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!
A large number of the UK’s Universities and colleges have been using XNA since 2004 within gaming course curricula on Windows, XBox and Windows Phone. We have a huge set of Free curricula resources for XNA game development at http://www.microsoft.com/faculty
XNA over the last 7 years has provide a number of students and indie game developers with an impressive content pipeline, game assets, load functionality, animation, math, sound and user input tracking via gamepad, mouse, keyboard and touch with game logic organized in a straightforward game loop architecture, more recently we have also added curricula for XNA and Kinect.
Within education XNA has been a huge driver for a number of students and developers who wanted to learn how to create games. XNA along with Visual Studio made it as easy as File –> New –> XNA Game Studio Project and you were off developing.
Since Windows 8 is built on the strong foundation of Windows 7, any app built for Windows will run in the Windows 8 desktop environment. This includes apps based on XNA, Win32, .NET, WPF, Silverlight, etc.
Windows 8 also introduces a new type of app called a Metro Style App for developers that wish to make their app available in the Windows 8 Store, for free or for sale. Using Visual Studio 2012, you have a language choice of C++, XAML with C#, VB or C++, or HTML5/JS to create a Metro Style App.
Using the XNA Framework is not a choice for building a Metro Style App. Official Microsoft guidance on game development is documented here.
Windows 8 allows you too build highly immersive games using HTML5/JS, XAML/C#, XAML/VB or C++ and DirectX.
However a number of you have already stressed too me, that you and your students have been developing with XNA and have an existing code base, or would like to import existing XNA games too Windows 8 your only option it would seem is running as a desktop app.
This is where MonoGame comes in…
MonoGame is an Open Source implementation of the Microsoft XNA 4 Framework. The goal is to allow XNA developers on Windows & Windows Phone to port their games to the iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Linux with both PlayStation Suite and Windows 8 support currently under development.
NOTE : This project is not linked with Microsoft or any of it subsidiaries. It is a non-profit, open source project. MonoGame is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)
NOTE : This project is not linked with Microsoft or any of it subsidiaries. It is a non-profit, open source project. MonoGame is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)
MonoGame provides a cross platform XNA Framework implementation for XNA developers who want to take their code to non-Microsoft platforms as well as the ability, to target Windows 8.
MonoGame for Windows 8 you can take your XNA code and with a recompile and some additional features too simply create a Metro Style App for example Armed within the Windows Store uses MonoGame. I have too stress MonoGame is still under development and so any use of it should come with a note of advice to stay on top of that effort.
In order to provide a complete implementation of XNA on Windows 8, MonoGame leverages SharpDX , an open-source project delivering the full DirectX API for managed code (.NET) and Windows 8 (WinRT). SharpDX is an open-source project, free of charge available under the following MIT License.
Since its introduction in 2001, students and educators around the world have utilized DreamSpark to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities. This software equips them with the tools they need to succeed during their academic experience and the skills they will need after graduation.
· Microsoft works with educators, institutions and the academic community worldwide to expand opportunities for students and to encourage the development of a skilled workforce.
· Microsoft is committed to providing students with access to programs and software – the tools they need to help them succeed in technology and design fields.
· 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.
Examples of how DreamSpark might be used by educators:
Educators have access to the top technical development and design products on the market just like their students. Teachers can teach classes on web development using Expression Studio.
Students today get excited about seeing technology in action, and not just simply learning the fundamentals. With access to products like XNA and Visual Studio, educators can build exciting applications that demonstrate the power of technology.
Q. What is Microsoft DreamSpark™?
A. Microsoft DreamSpark ™ is a program that provides no-cost access to Microsoft designer and development tools for verified students around the world, to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities. This program equips tomorrow’s developers with the professional tools to inspire and create today.
The program has two primary goals:
Q. What is DreamSpark Premium?
A. Advanced software applications can take years to develop, a costly investment that is often reflected in the purchase price. Microsoft makes these highly desired, advanced programs available to students far below the retail cost of any one program in the list. With this subscription, students can access a free online portal through e-academy that provides them with instant and easy access to all DreamSpark titles while also ensuring that institutions will not need to add internal resources or overhead to manage the DreamSpark software program.
Q: What are the benefits of the DreamSpark program?
A: Much more than a software subscription, membership includes:
Q: What happened to Developer AA?
