• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Get up to speed on Windows 8 in 6 weeks

    • 3 Comments

     

         win8_screenSurfaceDreamSpark

    So its now the summer holidays, well its the perfect time to get skilled up for Windows 8, to do this you will need to be fully prepared. To confirm RTM of Windows 8 has been confirmed for August and General Release for Oct 2012.

     

    So to help you get prepared we have created a 6 week plan for you.The plan is based on a minimum of 10 hours study time per week. The better prepared you are the better you will do with implementing Windows 8 within your curricula or even simply having the discussion with students using Windows 8 next term.

    From a Microsoft perspective we have a massive amount of materials to help you prepare and create a very comprehensive application and we provide you with the suite of Tools and Documentation to help you create their very first Metro 8 App.

    Additionally we have also made available a large array of Samples, Examples and Templates as well as Video tutorials and blogs. If you follow these you will find the path to releasing your first game or application for Windows 8.

    Apps can be written in C#, C++, HTML or even using a new bespoke tool aimed at Designers. The most import thing is to start right now, read and work your way through the plan, install Windows 8 and the Metro SDK and start developing.

    So here is the six week plan for Windows 8 development.

    Week One

    1. Introduction

    a. What is a Windows 8 Metro App, click Here

    b. A great intro Blog for you, click Here

    c. Understand the UX Guidelines click Here

    2. Getting started with Metro style apps, click Here

    a. Installing Windows 8

    b. Download and install SDK & Dev Tools

    3. Get the Developer Licence, Click Here

    a. Install the" Windows 8 camp in a box", click Here

    b. Quickly get an overview of all the presentations

    4. Choose your preferred Development environment/Language

    a. JavaScript and HTML (recommended for Designers & Artists)

    b. Download relevant documentation, click Here

    c. C#, Visual Basic and XAML (recommended for Designers & Artists)

    d Download relevant documentation, click Here

    e. C++ and DirectX (recommended for Programmers or teams with Programmers in)

    f. Download relevant documentation, click Here

    5. Understanding What makes a great Metro app, click Here

    6. Planning your first App, click Here

    a. Planning for Monetisation, click Here

    b. Planning for Quality and Certification, click Here

    c. Planning for different devices, click Here

    d. Plan for a Global Market, click Here

    e. Plan for Usability, click Here and Here

    Week Two

    1. Review available Templates and sample Apps, click Here and Here

    2. Take a look at the Samples and Examples in the Windows 8 Camp in a box

    a. Work through these Examples

    3. Take a look at the Windows 8 Faculty game examples, click Here

    a. Consider how you could use these examples to create your own game

    4. Download Designer PSD’s, click Here

    5. Play, with your chosen development

    a. Set up Visual Studios

    b. Work through a simple “Hello World”, style tutorial

    c. C++, click Here

    d. HTML5/Javascript, click Here

    e. Visual Basic, click Here

    f. C#, click Here

    f. Get your development processed organised and ready to go

    6. Plan and design your first simple app,

    7. Create it

    Week 3

    1. Re-review progress so far, and create second more complicated app

    2. Further reading on what makes a great Metro App, click Here

    3. Looking at ways to speed up your development, click Here

    4. Using Blend, click Here and Here

    5. Continue with your chosen Development training

    a. C++, click Here

    b. HTML5/Javascript, click Here

    c. Visual Basic, click Here

    d. C#, click Here

    Week 4

    1. Continue with your detailed studies and tutorials

    2. Watch as many YouTube Tutorials and App sample videos as you can

    3. Advanced considerations, click Here

    a. Selling apps

    b. Concepts and architecture

    c. API reference

    d. End-to-end apps.

    Week 5

    1. Continue with your detailed studies and tutorials

    2. Planning for the Assessments or Developing Games

    a. Some Great Game building Links, click Here

    b. How to Design a great Metro 8 Game, click Here

    c. More Game / Entertainment considerations, click Here

    Week 6

    1. Continue with your detailed studies and tutorials

    2. Finally, understand about Metro 8 App Publishing, click Here

    a. Market Opportunity

    b. Designed for discovery

    c. Flexible business models

    d. Uber-transparency

    e. Best economics

    Some Great Links

    Microsoft's official Metro 8 App site

    Microsoft's UK Student and Faculty resources 

    A complete list of resources for METRO Windows 8 Developers

    Microsoft's App Publishing – Declaring capabilities

    · Manifest Designer

    · How to specify capabilities in a package manifest.

