• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Nokia, Microsoft and Unity are hosting a series of Unity porting days across the UK and we would love to see you there!



    Attend and receive a token for FREE registration to the Microsoft App Store!

    Over the last 12 months, Windows 8 and Windows Phone market share has increased rapidly. More and more consumers are purchasing Windows Phones and tablets and we are seeing amazing success on the Windows ecosystem from game developers with titles such as:

    • Reindeer Round-Up from Christian West – over 10,000 paid downloads in just 8 days following his port at the London Unity porting event
    • Wilson's Adventure from Richard Hawkins – getting over 148k downloads in 3 weeks since his port at the London Unity porting event

    Now it's your turn to share in the success. Bring your game along to one of our porting days and we’ll help you port your title in one day!

    Don't delay… there are just 100 places per venue on a first come, first served basis.

    Register today

    There will be hands-on advice and Unity experts to help you port your existing or new mobile games to the Windows Phone or Windows Store.

    If you don’t have the necessary hardware to port to Windows Phone or Windows Store, we have that covered! We have a number of  PC laptops running all the necessary developer tools and will provide Windows QuickStart kits for iOS developers (which will run Windows 8 Pro on your MAC OS X via Parallels Desktop 9).

    This event is for developers who have developed a title using Unity and published to iOS App Store, Google Play, Amazon, Blackberry Store or other App Stores.

    Read Windows Porting success stories here

    Interested in porting but cannot make any of the days? Click here to learn how to port your apps to Windows

    Get on the AppCampus Program

    During the day we will also give you advice on how to get onto the exclusive AppCampus Program.

    Pick your Venue

    Glasgow  - Saturday 29th March 2014 @ Digital Design Studio, The Hub, Pacific Quay,
    Glasgow, G51 1DZ

    Birmingham - Saturday 5th April 2014 @ Innovation Birmingham Ltd, Faraday Wharf, Innovation Birmingham Campus, Holt Street, Birmingham Science Park Aston, Birmingham, B7 4BB.

    Manchester - Saturday 17th May 2014 @ TechHub Manchester, 3rd Floor, Carver's Warehouse, 77 Dale Street, Manchester, M1 2HG

    London - Saturday 31st May 2014 @ Nokia UK (London), 2 Kingdom Street, W2 6BD London

    AppCampusNokia logoUnity logoMicrosoft

    Register today

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Play a part in something special – help the attempt to secure a Guinness World Record and have some fun whilst doing it



    Date for your diary: from 7pm GMT, Friday, March 14th

    Game studio Illyriad, powered by Windows Azure, are mounting an attempt on the existing Guinness World Record for the Largest Videogame Player vs Player (PvP) Battle on Friday March 14th.  The attempt will be part of the public Alpha test of their exciting new space based resource and battle game, Age of Ascent.

    A new class of online gaming…

    Illyriad are harnessing the power of Windows Azure to deliver a visual and immersive gaming experience in your browser.  In doing so they are helping to create a new class of online gaming – the Ultra Massively Multiplayer Online, or Ultra MMO, gaming experience.

    James Niesewand, CEO of Illyriad, explains “It’s essentially trying to prove the worth of some of the technology that we are working with, namely WebGL and Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud technology. WebGL allows games to run natively in your browser without downloads, installs, or plugins. That’s how Age of Ascent and the March 14 record breaking attempt will work. You’ll go to the URL, be assigned to a red or blue team, and go.  The single node architecture that MMOs typically use has reached its limit, and that Age of Ascent’s technology has more in common with a Wall Street algorithmic trading company than a traditional gaming company.  Age of Ascent will monitor ship movements in a similar way that these Wall Street trading algorithms monitor commodity price movement in multiple markets in microseconds.”

    Play your part in something great….

    The attempt on the Guinness World Record is being made jointly by Illyriad and Microsoft.  We need your help in securing it.  All you need to do is go online via any of the modern browsers (IE11, Google Chrome, Firefox etc) and play your part in making some gaming history!  You do not need to download anything, register for anything or install anything.  Friction free gaming!

    Seeing is believing!

    To get a taste of what to expect from the heart-pounding gameplay, visit: www.ageofascent.com to view the latest in-game footage

    Please join us online at 7pm GMT on Friday, March 14th you will not only be part of the of the record attempt but also take part in one of the biggest MMO sandboxes and help create a new class of online gaming.

    What next?

    Step One: Visit www.ageofascent.com now and bookmark the page

    Step Two: Join us at 7pm GMT on March 14th and go to the website

    Step Three: Join the Red or Blue team

    Step Four: Blow things up!