A: Developer AA isn’t gone—it’s simply been renamed to DreamSpark Premium. All of the titles that were previously available to you are still available. If your school had a Developer AA subscription through MSDNAA, you’ll continue to access software titles as you did before.
Q: What happened to Designer AA?
A: Helping students who want to be designers is critical, but we wanted to find a way to make this easier for institutions, so we have changed up the program. Instead of Designer AA membership, institutions can purchase a new DreamSpark membership that gives them access to all of Microsoft’s development and designer tools. If you currently have a Designer AA membership, don’t worry. You can continue to enjoy those benefits until your membership expires. When it’s time for you to renew, we’ll work with you to get you set up with a new DreamSpark membership.
Q: What software will be included in the DreamSpark program?
Software for Production Use
Developer & Design Tools
Visual Studio Professional
Visual Studio Premium
Visual Studio Ultimate
Q: What is the benefit of the DreamSpark program for educators?
A: DreamSpark will give educators a chance to learn new technologies and develop courses that will excite students in the classroom. It will also help educators expand their personal and professional portfolios and enhance classroom objectives.
Q: Why do educators need free developer and design tools?
A: By providing the latest professional developer, design, and gaming software to educators at no charge, educators will have a unique opportunity to motivate and engage students and support those that wish to pursue a career in programming or design after graduation
Q: What will students be able to do with this software?
A: Students using these tools will be limited only by their own imaginations and time. Use of developer tools in engineering, math, science and technology activities allow students to program everything from a cell phone to a robot or to create their own Web page. Students will also be able to invent compelling new gaming content and make their dream game a reality by porting their creations to their Xbox 360 console. Design tools allow students to vividly bring their creative visions to life in vibrant new Web site designs and more effective digital content, including animation, imagery and photography. And platform offerings deliver a security-enhanced and reliable environment, reliable and manageable environment for students to more quickly turn ideas into reality.
Q. When and where will Microsoft DreamSpark be available? A. Today, Microsoft DreamSpark is available to university students in 137 countries.
Q: How do students download software?
A: Visit www.dreamspark.com and follow the three steps to get verified located on the home page.
Q. Is this program available to ALL students? What are the limitations?
A. Yes. The focus of the program is technical students, but it is open to anyone looking to explore the possibilities of Microsoft’s development and design tools. The only limitation is students are only licensed for learning and research.
A: Providing software by download does not involve the production costs of creating physical copies, so it works well with software being provided at no charge.
Q. How many students total will this offer be available to eventually and how did you come up with this number?
A. According to UNESCO, there are more than one billion university and high school students in the world today.
A: Providing software by download does not involve the production costs of creating physical copies, so it works well with software being provided at no charge. Microsoft is not trying to prevent non-broadband students from receiving the software. On the contrary, we hope to eventually provide this no-charge software benefit to all students, in all countries. It will take a concerted, cooperative effort on the part of both Microsoft and academic institutions to connect to areas without existing infrastructure of student databases and server technologies.
Q: Why are you giving software away?
A: In giving tech tools away without charge to students around the world, Microsoft is providing future developers and designers with professional-grade tools to create and expand their skills. We believe that it is very important to equip students with tools that will help to foster their education in technology. Such tools would typically be beyond the reach of these students even at very low prices.
Q. What is the commercial value of this software?
A. This software is being provided to students for non-commercial use in particular academic activities. Pricing for commercial uses varies by channel and the associated rights, but products for non-academic use by non-students would typically be hundreds of dollars or more.
Student Identity Verification
A: Microsoft verifies students by using various reputable student databases to confirm student identities. Students will choose the identity provider that maintains the database (i.e. their school, organization, or other academic-based group) that will confirm their student status. The Microsoft system will connect with the identity provider, and the student will supply his or her credentials to the identity provider for verification. Microsoft will then receive confirmation from the identity provider as to whether the student is a current student.
Q: If students are receiving the full professional software versions, then can’t professionals just find a college student to obtain the software license from?
A: All students receiving free software through this program will need to accept an end user license agreement (EULA) that specifies that the software will only be used by the student for non-commercial use to support and advance their STEM-D learning and skills. Students will only have rights to one single-user license per verified identity. If a student were to obtain a valid single-user license and give that license to a non-student that would be in violation of the EULA and the student would no longer be eligible to continue to use the software or to obtain other software under the program.
