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With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
Looking at the opportunity of new curricula content have you looked at the similarities between an application developed for Windows Phone and a Metro style app developed for Windows 8.
A Windows Phone 7 application (rather than an XNA game) is built in .NET and XAML against a subset of the .NET framework and the application has a lifecycle which needs to be conscious of battery life and so is split out into foreground/background pieces.
Applications are sandboxed in terms of its interactions with the local device and is packaged with a manifest which describes those interactions. The app needs to be aware of network connectivity status and its work on the network is done asynchronously to preserve the user experience. The app is packaged and deployed to a Marketplace which the user browses to find the app, read reviews, perhaps purchase it and then install it and receive updates over time.
Quite a lot of those statements are as true of a Windows 8 Metro style app as they are for a Windows Phone app and so a Windows Phone app developer already has a good head start when it comes to building Metro style apps for Windows 8.
With that in mind, we thought that we’d put on an event on the weekend of the 15th/16th of June in London to help developers with a Windows Phone app in Marketplace begin the process of looking at Windows 8 and whether they can get a quick win by bringing their Phone application onto Windows.
The idea is that we provide a space where developers can get together over 2 days and take the time out to look at what it means to take their app from Windows Phone to Windows 8.
Kicking off on Saturday 16th June at 10am, we’ll have plenty of power sockets, WiFi, whiteboards, food, drink and prizes and some quiet space that you can work in. We’ve also people on hand with Windows Phone and Windows 8 experience to help you along the way.
There will be an attendee-voted schedule of talks but we’ll keep these out of your way if you just want to get on and code. We’ll also provide information around submitting your app to the Windows Store (details here).
If you have a Windows Phone app in Marketplace, now’s a great time to look at getting it onto Windows 8. Sign up. Bring your laptop. Bring your app. Bring Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11. We’ll do our best to help you get your app onto Windows 8.
Day 1 Saturday 16th June 10am – 9pm Day 2 Sunday 17th June 10am – 4pm
Day 1 Saturday 16th June 10am – 9pm
Day 2 Sunday 17th June 10am – 4pm
Click here for more details and to register for the event
Did you hear the latest news about Windows Azure?
We have just unveiled the biggest update to Windows Azure since its release, including new Windows Azure services: Web Sites, Virtual Machines, and Media Services! We have continued to focus on open source development tools and technologies, even enabling Linux to run on the Windows Azure Platform.
We invite you to try our cloud platform for the first time, or give it a second look if you have tried it before.
Ready for your hands-on experience? Try our newest services now:
Web Sites TRY NOW
Get started for free using shared instances and scale as you go using reserved instances for greater isolation and performance. Ten shared-instance websites are free for one year, and any reserved instances that you use are significantly discounted during preview. Please click here for full details.
Virtual Machines & Virtual Network TRY NOW
Virtual Machines gives you application mobility so you can move your existing applications back and forth between on-premises and the cloud. Then, create your own virtual private network (VPN) in Windows Azure and securely connect your VMs to on-premises infrastructure. Virtual Network is available at no charge during preview, while Virtual Machines is significantly discounted off of our current compute rates during preview. Please click here for full details.
Media Services TRY NOW
Media Services offers the flexibility, scalability, and reliability of a cloud service to handle high-quality media experiences for a global audience. Media Services is free during preview, but is limited to 1 terabyte of data processing per month. Please click here for full details.
In addition to these new features, we are previewing an updated and streamlined HTML5-based Management Portal, which you can access from multiple platforms, browsers, and devices.
To get all of the news on the latest release of Windows Azure, visit the Windows Azure blog—and give us your feedback. To see Windows Azure in action, watch Scott Guthrie’s keynote address from the Meet Windows Azure Event.
The following new Windows Azure services are also available:
· Locally Redundant Storage. By default, storage accounts are set up to be geographically redundant. Customers that do not require this additional level of durability now can turn off Geo Redundancy and obtain significant savings (for example, a savings of over 25% based on our standard Pay-As-You-Go rates). Locally Redundant Storage is still highly durable, with multiple replicas stored within the same sub-region.