    Intro to Window 8 & the App store

    One on One style tutorial Webcasts on Metro 8 development

    BUILD Conference Resources  

    Designing for Windows

    UX GuideLines

    Windows User Experience Training

    Windows Camp Resources

    Additional Videos

     

    Windows 8–Developer Resources

    Developer downloads

    Content

    URL

    Details

    Windows 8 Consumer Preview Download

    http://bitly.com/WIN8cp

    Windows 8 Consumer Preview download (web installer or ISO’s), videos, and FAQ’s.

    Developer downloads for Metro style apps

    http://bitly.com/metroDwnld

    Visual Studio 11 Express and the Windows 8 SDK + all the extra tools and SDK’s for Metro style app development.

    Design assets for Metro style apps

    http://bitly.com/MetroUX

    100+ Photoshop files with common controls, shell components, tiles, icons, animation clips, color wheel references, and more.


    Metro style app developer content

    Content

    URL

    Details

    Windows Dev Center home

    http://bitly.com/DevCtr

    Links to Metro style app, Desktop app, Hardware, and IE development.

    Metro style app development home

    http://bitly.com/MetroCtr

    Links to key resources for designing, developing, and selling Metro style apps.

    Product guide for developers

    http://bitly.com/PGwin8

    Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Developers.

    Official documentation

    http://bitly.com/MetroDocs

    Comprehensive docs, articles, quickstarts, roadmaps, tutorials, checklists, developer agreements, and whitepapers covering all aspects of app design, development, and selling:

    · Getting started

    · Planning apps

    · Designing UX for apps

    · Developing apps

    · Packaging apps

    · Debugging and testing apps

    · Selling apps

    · API reference

    · Concepts and architecture

    · Language reference

    · End-to-end apps

    Design resources

    http://bitly.com/DesignUX

    Design principles, UX design patterns, detailed UX guidelines, downloadable design assets, assessing usability.

    Selling apps in the Windows Store

    http://bitly.com/W8Store

    Windows Store markets, developer agreements, and checklists to prepare.

    Developer downloads for Metro style apps

    http://bitly.com/DwnldsMetro

    Visual Studio Express and the Windows 8 SDK + extra tools and SDK’s for Metro style app development.

    Metro style app samples

    http://bitly.com/MetroSmpls

    Over 200 official samples from Microsoft are available in multiple programming languages. You can copy code inline, upload new code, rate, and leave comments.

    Developer forums

    http://bitly.com/MetroForums

    Developer forums for Metro style apps covering designing, developing, and selling apps.

    Blogs for developers

    Blog Name

    URL

    Details

    Building Windows 8 blog (B8)

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/

    An inside look at how, what, and why different features of Windows 8 are being built. This blog is written by Windows President Steven Sinofsky together with members of the Windows engineering team.

    Windows Store blog for developers

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsstore

    All about doing business in the Windows Store. Members of the engineering team who’ve built the Windows Store write posts along with Antoine Leblond, Vice President of Windows Web Services.

    Windows 8 app developer blog (D8)

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsappdev

    Explores best practices for coding and designing Metro style apps. It is written by the team of developers who are building Windows 8.

    IE blog

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/

    Windows Internet Explorer Engineering Team Blog.

    Inside Windows Live blog

    http://windowsteamblog.com/
    windows_live/b/windowslive/

    The engineering being Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive, and Windows Live.

    Visual Studio Blog

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudio/

    The official source of product insight from the Visual Studio Engineering Team.

    The Windows Blog

    http://windowsteamblog.com/

    Consumer and general interest topics.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Azure $30 demo saving $127,970

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    I recently presented at the Windows Azure User group in Manchester. Also presenting was Alan Smith. I wanted to share my finding from Alan’s presentation which was a demo of a ray tracing render farm hosted in Windows Azure using worker roles and the Azure Storage service.

    At the start of the presentation he deployed an Azure application that uses 256 worker roles to render a 1,500 frame 3D ray-traced animation in one hour at the end of the presentation, when the animation was complete, he simply played the animation and then deleted the Azure deployment.