A: The sign-in process allows students to get verified initially once and bypass the verification step for future visits to DreamSpark. Once verification is completed and if they are signed in, students will be brought directly to the download page. All students will keep their eligibility for 12 months and will have the option to renew after 12 months.
A: Microsoft is not collecting any student information from third-party identity provider databases, other than binary notification of whether the person is a student or not. When students seek to download the software, they will be asked to verify their student status with a verification source of their choice, and the verification source will request the student’s credentials in order to verify their student status. The credentials students provide to the verification source are not viewed or tracked by Microsoft – that is, the student is verified externally by their chosen verification method and not by Microsoft, and any exchange of sensitive credentials with the verification source will be between the student and the verification source. Microsoft will store the general location of students, which assists with download bandwidth efficiencies.
Q: Is there an approved list of universities? Are only students enrolled in brick and mortar universities included or are online students as well? (i.e. what about 2-year or community colleges)
A: As this is a cooperative effort with local communities, we are working with local entities within each country to determine who the universities are.
Q: Are only undergraduates qualified or can graduate students download DreamSpark?
A: Graduate students are welcome to participate.
A: This program is designed to give students Microsoft technology tools at no charge as long as their student status can be verified. University administrators hold the keys to enable verification. If administrators are willing to cooperate and enable their students to verify themselves against the university database, universities will be able to equip them with free professional-level tools.
A: This benefit is available to all students around the world. However, this program requires all students to have their status verified by an authorized verification source. Academic institutions or governments may already have all the requirements necessary to verify their students. Microsoft can help prepare student databases to use the program. Once institutions determine they have a reliable database of student information, we can help them become an identity provider (IDP).
A: Microsoft is pleased to be able to use Shibboleth, an open source authentication and authorization infrastructure product, as one solution for verifying students so they can receive Microsoft DreamSpark program benefits. Shibboleth is an existing middleware solution that is widely used by universities, and federations using Shibboleth software exist in many countries. Its use provides access to a network of institutions and students, enabling immediate connection to over 10 million students, with a path for other academic institutions to sign up. Shibboleth also enables sites to manage the authorization decisions permitting the sharing of specific information between an identity provider database and an external party (such as Microsoft) – such as binary notification of whether the site user is a student or not, without releasing other student information.
A: Microsoft is putting developer and design software in the hands of verified students to support and advance their learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities. The student developer population has been growing recently, with many developers coming from fields of study other than computer science. Even non-technical majors can benefit from using these products. We want students to grow their capabilities by providing them with developer and designer tools that expand the limits of their imagination. We’re putting tools in the hands of students that they would typically not be able to afford.
A: This program targets students and eduators, who represent a fraction of all software developers and designers. Software under this program is only available for non-commercial use to support and advance students’ academic work involving science, technology, engineering, math and technical design activities.
Q: Are you embracing the “free software” model by offering development and design tools to students at no cost? Will you make it free for all?
A: Our design, development and platform tools offer significant benefits for developers, customers and partners alike. Our goal with Microsoft DreamSpark is to ensure that today’s students have even greater access to the tools they need to succeed in their studies and prepare themselves for today’s increasingly competitive business world.
Q: Is this just a ploy to keep up/compete with open source proliferation in education?
A: No, Microsoft is not offering students free access to developer and design tools to compete against open source software. This program is targeted specifically at students to provide them with access to the software tools used in business today and help extend the skills of the next generation of developers and designers. The company has and will continue to make strategic bets on the Windows platform while continuing to support interop and other open source initiatives and partnerships.
Microsoft products offer tremendous value that is perceived by the marketplace and by our customers.
Microsoft is a platform company committed to building technologies that empower communities of developers and partners to deliver compelling software solutions to customers. This approach is reflected in the size and health of the technology ecosystem in which Microsoft participates, including millions of developers around the world who have created a vast array of applications using Microsoft platform technologies such as Microsoft Windows, Windows Live, Microsoft Office, .NET platform, Microsoft Windows Server, and Microsoft Xbox. Microsoft’s open source strategy is focused on helping customers and partners be successful in today's heterogeneous technology world. This includes increasing opportunities for developers to learn and create across both community-oriented open source and traditional commercial approaches to software development.
Q: Is this the first step in Microsoft lowering its prices (possibly even free) to compete against open source? What are the next products that might be included in this program?