· SQL Reporting. SQL Reporting is a new business intelligence service that allows you to publish reports to the cloud or embed reports directly within on-premises applications. The service will be offered at no charge for billing periods beginning prior to August 1, 2012. Thereafter, there will be a charge per hour per reporting instance. Each reporting-instance hour enables a customer to generate up to 200 reports. Please click here to view the standard Pay-As-You-Go rates for SQL Reporting.
For full details on pricing of all our services, visit our new Pricing Overview webpage,.
Learn Windows Azure at TechEd Europe 2012
Watch Live Online, June 26
Windows Azure DevCamps
For all of you who have asked what Windows 8 devices will be available later this year? Here is a quick run down on Windows 8 devices from the Computex, as you may be aware from the press announcements Intel made the statement that more than 20 Windows 8 tablets with Intel innards are on the way, meaning these are new slates from Acer, ASUS and Samsung here are some of the models which were on display at Computex and reviews via the verge and engadget.
Samsung teases Series 5 Hybrid PC, a Windows 8 tablet with magnetic keyboard dock and pen support (update: hands-on photos)
The Hybrid is rated for 10 hours of battery life and has a pair of 2- and 8-megapixel cameras. It also supports pen input, and will come bundled with the same S-Pen and S-Memo software used on the Galaxy Note 10.1 (but modified for Windows, of course). This might be a good time to clarify that unlike the 10.1 (or any other Galaxy Tab, for that matter), this is not an ARM-based slate, but rather, an X86 PC.
Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch hands-on
Samsung Series 5 Ultra Convertible hands-on
ASUS outs Tablet 600, a Transformer-like Slate running Windows RT
Like any Android-powered Transformer, this one packs a quad-core Tegra 3 chip, except it has twice the RAM (2GB). At the center of it all is a 10.1-inch (1366 x 768) IPS+ display with viewing angles similar to what you'll find on current Transformer tablets. Around back, it has an auto-focusing 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash, complemented by a 2-megapixel shooter up front. Other specs include WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and your usual array of sensors, including GPS, a gyroscope, e-compass and, last but not least, NFC
ASUS reveals TAICHI convertible notebook / tablet with dual 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch displays It http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/04/asus-taichi-n-trig-duosense-pen/
Two displays in one tablet? Yes you can. ASUS' new TAICHI series packs displays on both the front and the rear, letting you use the device in a variety of configurations. In 'notebook' mode, you can use TAICHI with a backlit QWERTY keyboard and trackpad. Once you close the lid, however, it's stylus time. TAICHI includes Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 processors, 4 gigs of RAM, SSD storage, dual-band 802.11n WiFi, FHD/Super IPS+ displays and, naturally, dual cameras. Despite the display duo, both the 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch configurations are reportedly as thin and light as the Zenbook line. Both variants will offer 1920 x 1080 pixels on each side, and displays can be used independently, so you can even share the device with a friend -- with completely different content on each LCD.
Asus Transformer AiO dual-boots Windows 8 and Android 4.0 (hands-on video)
ASUS announces line of Transformer Books, laptops with detachable touchscreens
In addition to various Windows 8 tablets and a dual-booting all-in-one, ASUS announced the Transformer Book, a line of notebooks with detachable touch screens that can function as tablets -- not ARM-based tablets, mind you, but full-blown x86 slates. Look no further than the large screen sizes: 11.6, 13 and 14 inches. As mentioned, they pack laptop-grade chips to match, including a Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor, backed by discrete graphics. Storage options include SSDs and traditional hard drives, and we're told these lappies can accommodate up to 4GB of RAM.
MSI Slider S20 to make Intel's convertible 'Letexo' ultrabook concept a reality. MSI unwraps Slider S20 hybrid tablet with Windows 8 (hands-on)
S20 variant with a properly speedy low-voltage Ivy Bridge chip as well as 4GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI and USB 3.0. Our friends at Engadget Spanish got an early look and found the tablet a bit chunky with a so-so display, but also thought that it looked like a "robust" design. Check our overseas companions' first impressions for more, and know that the Slider S20 is expected to reach Europe in September at €899 ($1,121) in its full Ivy Bridge glory along with a lower-powered model at €799 ($996).