    What was amazing about this presentation and demo is that it highlights one of the great benefits of cloud computing, you pay for what you use, and if you need massive compute power for a short period of time using Windows Azure can work out very cost effective.

    A fully documented write up of the entire presentation is here http://geekswithblogs.net/asmith/archive/2012/06/25/150043.aspx

    imageimage

    The virtual pin board contains 11,481 pins, with the scene file containing 2,000 scene files will be created via a Microsoft Kinect device.

    The tracing time for the test frame was 4 minutes 27 seconds, which means rendering the 2,000 frames in the animation would take over 148 hours, or a little over 6 days.

    The completed animation can be viewed in 1280x720 resolution

     

    Cost Savings of the Cloud

    The cost of creating an on-premise render farm to render animations increases in proportion to the number of servers. The table below shows the cost of servers for creating a render farm, assuming a cost of $500 per server.

    Number of Servers

    Cost

    1

    $500

    16

    $8,000

    256

    $128,000

     

    The Windows Azure compute services provide worker roles, which are ideal for performing processor intensive compute tasks. With the scalability available in Windows Azure a job that takes 256 hours to complete could be perfumed using different numbers of worker roles. The time and cost of using 1, 16 or 256 worker roles is shown below.

    Number of Worker Roles

    Render Time

    Cost

    1

    256 hours

    $30.72

    16

    16 hours

    $30.72

    256

    1 hour

    $30.72

    Using worker roles in Windows Azure provides the same cost for the 256 hour job, irrespective of the number of worker roles used. Provided the compute task can be broken down into many small units, and the worker role compute power can be used effectively, it makes sense to scale the application so that the task is completed quickly, making the results available in a timely fashion. The task of rendering 2,000 frames in an animation is one that can easily be broken down into 2,000 individual pieces, which can be performed by a number of worker roles.

    Effective Use of Resources

    The monitor statistics the animation took 6 days, 7 hours and 22 minutes CPU to render, this works out at 152 hours of compute time, rounded up to the nearest hour. With the average CPU usage across all instances is 93.27%, with over 99% used when all the instances are up and running. This shows that the worker role resources are being used very effectively.

    Grid Computing Scenarios

    Windows Azure provides a great platform for developing these types of grid computing applications, and can work out very cost effective.

    · Windows Azure can provide massive compute power, on demand, in a matter of minutes.

    · The use of queues to manage the load balancing of jobs between role instances is a simple and effective solution.

    · Using a cloud-computing platform like Windows Azure allows proof-of-concept scenarios to be tested and evaluated on a very low budget.

    · No charges for inbound data transfer makes the uploading of large data sets to Windows Azure Storage services cost effective.

    Tips for using Windows Azure for Grid Computing Scenarios

    Alan suggested the following tips when implementing a grid computing project in Windows Azure.

    · Using an Azure Storage queue to load-balance the units of work across multiple worker roles is simple and very effective. The design I have used in this scenario could easily scale to many thousands of worker role instances.

    · Windows Azure accounts are typically limited to 20 cores. If you need to use more than this, a call to support and a credit card check will be required.

    · Be aware of how the billing model works. You will be charged for worker role instances for the full clock our in which the instance is deployed. Schedule the workload to start just after the clock hour has started.

    · Monitor the utilization of the resources you are provisioning, ensure that you are not paying for worker roles that are idle.

    · If you are deploying third party applications to worker roles, you may well run into licensing issues. Purchasing software licenses on a per-processor basis when using hundreds of processors for a short time period would not be cost effective.

    · Third party software may also require installation onto the worker roles, which can be accomplished using start-up tasks. Bear in mind that adding a startup task and possible re-boot will add to the time required for the worker role instance to start and activate. An alternative may be to use a prepared VM and use VM roles.

    · Consider using the Windows Azure Autoscaling Application Block (WASABi) to autoscale the worker roles in your application. When using a large number of worker roles, the utilization must be carefully monitored, if the scaling algorithms are not optimal it could get very expensive!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    C++ & Direct X on Windows 8

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    Windows 8’s new Metro platform offers developers the possibility to build not only apps, but also new, immersive NUI (natural user interface) gaming experiences.
     

    In the UK we have over 217 gaming courses, Microsoft is working to make sure that gaming devs have the necessary resources to start creating Metro games tailored to the next version of Windows and allow students to start developing some real portfolio and experience of gaming industry by allowing them to easily and simply upload their completed games to the Windows Store.