A: Microsoft products offer tremendous value that is recognized by the marketplace and by our customers. This program is targeted specifically at students in connection with their academic studies to help prepare them as the next generation of developers and designers. DreamSpark is the latest in a series of offerings for students just as MSDNAA (Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance), Imagine Cup, and other offerings Microsoft provides to academia. Additional developer tools may be made available to students in the future under this same program, but we do not foresee that other major customer groups or products will be significantly impacted by this program.
Q: Do any other companies offer a free software package like this? A: Yes, other software vendors like Adobe and IBM have offers in market to make software available to students at low costs or no charge. However, we believe that Microsoft is leading the way in providing such a comprehensive offering available to the student market at no charge.
So if your interested in Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi sign up to the Windows Developer Program for IoT.
Microsoft announced the Windows Developer Program for IoT and put Windows on the Intel Galileo board. Today Windows gets even better for IoT and Maker scenarios by supporting makers on a multitude of other devices.
It's pretty clear that the way to go with Windows 10 from a developer's perspective is Universal Apps allowing you to run an app on a 88inch surface hub, windows phone or even IoT device.
One of the most popular question I am getting at present is how to get started or improve my knowledge of Unity the easy answer is simply keep building and playing?
However here some quick guides and links to get you started no matter what level of experience you have.
This list has been a collation of resources from the community and tips and tricks so thanks to Simon Jackson and the Windows Games Ambassadors who have been helping me with www.unityportinguk.com and collating and sharing these great resources with the attendees.
Tools for Visual Programming:
This week I have been at Campus Party in the TheO2 which is pretty specular location for any event. During the week I have been discussing apps and game development with 1000s of students. One of the most popular questions I have had was what are the to main 8.1 changes? This lead into lots of discussions around the fact that the snap view is optional and the default view is 500px. The fact that there are 2 more tiles sizes, and the search capability is in app search and much smarter and finally there are a number of new controls.
So here a quick summary of all the facts and resources if you have questions about any of the above.
· Windows 8.1 Preview http://windows.microsoft.com/preview
· Windows 8.1 Feature Guide http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/apps/bg182410
· Windows 8.1 UX/UI http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/bg182890.aspx
· Windows 8 UX Design Jump Start (MVA) http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/windows-8-ux-design-jump-start
· For further design information http://design.windows.com
Some useful sessions to watch from Build.
· Designing and Building User Interfaces for Windows - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/2-168
· Upgrading Windows 8 Apps to Windows 8.1 - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/3-077
· Beautiful Apps at Any Size on Any Screen - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/2-150
· What's New in XAML - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/2-164
· What's New in WinJS - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/2-165
· Building Apps that Work Together - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/2-010
· Building Apps That Integrate with People and Events - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/3-007
· Design and Build a Great Search Experience in Your App - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/3-144
· Alive with Activity: Tiles, Notifications, and Background Tasks - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/3-159
· Monetization Opportunities for Windows Store Apps in Windows 8.1 - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/3-121
· First Impressions Matter: Delighting Your User from the Moment They Click “Buy" - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/2-095
Techila is a middleware solution for High Performance Computing that enables existing applications to utilize more computing capacity. I believe that the key problem in business and operational computing is the lack of application performance. There are enormous amounts of computing capacity available using Windows Azure cloud service.
Techila allows applications to utilise all available computing capacity. To try demonstrate this a great example of the benefits of Techila and the Windows Azure with Techila integration is a case study, which Techila did with a leading cancer researcher. The researchers in question had a project, which would have taken 15 years. He had developed his research application in MATLAB. He used the Windows Azure with Techila integration to boost the performance of his application with the combined power of 1200 Windows Azure instances. This allowed him to complete the project in 4,5 days! Being able to do something in 4,5 days, which usually takes 15 years gives a real competitive advantage.
Techila develop the solution in close co-operation with end-users and system administrators from the very beginning.
Techila has selected Pharma, Economics/ Financial, and Universities/ Academia as the key markets because of the fact that they are strong on Techila's home market, Finland. But I want to emphasize that unlike many other distributed computing solutions, Techila is a fully horizontal middleware, which can be used in any segment and which can increase the performance of any application: The code can be a MATLAB application, or it can be R (or C/C++, Java, Perl, Python, Fortran,...) They also offer an open API, which can be used to connect any ISV application (3DSMax, SAS, COMSOL, Sungard,...) to the Windows Azure capacity.