MSI Slider S20
There's a Transformer-style tablet with detachable keyboard dock
Acer unveils 11.6-inch Iconia W700, 10.1-inch W510 Windows 8 tablets (update: hands-on pictures and video) http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/03/acer-iconia-w700-w510-windows-8/
That first flavor packs a relatively massive 11.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) display with touch support for up to 10 fingers, and ships with a cradle that positions the device at 70 degrees for landscape viewing or 20 degrees for touch use. It offers more than 8 hours of battery life and also includes a trio of USB 3.0 ports, along with Dolby Home Theater for enhanced audio. Acer appears to be marketing the W700 as a "desktop replacement" when paired with a cradle and keyboard. Unlike the W510, the dock is only used to hold and position the device -- you'll need to use Bluetooth to add an external keyboard. The tablet includes a bevy of connectivity options, including Thunderbolt, micro HDMI, USB 3.0 and a power jack on the left side, a pair of red-grilled speakers on the bottom, and a power button, headphone jack and volume rocker on the right. There's also a five-megapixel autofocus camera and microphone on the rear, and a Windows key and front-facing camera flanking the large, high-res display.
Acer introduces Aspire S7 Windows 8 touchscreen ultrabooks
The 1080p touchscreen laptop is coming in two sizes — 13.3 and 11.6 inches — and Acer is quoting 12 and 9 hours of battery life, respectively. Other details are light, but Acer is adding a glossy layer of glass to the outside of the 13.3-inch machine’s aluminum lid. It seems like the company is tempting fate a little by putting glass on the laptop's exterior, but the "trendy and elegant appearance" must be worth it
Acer introduces Windows 8 all-in-one U Series at Computex 2012 http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/03/acer-announces-windows-8-all-in-one-u-series-at-computex-2012/
Acer just introduced two Windows 8-equipped U Series all-in-one desktops here at Computer 2012 in Taipei -- the 27-inch Aspire 7600U and 23-inch Aspire 5600U. The 7600U features a 64-point capacitive multitouch tilt and swivel display and is only 3.5cm (1.38 inches) thick, while the 5600U is billed as "the thinnest AIO available" (no numbers specified). Both system feature HD visuals and Dolby Home Theater Surround sound, but the company isn't ready to share any other details on specs.
A1.5GHz dual-core APQ8060A with 2GB of RAM
Sony VAIO T ultrabook
Sony's 13-inch VAIO T ultrabook, on sale today
Do you want to provide your students and educators with the latest and greatest developer and platform software tools?
Have you heard of DreamSpark?
Microsoft DreamSpark provides no-cost access to Microsoft designer and development tools for verified students and educators around the world, to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities. Academic subscription volume licensing customers receive an online subscription to DreamSpark at no additional cost for instructional use by their teachers and students organization-wide in their classrooms and labs. In addition, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) departments in higher education institutions may qualify for an online DreamSpark Premium subscription at no additional cost as a benefit of their Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) or Open Value Subscription – Education Solutions (OVS-ES).
What are the benefits of the DreamSpark program?
Much more than a software subscription, membership includes:
1. DreamSpark software subscription that includes Microsoft platform, server and developer tools software as well as betas, new releases and tech support.
2. Special license rights allowing an organization or department to install DreamSpark software on any number of departmental lab machines for instructional and research purposes.
3. The ability for students taking at least one credit course offered by the member organization or department to install the software on their personal machines for use in coursework and personal development projects.
4. Instant online access to all DreamSpark content.
5. No-charge access to e-academy’s License Management System (ELMS) for automated distribution of software and product keys to eligible users via the Web.
Why is DreamSpark being offered to Academic VL Subscription customers?
Microsoft believes in the power of technology to transform education, foster local innovation and enable jobs and economic growth for everyone. Microsoft DreamSpark is just another way of helping this next generation of young leaders seize the opportunity to harness the transformative magic of software. By offering DreamSpark with a VL subscription agreement, we provide customers with a cost-effective way to get all of Microsoft’s productivity, collaboration, and developer tools under a single agreement.
Do those (STEM) departments have rights *anyway* to Dreamspark Premium as a result of our Campus/EES Agreement and so need not pay a further subscription?
All Campus/EES Agreement customers that qualify as STEM department get a DS Premium subscription at no additional cost. This is a benefit of the agreement. You will need to give them the appropriate promo code. If you have more than one STEM department, they can use the same promo code to enroll each department in a subscription.
If you have two classes of department/faculty - STEM and other. What rights do they have, flowing from the University's Campus/EES Agreement?