    We have a selection of material available to help educators and students get started on the Windows 8 Metro Style Game development with resources such as ‘Building your first Metro style game with C++’ which is available via the Windows Dev Center. The Windows Dev Center offers developers the guidance they need to start coding.   Additionally we have resources at the dev center for XAML/C#, HTML5/JS and it’s important to understand that leveraging C++ implies that the games built will be much more than simple Metro apps or existing XNA windows phone or XNA creator apps.

    Again in terms of curricula change and enhancement, it is important to understand that A Metro style game with C++ is a game developed using native C++ APIs, such as DirectX, that have been made available to the Windows Runtime. This model is more complex than the usual Metro style app, but it provides greater flexibility and greater access to system resources, especially graphics devices. So, it is a good model for the experienced developer.

    Essentially, a Windows 8 Metro DirectX game built with C++ implies delivering a graphics- or multimedia-intensive experience to end users, taking advantage of the graphics hardware.

    Games 

    The following Channel9 Video http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Windows-Camp/Developing-Windows-8-Metro-style-apps-in-Cpp/Cpp-and-DirectX-for-Metro-Style-Games goes into more detail and there is a whole set of resources for Developing  Windows 8 Metro Style Apps in C++ http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Windows-Camp/Developing-Windows-8-Metro-style-apps-in-Cpp

    In terms of gaming technologies and development skills, I like to break them down into the following categories

    • HTML/JS casual game developer.
    • XNA/.NET developer.
    • C++/DirectX developer.

    In terms of  academic module constructs you ideally need to break them down as follows

    1) Windows 8 Developer Overview – From the UX-to-the-Store see Windows 8 Curricula and resources now at Faculty Connection.

    2) What does a game developer need to think about doing with their game for Windows 8 (e.g. input mechanisms, screen sizes and resolutions, settings, WinRT APIs for storage and settings, suspend/resume APIs). see Windows 8 Metro Style Gaming  


        
    Resources and Curricula

    Your source for curriculum resources and tools to help with your teaching needs. Visit the Microsoft Faculty Connection Resource Center.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    MSDN Virtual Labs for exploring our latest technologies

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    MSDNVirtual Labs

    From my previous post on developing for Windows 8. I just wanted to make you aware of the many great virtual labs for exploring our latest technologies.

    MSDN Virtual Labs enable you to quickly evaluate and test Microsoft's newest products and technologies through a series of guided, hands-on labs that you can complete in 90 minutes or less. There is no complex setup or installation required, and you can use MSDN Virtual Labs online immediately, free. Check here for system requirements.

    Featured Virtual Labs   

    MSDN Windows 8 Developer Virtual Labs

    Other Products and Technologies available as Virtual labs via MSDN
    Development Tools and Languages
    Mobile and Embedded Development
    Cloud Services
    .NET Development
    Office Development
    Windows Client Development
    Servers and Enterprise Development
    Web Development
    Subjects and Series

    From the perspective of schools, college and universities, with highly secure MDE’s ‘managed desktop environments’ these virtual labs and the opportunity of running Windows 8 development and the latest technologies may be a valuable resource.

    The process of the Labs are completed is opening a web page, which then create an interactive remote desktop session with a Windows Server 2003 which then allows you to remotes into a desktop image. Their are full instructions, guidance and set time limit which your allocated to undertake the lab and guide the user through the learning exercise.

    image

    Do to these labs utilising a remote desktop session you may encounter some performance issues, a colleague Eric Nelson has played with a few settings to improve things by changing the remote desktop experience to improve the graphics performance due to bandwidth constraints which may be faced specifically by School networks.

    image

    After you make these changes, disconnect and reconnect to the session to experience the improvements.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    SUR40 Pixel Sense NUIverse Demo

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    Jon Roskill and Steve Clayton join one of my colleague Dr Dave Brown at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2012 in Toronto for live a demonstration of the Samsung SUR40 with Microsoft PixelSense featuring Dave's creation NUIverse.