Also please find below a demo of run a 2-day long computation in a couple of minutes using 500 Azure instances using MATLAB:
Techila with R language can be found here:
Are you are a mobile developer and want to extend your reach and your customer base?
Do you want to make your mobile app available on more stores?
Are using open source technologies?
Well lets look at the opportunity of using open source technologies to build apps for Windows Phone and the Windows Store (Windows 8)
Windows has always been a great playground for developers and many open source technologies already support Windows devices. MS Open Tech is working closely with the open source communities interested in cross platform development including engagement with Web and C++ open source communities to enable a wide range of popular open source frameworks on Windows devices.
Open source and the Windows Stores and Windows Phone 8
To learn details on the use of open source licenses for Windows Store apps, you can read the App Developer Agreement. For Windows Phone store, read the App Provider Agreement.
Both the Windows dev center and Windows Phone dev center provide extensive details and instructions on what is required to build apps for Windows devices. In a nutshell, you need to have Visual Studio, which runs on Windows. You can build and publish apps to both stores using the free version of Visual Studio.
If you are developing on a Mac, here are some interesting pointers for you in order to set things up to build apps for Windows devices on your Mac:
If you are familiar with Android or iOS development, and not with Windows or Windows Phone dev, then we recommend looking into the following documentation that has extensive information adapted to your background:
For Windows Phone apps
Solutions exist to help developers build apps across mobile devices running various operating systems. There are different approaches addressing different specific needs. Lots of these solutions are open source like Rhodes from RhoMobile, Appcelerator Titanium, Xamarin or Apache Cordova (a.k.a. PhoneGap), and happen to support Windows devices.
With Xamarin for example, C# developers can build apps for iOS, Android, and Windows devices with a single code base.
MS Open Tech has worked closely with these communities to enable these frameworks on Windows Phone and Windows Store apps which both provide native support for C++ development.
jQuery now fully supports WinRT (the Windows Runtime, powering Windows Store apps), allowing web developers to build Windows 8 apps reusing their existing code and skills. As a direct result from this work, web developers can also use other frameworks that are based on jQuery to build Windows Store apps. You can learn more about what it took to make jQuery support WinRT on this Nettuts tutorial
These other frameworks include
Debugging is another area that is pretty critical for developers and while native development tools (Visual Studio for both Windows and Windows Phone apps) offer extensive tooling, there are some gaps. One of the few example is the missing support for remote DOM inspection of HTML5 code running on an actual Windows Phone 8 device. MS Open Tech filled this gap, contributing to the project weinre, enabling it on Internet Explorer 10 and allowing remote debugging of HTML5 pages.
Most and foremost, MS Open Tech have all the info on the latest open source technologies simply visit http://msopentech.com/
The following is a quick guide on HTML5 Video and the Microsoft Media Platform, I have recently had a number of question and interest from a number of UK universities whom are looking at providing streamed media content both on and off campus.
Microsoft has developed the IE Test Drive Video Format support page to see some examples of how various codecs work across the different browsers.
Web developers are generally happy to leave their existing solution in place to play their pre-existing video/audio content using plugins. However many are now supplementing these plugins with the HTML5 Video and Audio tag if the browser is able to play their particular codec of choice natively. This is ideal as the most popular mobile platforms H.264, AAC and MP3 are generally well supported using the HTML5 video and audio tags.
The Microsoft Media Platform (MMP) frameworks are the glue that holds together individual pieces of the Microsoft end-to-end media solution.
Microsoft MMP is the the video platform that sits behind the Rugby World Cup 2011 event.
The Microsoft Media Platform: Player Framework (that is licensed for commercial use under the Microsoft Public License Ms-PL) has recently added a preview of support for HTML5 (API Documentation) that enables you as web developers to compliment the Silverlight player framework with a HTML5 video experience that enables you to reach additional mobile platforms.
There are a number of commercial solutions available that do all the work for you.
Example of these include
JW Player™ (licensed for commercial use)
SublimeVideo® (Player as a Service).
It is surprisingly easy to utilise your own video solution using the default browser controls and codecs that the browser supports. The markup below shows what you need to play a video in HTML5 with a “Fall Back” to an unlisted video on YouTube.
1. Video MIME types supported
Cross Browser HTML5 video running under IIS
Video Formats supported -
The order of your markup does matter please list them as above
Add in the MIME Types support to IIS.