STEM department can avail of the DS Premium at no cost. The rest of the institution can get the DreamSpark (standard) subscription again as a benefit of their Campus/EES Agreement. The promo code is available in the Agreement welcome letter sent from your LAR.
Do all departments have rights to DS Premium?
No, only ALL STEM departments
Do all departments have right to DreamSpark?
Who has rights to DreamSpark Premium?
Only STEM departments have rights to DS Premium
Can I provide a single Institutional Download site for all educators and Students?
Just to stress you can have a single ELMS (Institutional online store) and set up different user groups per department to control software access, i.e. the whole institution gets DS software, the STEM department get the DS Premium product catalogue. The license admin for the institution can give admin accounts to each department if needed. Two things to keep in mind: each admin must enroll in a subscription with the promo code to get the account, or they will not have access to MSDN Subscription Portal which is the only place where you can get Windows bits and keys for labs. And you will not be able to get reporting at a department level. Only the institution all up so you may need to appoint/make responsible a member of staff as a institutional over license manager.
How does this benefit my students?
With the DreamSpark Membership, your students get the professional-level developer and designer tools they would use to build real sites, apps, and games for Xbox Live®/360®, Kinect™, Microsoft Windows® Phone, and more. Students get a head start on a career, or do better in class. Tomorrow’s tech superstars can be found in dorm rooms and in Microsoft tech clubs on campuses around the world. They will create thousands of next-gen apps, tools, and games. That’s why we’re giving students and institutions the top development and design tools to be used for instructional use at no charge. 6. My institution has an academic VL agreement.
How do I take advantage of the online subscription of DreamSpark?
1. New customers signing any of our academic VL subscription agreements will receive information about how to activate their online subscription of DreamSpark in their volume licensing program welcome letter.
2. Existing subscription customers have received notification about DreamSpark and information about how to transition from their current MSDNAA membership to a new DreamSpark membership at their next renewal. There is no impact to their existing membership. For any questions about your existing subscription or this transition, please contact: www.dreamspark.com/Support/RSC
How do my STEM departments take advantage of an online subscription of DreamSpark Premium?
STEM departments covered with an academic VL subscription agreement are eligible to receive a subscription to DreamSpark Premium at no additional cost. If you believe your department is eligible, talk to your reseller about how to activate your subscription.
What are the allowed uses of DreamSpark subscription software?
Software acquired through the DreamSpark subscription may be used by your institution’s students, faculty, or staff:
1.To develop, support, conduct, or take courses, labs, or programs offered by the institution
2. in non-commercial research on behalf of the institution
3. or to design, develop, test, and demonstrate software programs for the above purposes
What are the restrictions on use of the software?
DreamSpark software may not be used for commercial purposes or to develop or maintain the institution’s own administrative or IT systems.
What are the restrictions around the use of the Windows operating system license available through DreamSpark Premium?
The Windows operating system license available through DreamSpark Premium is an upgrade license and may only be installed on a device that already has a Windows Operating system installed on it. It may be installed on a “naked PC” only if the device is owned or leased by the institution and the device will at all times remain physically located in the labs operated by the STEM department with a DreamSpark Premium subscription.
Can students continue using the software upon graduation?
The institution must stop providing DreamSpark subscription benefits to students, faculty, or staff when they cease being eligible, per the use rights. However, students who have received software under the DreamSpark subscription may continue to use the software when they are no longer students (either upon graduation or leaving the school)
Full Customer FAQ which you can download and read through
With a FREE Apphub account for every DreamSpark subscriber and XNA Game Studio, included as part of the Windows Phone Developer tools, you can create games for Windows, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone. Follow these step-by-step instructions for getting access to all of the dev tools you need to get started. http://bit.ly/p303vU
Learn how to build great games for Windows Phone with XNA Game Studio. Build a game in minutes with the power of the XNA Framework and Content Pipeline. http://channel9.msdn.com/events/BUILD/BUILD2011/APP-791T
Get started developing a game
Follow the Game Development tutorial. http://bit.ly/JP9qJF
Stay up on the latest in the industry
The International Game Developers Association http://www.igda.org/
TIGA is the non-profit trade association representing the UK's games industry. Our members include independent games developers, in-house publisher-owned developers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses, universities, individuals and students. TIGA's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We do this through Government lobbying and maintain a voice in the corridors of power at both the Westminister and Scottish parliaments http://www.tiga.org
Teaching Material and Resources
Educator and Teacher FREE - Curricula Resources
If you are interested in learning more about how to build a private cloud using System Center 2012 can now go through fourteen guided labs that show the main features and describe the components that make up a Microsoft private cloud. The labs are accessible from a web browser, with no local software installation required. A 150-page comprehensive private cloud evaluation guide is also included.
