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!
Need access to Windows Azure outside the classroom? Working on a project on cloud computing? Or maybe your master thesis? As a student you can take advantage of the free Windows Azure trial offer and run a Small Windows Azure instance with a 1GB SQL Azure database for 90 days*
Get the free trial
*A Windows Live ID and credit card are required for proof of identity. There is no obligation to purchase at the end of the free trial.
Ideal for those with fundamental programming skills, this tutorial provides practical, learn-by-doing exercises for mastering the entire Windows Azure platform.
For more details see http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/community/education/program/overview/
Microsoft provides grants for educators wanting to use Windows Azure platform in their curricula. These grants are facilitated through Windows Azure academic passes, which provide the following resources for a period of 5 months from the date of redemption:
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.
To apply for an Educator Grant please contact AzureU@Microsoft.com and provide us with:
Windows Azure Educator Grants FAQs
Q: What are the Windows Azure Educator grants?
A: The Windows Azure Education Grants are focused on enabling educators to easily leverage the benefits of the Windows Azure platform for curriculum development and teaching. Through these grants, educators can obtain easy access, with no Credit Card required, to the Windows Azure platform for an extended period of time at no cost for themselves and their students. Access to the Windows Azure platform is made possible through 5 month Windows Azure platform academic passes. Educator Grants may be available up to the number of students within the course, dependent on the volume of requests, pass availability, and the needs of the course.
Q: What resources are available through the Windows Azure platform academic pass?
A: Each 5 month Windows Azure platform academic pass provides the following resources:
Windows Azure 2 small compute instances 3GB of storage 250,000 storage transactions SQL Azure Two 1GB Web Edition database
AppFabric 100,000 Access Control transactions 2 Service Bus connections Data Transfers (per region) 3 GB in 3 GB out 1 Hosted Service
Q: What is the Gifting Letter and who needs to sign this?
A: If you are granted a Windows Azure Educator Grant, we require that you sign a “Gifting Letter” in order to ensure compliance with all applicable government gift and ethics rules, which restrict/prohibit government employees. Your ethics officer, (or designated executive/office responsible for your organization’s gifts/ethics policy), or responsible attorney should review and sign this letter.
Q: How do the Windows Azure platform academic passes get redeemed?
A: Each Windows Azure platform academic pass is redeemable through http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/community/education/program/educators/ If you receive an Educator Grant we will send you a PowerPoint deck which will guide you and your students through the easy process of redeeming these passes.
Q: Why is Microsoft offering this?
A: A large percentage of the academic community has developed curricula materials leveraging the Windows Azure platform for teaching Cloud-centric courses. We are experiencing an increase in demand from the academic community for access to the Windows Azure platform. Windows Azure Educator Grants allows us to enable even more members of the academic community to leverage the Windows Azure platform within their courses.
Q: Are Windows Azure Educator Grants available globally?
A: Windows Azure Educator Grants are available worldwide.
Q: Is there an available education discount program for the Windows Azure platform?
A: At this time, we do not offer education discount pricing for the Windows Azure platform.
Q: Who can apply for a Windows Azure platform Educator Grant?
A: Educators at accredited academic institutions can apply for the Windows Azure Educator Grants.
Q: How do I apply for a Windows Azure platform Educator Grant?
A: Applying for a Windows Azure platform academic pass is easy. Simply go to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/community/education/program/educators/
We will ask you for the following information:
· Your name · Your email contact · Country · Institution/University name · Course name · Course description · Number of students in your course · Number of Windows Azure platform academic passes needed · Date when Windows Azure platform academic passes will be used
Q: What factors will Microsoft consider when determining who will receive a Windows Azure Educator Grant?
A: Windows Azure Educator Grants will be awarded based on factors such as purpose of use, number of passes required, and timing requirements for usage of the passes.
Q: I am a student. Can I apply for a pass?
A: Windows Azure Educator Grants are only valid for valid faculty. If your faculty has been awarded a Windows Azure Educator Grant, you will be able to get a pass through him/her for you coursework. If you are interested in learning more about the Windows Azure platform, we encourage you to share these Educator Grants with your faculty or leverage the FREE 90-day trial offer at http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/
Q: Does my Windows Azure platform academic pass expire?