    NUIverse is simply an amazing example of natural user interface and highlights the unique properties of the Samsung SUR40 and PixelSense technology that enables collaborative multitouch experience using objects. Developed by Dave over the past year NUIverse really does show off the power of Pixel Sense and the immersive nature of the SUR40 device for more indepth details of the development process concepts and Dave's patents for Users controls see http://drdave.co.uk/blog

    More information: Samsung SUR40 with Microsoft PixelSense http://www.samsunglfd.com/solution/sur40.do

    I am looking forward to what the researchers and post docs at your institutions can do with these amazing devices.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    .NET Gadgeteer at Animation 12

    • 1 Comments

    imageimage_thumb[3]

    The University of ManchesterAnimation12 competition took place on Friday 13th of July 2012. The event have over 300 registered competitors.

    The University of Manchester School of Computer Science launched the UK Schools Computer Animation Competition in 2008 as part of Digital60 - celebrating the 60th Anniversary of "The Baby", the world's first stored-program computer, designed and built at The University of Manchester.

    The UK Schools Computer Animation Competition was launched to introduce UK schoolchildren to the fun side of basic programming whilst animating.

    The Competition is an annual event, to show schoolchildren that computers can be used creatively, and to stimulate them to learn about programming. The Competition's summer Awards Festival is held in Manchester, when winners receive their prizes, and over 300 guests attend talks and spend time in activity rooms exploring the fun side of computing.

    The Competition is open to all UK schoolchildren aged 7-19, and is completely free.

    “Youngsters love gadgets. So wouldn’t it be great if they could build their own, and at school? This is exactly what more than 80 of the competitors, ages 7 to 19, did  using .NET Gadgeteer during a hands on session at the event.

    image

    The .NET Gadgeteer pilot project aligns with the UK’s commitment to prioritize computer science education in schools, as spelled out by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, in his speech at the BETT Show (see School ICT to be replaced by computer science programme) and will be a key part in the AQA GCSE Computer Science course starting in Sept 2012.

    We look forward to more schools, colleges, and universities utilizing .NET Gadgeteer to unleash their students’ creativity and enthusiasm in technology in the UK, and beyond. Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche, Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections EMEA, and Steve Hodges, Principal Hardware Engineer, Microsoft Research Cambridge

    image_thumb[5]imageimage

    We had over 80 students attend the pre booked Gadgeteer workshop sessions which took place throughout the day in all we ran 4 x 30 min sessions demonstrating hands on how to Build a Digital Camera with .NET Gadgeteer in 30 mins.

    Resources

    Animation12 Web Site – Learn more about Animation12 and see details of the event.

    Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is an open-source toolkit for building small electronic devices using the .NET Micro Framework and Visual Studio/Visual C# Express.
    Build all manner of electronic gadgets quickly and easily with .NET Gadgeteer! LEARN HOW TO GET STARTED

    Reading Materials

    getting started

    Getting Started with .NET Gadgeteer by Simon Monk - This book explains .NET Gadgeteer to the novice and to using only the parts available in the Fez Spider Starter Kit. This is the most common starter kit if components for the Gadgeteer.

    Curricula Resources

    Teaching Material for .NET Gadgeteer in School  
    .NET Gadgeteer can be used in schools to help students make gadgets and learn C# programming along the way. These lesson plans give teachers all the material needed to run 8 1-hour sessions using .NET Gadgeteer, including session plans, student handouts and PowerPoint presentations.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Creating your first Windows 8 Metro Style Design Game

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    windows-8-store

    After a great week at the Develop Conference, I wanted to share some great Windows 8 gaming guides and Tutorials from Dave Isbitski @davedev http://blogs.msdn.com/davedev

    The following Tutorials and resources contain the following technologies:

    • HTML5 Canvas
    • HTML5 Audio
    • XAML/C#
    • CSS3 Styling and Web Fonts
    • Implementing a Game Loop with JavaScript
    • Third Party Frameworks
    • Touch
    • Camera Access
    • Accelerometer
    • WinJS Controls

    Available Resources and Toolkits 

    Additional Resources for developing Windows 8 Metro Style Games

    Hands on Labs for XAML/C# using HyperV Windows 8 Virtual Machines, so you don't need to own a machine with Windows 8 Release Preview installed.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows 8 Training camp in a box

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    Win8CampInABox

    The Windows 8 Camp in a Box is now available for download.  It includes all of the presentations, code samples, and hands on labs ideal for you getting your curricula up to date with Windows8. The content is available in both XAML/C# and HTML/JavaScript versions.  