Register to access fourteen interactive labs and gain hands-on experience with the Microsoft private cloud.
Register to receive 3 emails with resources for further guidance
Choose from 14 guided labs and experience the Microsoft private cloud right in your browser window
Come back at any time to continue working through the labs
GET STARTED NOW
A Microsoft private cloud dramatically changes the way your business produces and consumes IT services by creating a layer of abstraction over your pooled IT resources. This allows your datacenter to offer true infrastructure service capability as well as optimally managed application services.
Microsoft private cloud solutions are built on System Center and Windows Server.
System Center 2012 empowers you with a common management toolset for your private and public cloud applications and services. System Center helps you confidently deliver IT as a Service for your business.
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (optional download) will give you improved powerful virtualization capabilities that can transform how you deliver IT services to your end users and enable you to lay the foundation of a private cloud infrastructure.
Need more information? See the product details page.
Interested in a Microsoft private cloud software download evaluation? Click here to get started.
We’re excited to announce that the Windows 8 Release Preview and the new developer tools are available to download now.
Check out the Building Windows 8 blog post about the release and review these key resources for developers:
· Hundreds of new and updated design resources, technical articles, and samples for Metro style app development visit the Windows Dev Center:
· Take a look at Windows 8 app developer blog:“What’s changed for app developers since Consumer Preview” for an overview of what’s new in Visual Studio, the platform, and the Dev Center and how to get your existing apps up and running on the Release Preview.
· Windows Store for developers blog “Changes to the Store in Release Preview”.
Over the past few weeks we have been travelling across the country to run Windows 8 events.
So Get started building Windows 8 Apps
1. Apply to join our UK Windows 8 for Application Developer LinkedIn Group.
2. We will reply asking you for some details of what it is you are building and then admit you into the group.
3. You build a great app following the guidance that we have online and which meets the Store certification requirements.
4. We will use the LinkedIn Group to invite you to an Application Excellence Lab at Microsoft in Reading where you’ll work with an engineer to ensure certification requirements are being met and that the app is providing a great experience to the user.
5. You leave the lab with a registration code that lets you begin the app submission process at the Windows Store
Getting Started building an App
Here are some recommended links to help with planning & designing Metro style apps…
· Watch 8 traits of great Metro style apps session from Build, to understand the key platform features and Metro design principles
· Read Planning Metro style apps, which walks you through the planning process to ensure your app has clear goals and a compelling “great at” statement
· If you have an existing site/app, read these design case studies to explore how to reimagine your web site or iPad app using Metro design principles
· Point your designers at the UX guidelines, checklists, PhotoShop templates etc on http://design.windows.com.
Key topics to help you design your first app are:
Grid system and app silhouette
Text and typography
Additionally there is lots of content, tools, samples and downloads on http://dev.windows.com. You can download the app samples and use the forums to ask questions.
Here are set of great Bookmarks in alphabetical order
Imagine Cup 2012 is on its way to Sydney, Australia where the best of the best will come together to find out who will claim this year’s cup. National finals are taking place now around the world as the most elite contenders are selected to compete on-site at the worldwide finals in July. Check out the Imagine Cup blog to find out which teams have advanced to the finals, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news about which teams will take home the coveted Imagine Cup this year! Be sure to also sign up for news on next year’s elite Imagine Cup competition.
The F# for Education and Innovation workshop will be held at the University of Pisa on June 28, 2012. The free, one-day workshop provides a forum for attendees to learn and explore the use of F# 3.0 for education, research, and industry. Don Syme, from Microsoft Research Cambridge, will present the keynote session. The workshop will highlight the latest developments for information-rich programming in F# 3.0, delivered through Microsoft Visual Studio 11 and Try F#. The workshop is preceded by a free F# tutorial session on June 27. If you are interested in attending this workshop, please register here F# for Education and Innovation Workshop