A: Yes. The Windows Azure platform academic pass will expire 150 days after it has been activated. You will be receiving email notifications when the expiration date is close, and you will have the opportunity to migrate your data to a paid Windows Azure platform subscription, if you want to continue on using the Windows Azure platform.
Q: What happens to my data application when my pass expires?
A: Shortly prior to the expiration date you will have the opportunity to migrate your data to a paid Windows Azure platform subscription. All of your data will be erased when your pass expires. If you choose to not migrate your Windows Azure account to a paid account, please be sure to back up your data.
Q: Do I have to use a credit card to redeem my pass?
A: No. You do not need to use a credit card to redeem your pass activate your Windows Azure account.
The Imagine Cup 10th Anniversary Sweepstakes has launched!
To be eligible, students must simply register and sign-up for a competition by using referral code #10. They could win a free Kinect (6 winners per week) and a trip to the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals in Sydney! Additionally, if these students convert to competitors, they could also be eligible to receive a free Sony PC.
Simply enter the sweepstake here http://www.imaginecup.com/CompetitionsContent/promotions/tenth-anniversary-sweepstakes.aspx
The Sweepstakes campaign will end on 13 March. Students who have previously registered are not eligible for this promotion.
“Youngsters love gadgets. So wouldn’t it be great if they could build their own, and at school? This is exactly what more than 70 British students, ages 13 to 16, are doing by using .NET Gadgeteer. On January 30, they gathered at the Microsoft Research Cambridge Lab to present their final projects and celebrate the end of the first .NET Gadgeteer school pilot project in the United Kingdom (UK).”
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).
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
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
Last weekend I went along to Hack to the Future, the idea of Alan O’Donohoe, Teknoteacher on Twitter. Alan is a Secondary School ITC teacher in Preston. However Alan really wants to make a difference for the next generation. Alan decided to setup up a unconference to support the development of Computer Science to young people in the form of a day of informal learning entitled – Hack to the Future or #h2df.
A direct quote from Alan
It is an un-conference that aims to provide young digital creators aged 11 – 18 with positive experiences of computing science and other closely related fields, ensuring that the digital creators of today engage with the digital creators of tomorrow. We plan to offer a day that will inspire, engage and encourage young digital creator
It is an un-conference that aims to provide young digital creators aged 11 – 18 with positive experiences of computing science and other closely related fields, ensuring that the digital creators of today engage with the digital creators of tomorrow.
We plan to offer a day that will inspire, engage and encourage young digital creator
I’m proud to say that Microsoft fully supports events such as so we involved Microsoft Research, MS Press and a number of other key partners to help support the event. Myself and Steven Johnston from Southampton University, who is also working with Microsoft Research as a Gadgeteer outreach manager developed a plan and we set off for Preston. The event was all about the young people and it was amazing to see over 350+ young people plus around 100 teachers and parents attending the various talks, workshops and sessions at H2df. I have to stress the workshops and sessions at H2df were all hands on, and code based and Steven and myself spent the day at Hack to the future #h2df getting attendees hands on with the Microsoft .NET Gadgeter and had a great day.
We ran 7 sessions each with 10 laptops/kits and were packed out each session. (each kit with 3/4 students, we had to turn some students away due to the demand so apologies if you did not attend). Below is a copy of the sessions which we completed. I have to state on the day we far more hands on with Visual Studio 2010 and C# and astounded by the skills of some of the younger developer (Hacklings, as Alan calls them)
During the session the attendees built the camera and those that completed early - built a cardboard case and mounted the components to create a a digital camera. Thanks to @coletteweston for these great pic of her daughter at the event who as you can see was very successful.
Overall the event was inspiring with children using Visual Studio 2010, some without any prior experience and writing C# and getting to play with the GHI Fez Spider Gadgeteer kits to build a fully working digital camera in around 30 mins – 45 mins. Hack to the Future was an amazing day and really well done to Alan and the team of Our Ladies High School.
To end the day, Alan put on some indoor fireworks and did his his famous #h2df rap. Well done to Alan and all the other volunteers at Hack to the Future and a great start to inspiring computer scientist of the future.
This year, Tech.Days events for IT implementers and professionals is changing.
The Microsoft UK TechNet team are bringing information, ideas and inspiration to your doorstep with a series of IT camp workshops across the country the first sessions are in Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle and London.