Under IIS 7+ this is found under Website -> IIS -> MIME Types, and you’ll want to add:
File name extension / MIME type:
Turn off Compression under Website -> IIS -> Compression, and unchecking “Enable dynamic content compression”, and “Enable static content compression
Azure Storage Explorer also allows you to do this on individual files. of one of the following formats:
3. Byte Range Requests (seeking)
There are currently a few key areas not addressed by the current W3C Video Standard (full screen support, live streaming, real time communication, content protection, metadata and accessibility). Recently the W3C Web and TV Workshop discussed some of these areas and offered some early thinking on how they may be adopted as web standards in the future.
A real issues is the lack of a solution for live and adaptive streaming. Currently there are three proprietary solutions that support live and adaptive streaming.
Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) is currently in Draft International Standard. It looks likely that it will get W3C support if it is offered royalty free.
HTML5Labs is where Microsoft prototypes early and unstable specifications from web standards bodies such as W3C. Sharing these prototypes helps Microsoft have informed discussions with developer communities to provide better feedback on draft specifications based on this implementation experience.
On the labs site Microsoft has released a Media Capture Audio Prototype that implements the audio portion of this W3C specification. The next prototype will support Speech recognition and will implement the Microsoft proposal available on the W3C website.
If you are hosting progressive download video and audio on the web you should be looking to support HTML5 video and audio today to extend the reach of your content.
In line with the todays launch of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I have collected a set of useful resources and links
Windows 8 Consumer Preview Download
Windows 8 Consumer Preview download (web installer or ISO’s), videos, and FAQ’s.
Developer downloads for Metro style apps
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
100+ Photoshop files with common controls, shell components, tiles, icons, animation clips, color wheel references, and more.
Metro style app developer content
Windows Dev Center home
Links to Metro style app, Desktop app, Hardware, and IE development.
Metro style app development home
Links to key resources for designing, developing, and selling Metro style apps.
Product guide for developers
Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Developers.
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 principles, UX design patterns, detailed UX guidelines, downloadable design assets, assessing usability.
Selling apps in the Windows Store
Windows Store markets, developer agreements, and checklists to prepare.
Visual Studio Express and the Windows 8 SDK + extra tools and SDK’s for Metro style app development.
Metro style app samples
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 for Metro style apps covering designing, developing, and selling apps.
Blogs for developers
Building Windows 8 blog (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
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)
Explores best practices for coding and designing Metro style apps. It is written by the team of developers who are building Windows 8.
Windows Internet Explorer Engineering Team Blog.
Inside Windows Live blog
The engineering being Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive, and Windows Live.
Visual Studio Blog
The official source of product insight from the Visual Studio Engineering Team.
The Windows Blog
Consumer and general interest topics.
Social channels for developers
Twitter (Building Windows 8)
Twitter (Windows Dev Center)
Consumer Preview Newsletter
Launching with Consumer Preview
Tips, offers, and news about Windows 8 including resources for developers and businesses.
Desktop app developer/partner content
Desktop app certification requirements
Certification requirements for Windows 8 desktop apps.
Desktop App Certification Kit
The Windows 8 SDK includes the Windows App Certification Kit to test desktop apps and get them ready for certification.
Tips and fixes for common issues with desktop apps for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and software for Windows Server 8 Beta.
Compatibility of desktop apps and devices with Windows 8. Partners can add products and update compatibility status using this template.
Hardware developer/partner content
Hardware Certification Requirements
Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements and Policies
Hardware tools and certification kit
Windows Consumer Preview Kits and Tools for hardware development
Driver development documentation
Developing, testing, and deploying drivers
Hardware and driver community resources
Forums, blogs, and newsletters for the hardware and driver developer community.
We have just released a new Training & Certification Guide app into the Windows 8 store
The app is a great tool for student, educators and professionals for evaluating which technical courses and certifications should be completed to gain Microsoft Professional Certifications.
The Training and Certification Guide features an interactive chart of our technical certifications mapped by courseware and exam. Clicking on the ‘subway map’ takes a user to more information on the different portfolios—details about the training, certifications, etc. Clicking further will then take users to /learning. A breakdown of keyword guidance is also included to map keywords to our certifications.
The app also includes a ‘view as PDF’ option should users need to print pages.
Wishing you a happy professional certification journey.