    If you have been looking for an opportunity to develop curricula, work books, assessments or simply a walkthrough of a XAML/C# or HTML5/JS application step by step this it!  Full source code and instructions are provided in both html and docx formats. 

    Labs

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Announces Imagine Cup 2012 Winners, Ukrainian Team Takes Top Place

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    The winners of the 10th annual Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition, the winning Software Design project developed by Ukrainian Team quadSquad allows deaf individuals to communicate verbally using custom-designed sensory gloves and a smartphone application to translate sign language gestures into speech. Games focused on the environment from Thailand team TANG Thai and math education from U.S. team Drexel Dragons won the two Game Design competitions.

    The Imagine Cup 2012 competition winners were announced at the Imagine Cup World Festival and Awards Ceremony at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, in front of 106 student teams. The event was the culmination of a five-day celebration of technology, teamwork and innovation.

    More than 350 students from 75 countries travelled to Sydney after competing in local and online events, representing the best and brightest selected to compete in the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals. Cash prizes totalling approximately $175,000 (U.S.) were awarded across eight competition categories.

    Imagine Cup is more than a competition; it’s a way for young entrepreneurs, innovators and developers to have an opportunity to develop an idea, create a product, set a clear business plan and even take their product to market. All Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finalist teams that competed in Sydney this year are eligible to apply for Imagine Cup Grants, a three-year, $3 million investment by Microsoft to help students turn their ideas into reality. More information on Imagine Cup Grants can be found at http://www.imaginecup.com in the coming weeks. In addition, through the Microsoft BizSpark program, Imagine Cup participants can launch startup businesses in their communities and across the Web. More information on BizSpark can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark.

    Software and Game Design Winners at Imagine Cup 2012

    Team quadSquad from the Ukraine took top honors in the Software Design Competition with its device, Enable Talk, which uses a pair of gloves equipped with 15 flex sensors and a microcontroller that continuously recognize sign language patterns, which are then transmitted via Bluetooth to a Windows Phone device that uses the Microsoft Speech API and Bing API to translate the signs into audio. With its victory, the team won $25,000 (U.S.).

    Team quadSquad was not the only competitor whose project was designed to enhance the quality of life for the disabled. Twenty-three percent of Imagine Cup projects this year were created to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities such as visual and hearing impairments and diseases that limit a human’s physical mobility.

    With millions of people around the world suffering from hearing and speech impairments, the team recognized the importance of developing a device that would allow individuals to be able to communicate more easily with others.

    In 2004, more than 275 million people globally had moderate to profound hearing impairment, 80 percent of them in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization’s most recent data.

    “We were inspired to help our friends who are hearing- and speech-impaired to have the ability to communicate like everyone else,” said Maxim Osika, Team quadSquad. “The Imagine Cup is an amazing experience; we’re thrilled to be here learning from the experts around us.”

    Teams competed in two Game Design competitions — Game Design: Xbox/Windows and Game Design: Phone. The winning games addressed social issues including poverty, environment and sustainability, education, and community involvement. In Game Design: Xbox/Windows, TANG Thai, from Thailand, focused on protecting the environment and preventing deforestation. In Game Design: Phone, Drexel Dragons, from the United States, created an engaging game designed to teach math and problem solving in new ways to elementary school students. Each first-place team received $8,000 (U.S.).

    The following are the winners in the core Imagine Cup Competitions:

    1. Software Design. Students create innovative software, service solutions and real-world applications that unleash the power of technology to benefit their community or, perhaps, the entire planet.

    · First Place: quadSquad (Ukraine)

    · Second Place: Coccolo (Japan)

    · Third Place: wi-GO (Portugal)

    2. Game Design. Students select one of two tracks (Phone or Xbox/Windows) to create games that not only are fun but also help to improve the world at the same time.

    Xbox/Windows

    · First Place: TANG Thai (Thailand)

    · Second Place: The Doers (Brazil)

    · Third Place: Hotfix (Belgium)

    Phone

    · First Place: Drexel Dragons (United States)

    · Second Place: Ecosia (France)

    · Third Place: Turtle Games (Hungary)

    Winners of Imagine Cup Challenges

    In addition to the core Imagine Cup Competitions, students were able to compete in five online Challenges. These Challenges provided opportunities for students to compete for an additional $75,000 (U.S.) cash, as well as other prizes. The following are the Challenge winners:

    1. IT Challenge. Students are tested on their knowledge of IT systems and faced with unique scenarios to solve, competing for title of best of the best in the industry.