The camps are designed to deliver more freestyle learning with our evangelist hosts across a range of topics about the latest developments in hosted services and what Microsoft are doing in this field.
Across the next few months we'll cover how to Virtualise Servers, Build a Private cloud, Migrate from Windows Server 2003 and Manage consumer IT products on your networks.
Along with the hands on training there will be the usual Q&A, networking and a few other surprises thrown in…
Register for an event near you.
Thanks to all of the Universities who have updated their curricula to include Windows Phone.
For the past few month we have been running a number of Phone Camp across the UK and judging from all the questions and comments in relation to METRO there is clearly a lot of interest and passion around this topic from academics and students.
So I thought I would share with you all a quick set of resources for Windows Phone Development.
Consumer site www.windowsphone.com
AppHub – Developer Site for Windows Phone http://create.msdn.com
Windows Phone YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/windowsphone (Watch Social, App and Web videos)
Windows Phone SDK http://www.DreamSpark.com
Windows Phone UX Guidelines http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh202915(v=vs.92).aspx
Design Templates for Windows Phone 7 http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=196225
Windows Phone Grid http://ux.artu.tv/?p=165
31 Weeks of Windows Phone Metro Design http://ux.artu.tv/?page_id=190
Get started, get the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 (Mango) http://create.msdn.com/en-us/home/getting_started
Silverlight Windows Phone 7.1 (Mango) Toolkit http://silverlight.codeplex.com/releases/view/71550
Microsoft Design .toolbox Tutorials http://www.microsoft.com/design/toolbox/school/tutorials.aspx
Microsoft Design .toolbox Courses http://www.microsoft.com/design/toolbox/school/
· Calculator http://www.microsoft.com/design/toolbox/school/modules.aspx?lid=16&mid=46
· Daily Awesome http://www.microsoft.com/design/toolbox/school/modules.aspx?lid=17&mid=47
· Air Hockey http://www.microsoft.com/design/toolbox/school/modules.aspx?lid=18&mid=48
· Golf http://www.microsoft.com/design/toolbox/school/modules.aspx?lid=19&mid=49
Windows Phone Geek - UX Resources http://www.windowsphonegeek.com/Resources/UX#ux
Jeff Wilcox’s “Metro” design guide for developers, v1.00 http://www.jeff.wilcox.name/2011/03/metro-design-guide-v1/
Quick Spacing, Margin, and Icon Tips for Windows Phone Devs http://www.jeff.wilcox.name/2012/01/metroradio-design/
Full Day Event Windows Phone Design Sessions http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jaimer/archive/2010/08/13/windows-phone-design-day-recordings.aspx
Windows Phone Design Day
Metro | the foundation http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechDays/Tekniset-Esitystallenteet/TechNet-2011-Windows-Phone-UX-osa-1
Metro | the foundation part II http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechDays/Tekniset-Esitystallenteet/TechNet-2011-Windows-Phone-UX-osa-2
Think & Design | sketch, wireframe, prototype, design http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechDays/Tekniset-Esitystallenteet/TechNet-2011-Windows-Phone-UX-osa-3
Refine | Best Practices http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Design-Day-del-2-Refine-Best-Practices
Build | Building a Windows Phone App Prototype with Expression Blend http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/channel9spain/WINDOWS-PHONE-DESIGN-DAY-OPTIMIZA-Y-CONSTRUYE (Note: this video includes both REFINE and BUILD. BUILD starts at
Windows Phone User Experience Design http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/BUILD/BUILD2011/APP-832T
All Thumbs: Redesigning an Existing UI to Suit Windows Phone 7 http://channel9.msdn.com/events/MIX/MIX11/OPN02
Analyzing and Improving Windows Phone Application Performance http://channel9.msdn.com/events/MIX/MIX11/DVC01
Application Design for Windows Phone http://channel9.msdn.com/events/MIX/MIX11/DVC02
Windows Phone UI and Design Language (MIX10) http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/MIX/MIX10/CL14
Mike Kruzeniski: Personal, Relevant. Connected: Designing Integrated Mobile Experiences for Apps and Web http://www.ixda.org/resources/mike-kruzeniski-personal-relevant-connected-designing-integrated-mobile-experiences-apps-a
How was CocktailFlow Designed? Creating a Beautiful Windows Phone 7 Application http://uktechdays.cloudapp.net/techdays-live/creating-a-beautiful-windows-phone-7-application.aspx
