning $3000
Microsoft Imagine introduces the Break Into Code challenge as a beginner level challenge that will get students excited about coding even if they don’t have any previous experience. We’ve teamed up with Microsoft Research’s Touch Develop to get students of all ages started with a simple, easy to follow tutorial on coding a brick breaker game. The tutorial will get them started from a blank slate to a working game which they can then personalize and reinvent to make it their own. They can use any device with a browser and internet connection to participate.
· Students register on www.ImagineCup.com and are directed to start with the Touch Develop brick breaker tutorial
· Once they have completed the game tutorial, they can make whatever modifications they like so long as they stay within the spirit of the game
· Students will submit their re-imagined games as entries to our contest
· The entries will be Judged on Customization, Quality, and Presentation
Timeline: April 22th to June 7th
Target Audience: 9-18 year olds
Competition Age Brackets: 9-13, 14-18
Prize: Winners from each bracket receive USD $3000 for 1st, $2000 for 2nd, $1000 for 3rd
Tool: Microsoft Research Touch Develop www.touchdevelop.com
Touch Develop Brick Breaker Tutorial and fully functioning game
Touch Develop Brick Breaker with customizations
To bring the best of Build to more developers around the world including a Windows \\Build Tour kicking off May and running until June
We will also be hosting Microsoft Imagine Windows 10 Game Jam
For more details see http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2015/04/07/bringing-build-2015-to-you/
BUILD CONFERENCE (April 29 – May 1) #build2015
Give the conference sold out so quickly, we are pleased to invite you to mark your calendars and participate via live streaming of sessions and interviews from the show floor.
To join the live stream, save the event reminder to your Outlook calendar and watch the keynotes and sessions. For more details on the event and agenda, please visit the Build Home Page. All sessions will be available on-demand at Channel 9 within 48 hours of the event.
BUILD TOUR (May 18 – June 15) #buildtour 23 events have been scheduled around the globe, where we will be demonstrating and sharing the capabilities of our latest technologies with many of the same Build speakers. Each of these single-day events will cover the key announcements from the larger Build conference, as well as offering a deeper dive into Windows 10.
Register today to secure your spot.
MICROSOFT IMAGINE WINDOWS 10 GAME JAM (May /June) #win10gamejam
If you’re a student, come make your first Windows 10 game at one of our worldwide 24-hour games hackathons. The Microsoft Imagine Windows 10 Game Jam is designed to give you access to the expert guidance and tools you need to set you up for the Windows 10 Universal App Platform, which unifies gaming across PCs, phones, tablets and Xbox One.
The hackathons are taking place in 40+ cities worldwide, register today to participate.
Last week Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer for Microsoft UK, chaired the 2015 UK Imagine Cup Finals.
Each of the teams had to present their app or game for five minutes before facing a rigorous Q&A session from our panel of judges, including Michel Van Der Bel, MD of Microsoft UK, and other external figures of industry, such as Rob Bourne, Ministry of Defense of the UK MoD, Mike Bithell creator of Thomas was alone and many more..
The entrants were hugely varied, with anything from wearable business networking tools an ‘Uber for healthcare’, collaborative real-time editing tools, and a game designed to raise awareness for tuberculosis.
After a period of deliberation the judges finally returned with their winners in each category:
We also launched two partner awards in the UK this year:
You can watch all of the finalist’s presentations via http://www.stuff.tv/news/vote-uk-techs-next-big-thing-in-microsofts-imagine-cup-and-you-could-win-xbox-one
Overall the event was a huge success, with over 150 attendees, ranging from students to mature developers, and during the breakout sessions there were representatives from Microsoft Ventures, Visual Studios and Microsoft Education UK, all of whom offering advice and resources to students and budding entrepreneurs.
In line with our event proposition, to inspire all of our contestants to continue to build and develop their ideas to make them happen, all of the teams have the opportunity to now apply for our MS Ventures accelerator program. For the teams who are not progressing to the World Wide Semi- Finals, Radication Games, Team Terrabite and The Lifeline team has been introduced to Microsoft Scotland who will continue to mentor the team with funding advice and the gaming teams (TripleOX) will be showcasing their game this weekend at Insomnia Gaming Festival.
As for our winners, for them the Imagine Cup journey is just getting started! We wish them all luck in the World Wide Semi Finals taking place in May. Here is to bringing the Imagine Cup trophy home to the UK in 2015.