    · First Place: Alexandru Ticlea (Romania)

    · Second Place: Sherif Talaat (Egypt)

    · Third Place: Joshua Sim (Singapore)

    2. Kinect Fun Labs Challenge Sponsored by Microsoft Studios. This challenge brings the Imagine Cup into the living room by asking students to think about entertainment with a social conscience.

    · First Place: Team Interlab (Brazil)

    · Second Place: Team Whiteboard Pirates (United States)

    · Third Place: Team Flexifly (Poland)

    3. Windows Azure Challenge. Students leverage the Windows Azure platform features to build Web applications that help solve the world’s toughest problems.

    · First Place: Virtual Dreams Azure (Brazil)

    · Second Place: Complex (Romania)

    · Third Place: The Klein Team (Algeria)

    4. Windows Metro Style App Challenge sponsored by Microsoft Windows. With this challenge, Microsoft is inviting students to be at the forefront of creating applications for the new Windows 8 platform.

    · First Place: Virtual Dreams Metro (Brazil)

    · Second Place: nLife (Ukraine)

    · Third Place: TokTok (Korea)

    5. Windows Phone Challenge sponsored by Nokia. Students are challenged to create an XAP application that not only will help solve the world toughest problems, but also that people will love having on their Windows Phones.

    · First Place: Vivid (Egypt)

    · Second Place: The Stack (Poland)

    · Third Place: Aaltovation (Finland)

    The People Have Spoken: Team D Labs From India Honored at Imagine Cup

    The People’s Choice Award sponsored by Bing is the only Imagine Cup award that is determined by the public, and it includes a $10,000 (U.S.) prize. The D Labs created software to help dyslexic children use games to learn more effectively by using Kinect for Xbox 360. Parents can also track their children’s progress by reviewing data captured by the solution, which is stored on Windows Azure.

    Recognizing Environmental and Sustainability Projects

    In addition to the above awards, Microsoft and Coca-Cola are proud to present the winners of the Health Awareness Award and Environmental Sustainability Award for two projects that tackle the world’s toughest health and environmental issues. The following winning teams will receive $10,000 (U.S.):

    · Health Awareness Award winners:

    o First Place: Italian Ingenium Team (Italy)

    · Environmental Sustainability Award winners:

    o First Place: Greenway (Germany)

    Imagine Cup 2013 Heads to Russia

    As is tradition at the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals, Pip Marlow, general manager of Microsoft Australia, participated in the ceremonial flag passing to mark the transition of host country duties. Nikolay Pryanishnikov, general manager of Microsoft Russia, was on hand to accept the flag on behalf of Russia, which will host the 11th annual Imagine Cup in St. Petersburg in July 2013.

    Online Resources

    Videos and other resources are available at on the Microsoft Imagine Cup Virtual Press Room. Additional photos and videos can be found through the Imagine Cup Flickr page or YouTube site.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup 2012 Social Media resources

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    We are saddened to say that our UK team didn't make it to the Imagine Cup finals.

    @TeamEyeWorks (Faizan Asghar, Northumbria University, Colin Squires, Newcastle College and Riccardo Viglianisi, Northumbria University) alongside their mentor Alamgir Hossain with their project MIRA (Mobile Intelligent Retinal Analysis system) which will enable the low-cost early detection of eye diseases such as cataracts and diabetic retinopathy which are the current leading causes of blindness.

    They did an amazing job! Here are some resources to keep up to date with the Imagine Cup Finals.

    WEBSITE

    www.imaginecup.com

    TWITTER:

    @Imaginecup

    @MSPSMT 

    Search for the hashtag #Imaginecup

    YOUTUBE: 

    https://www.youtube.com/user/WWMSP

    FLICKR

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/imaginecup/ 

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mspsmt/sets/

    FACEBOOK

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/microsoftimaginecup
    MSP
    Social Media Team Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imaginecupsocialmediateam

    Photosynth

    Imagine Cup WW Finals Venue PhotoSynth

    BLOG

    Official Blog: www.imaginecup.com/blogs/default.aspx

    Imagine Cup Social Media Team Blog http://icsocialmediateam.com/

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