Albert Shum Talking about Windows Phone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD8MqWvARfA
ReMIX South 2011 Keynote with Albert Shum and Arturo Toledo http://www.vimeo.com/27800521
Silverlight TV 81: Four Great Windows Phone UX Tips http://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/SilverlightTV/Silverlight-TV-81-4-Great-Windows-Phone-UX-Tips
Silverlight TV 69: UX and Perceived Performance of WP7 Apps http://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/SilverlightTV/Silverlight-TV-69-UX-and-Perceived-Performance-of-WP7-Apps
Silverlight TV 83: Using Wireframes to Visually Communicate a Windows Phone Experience http://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/SilverlightTV/Silverlight-TV-83-Using-Wireframes-to-Visually-Communicate-a-Windows-Phone-Experience
Silverlight TV 75: Quick and Dirty UX Testing (Design Tips Mini Series) http://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/SilverlightTV/Silverlight-TV-75-Quick-and-Dirty-UX-Testing-Design-Tips-Mini-Series
Silverlight TV 78: Designing Tiles and Splash Screens for Windows Phone (Design Tips Mini Series) http://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/SilverlightTV/Silverlight-TV-78-Designing-Tiles-and-Splash-Screens-for-Windows-Phone-Design-Tips-Mini-Series
Inside Windows Phone #24 - User Experience for Windows Phone Apps http://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/Inside+Windows+Phone/Inside-Windows-Phone-24-User-Experience-for-Windows-Phone-Apps
Windows Phone Design Team @wpdesignteam http://www.twitter.com/wpdesignteam
Windows Phone @windowsphone http://www.twitter.com/windowsphone
Mike Kruseniski Blog http://mkruzeniski.posterous.com/ Twitter @mkruzeniski http://twitter.com/mkruzeniski
Corrina Black, Windows Phone Design Lead for Developer Experience @corrinab http://twitter.com/corrinab
Arturo Toledo, UX Designer Developer Experience @arturot http://ux.artu.tv http://twitter.com/arturot
Windows Phone Design Twitter List http://twitter.com/#!/arturot/windows-phone-design
FREE Webinar – Deploying Windows 7
When - April 17th, 11am-12pm
This session will give you an overview of the key steps needed to plan for and deploy Windows 7 effectively. If you want to teach the latest technology and curricula such as Windows Phone development then Windows 7 is a key requirement.
So take part in this FREE event and learn the skills, tips and tricks of a successful Windows 7 deployment.
There are a whole range of free tools and utilities from Microsoft that enable you to remove huge cost out of the deployment process. Including:
· How to simplify assessing your current PC estate for suitability
· Checking your application compatibility – and reducing the impact of any that aren’t compatible
· Application deployment methods to reduce your workload
· Capturing and migrating existing user data
· Automating deployments – from light touch to zero touch installations
The session will be relevant for IT services and desktop support staff.
You will also have chance to get any of your deployment questions answered by a Microsoft Specialist.
Register now - https://www.livemeeting.com/lrs/microsoft1/Registration.aspx?pageName=g44771637dlklvz2
FREE – Online presentation Sharepoint 2010 in UK Education
When - March 27th, 11am-12pm
This session, presented by Dave Coleman, SharePoint MVP – will cover the key features of SharePoint 2010 –highlighting key education scenarios. Whether you are completely new to SharePoint or have experience with previous versions, this session will give a great recap, and provide a “what’s new” in this current release. You will also have the chance to get answers to any of your burning SharePoint questions.
Register Here - https://www.livemeeting.com/lrs/microsoft1/Registration.aspx?pageName=z9g4c4lktqqztkdr
FREE - Online Meeting Presenting an Overview of System Center 2012 for UK Education
When :- March 6th, 11am-12pm
System Center 2012 can transform your IT Infrastructure, from your Desktops, to your Data Centre and out to the Cloud. Join this session, presented jointly by Microsoft and a Microsoft System Center Partner to understand what System Center 2012 can do for you. This online session will provide a good overview of the capabilities of the suite and also provide a “what’s new” update if you are aware of previous versions.
You will also have chance to get your System Center questions answered by a Specialist.
Please Register here for the event - https://www.livemeeting.com/lrs/microsoft1/Registration.aspx?pageName=4k1xkfk0jldm71b8