    Step Five: Tweet about it whilst you are playing.  We’d love to see all that you have to say.  Use #ageofascent

    Play your part now by Liking the Facebook page, tweeting about your support for the attempt or looking at the You Tube videos

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/ageofascent
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ageofascent
    YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/ageofascent

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Power Up: The Beautiful Game Competition


    Exclusive for UK Games Developers


    Microsoft and supporting games industry partners are working together to help encourage the growth in the UK games industry which seeks to recognise and help game studios and developers of all sizes. As part of this ambition we have developed a competition which seeks to provide new Store opportunities for your games as well as helping you to get your titles discovered and downloaded.

    Go to: www.beautifulgamecomp.com

    Power Up: The Beautiful Game competition commences from 3rd March until 20th June 2014. The competition is open to all UK games developers who port and publish their new or existing games titles to Microsoft Windows 8 and/or Windows Phone Stores. Each game entered will receive points based on a wide range of game experiences, as well as recognising the quality of the game, any marketing activities, plus the number of downloads the games get on the Windows or Windows Phone Stores. The top 20 games with the most points secured will win great prizes for their developers but all entrants have an opportunity for their games to be discovered and downloaded by 100,000’s to millions of players. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your game(s) to a much wider audience and be generously rewarded.

    Boost your downloads

    We want to ensure that your game is discovered and downloaded. The quality of the game does not always guarantee success. As such we have partnered with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) to provide some guidance on good practice apps marketing. Visit the competition website for more details.
    Points are awarded for: Game experience – quality of audio execution, visual execution and gameplay. Downloads per store – as an additional measure of the game’s quality we will count the downloads in both the Windows and Windows Phone store.


    Prizes galore!

    A total prize fund in excess of $50,000! Prizes include: Unity Pro licenses, Supercar all inclusive weekend rental, holiday in Slovakia, Nokia Lumia
    1520, 1020s and 520s, Dell Tablet, a Chartered Institute of Marketing Apps Marketing course, a chance to attend a special mentoring event with
    selected Board members from TIGA and UKIE, and an awards ceremony at Dolby’s prestigious theatre in Soho Square. For full prize listing go to:


    The Resources

    How to score points and win plus details of the prizes on offer see.The competition

    Enter the competition by completing our online registration form. Register now
    Download our one page marketing plan template. Marketing plan
    Find out more about our partners in Power Up: The Beautiful Game. Industry partners
    Full details of the competition rules. Terms and conditions
  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    UK Appchallenge - How do I get my apps involved?



    Follow the developer instruction below to add a line of code to your app.

    Once you’ve added the code, send over your App Details (App GUID code & AppChallenge GUID code) to appchallengeuk@microsoft.com

    Developer Instructions before you can be included you need to do a little bit of development work to ensure inclusion. Please see the below instructions for further details.

    1. In your app’s “About” or “Settings” section, add the AppChallenge button included in this email.

    The sample below demonstrates how to use the application settings API and settings flyouts to integrate an app's settings UI with the Settings charm.

    With the Settings charm app can include app-specified settings commands in the Settings charm and launch the corresponding settings UI from that standard entry point such as volume, brightness etc.  http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/windowsapps/App-settings-sample-1f762f49 

    2. Generate your Private GUID for each of your apps by visiting guidgenerator.com

    3. For Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 link the button with this:

       1: await Launcher.LaunchUriAsync(new Uri("appchallengeuk:appGuid=YOUR PRIVATE GUID", UriKind.Absolute));

    4. For Windows Phone 7 (app compiled on WP7 but can run on WP8), link the button with this:

    The AppChallenge logo should be displayed only if the user has a WP8 (because AppChallenge is not available on WP7). This is done via the code:

       1: if (Environment.OSVersion.Version.Major> = 8)
       2:      imageAppChallenge.Visibility = Visibility.Visible;
       3: else
       4:      imageAppChallenge.Visibility = Visibility.Collapsed;

    Then, on the event Tapped of the image, write the following command:

       1: WebBrowserTask wbTask = new WebBrowserTask();
       2: wbTask.Uri = new 

    3: Uri("http://theukappchallenge.azurewebsites.net/redirect?app=YOUR PRIVATE GUID",UriKind.RelativeOrAbsolute);

       4: wbTask.Show();

    5. Once your app’s on the Windows Store, send a table of correspondence between its GUID and the one you generate for AppChallenge to appchallengeuk@microsoft.com

    GUID Store

    GUID AppChallenge



    If you have any questions please email appchallengeuk@microsoft.com.

    Thank you very much for your participation and support of The UK App Challenge.

    See more details at : http://aka.ms/UKAppChallenge

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    The UK AppChallenge


    To celebrate UK app developer creative talent, Microsoft is excited to announce the UK AppChallenge

    AppChallenge Mobile

    The AppChallenge will encourage you to explore & discover new Windows & Windows Phone apps. Plus, you will get the opportunity to be rewarded with fantastic Windows devices.

    It's simple to get started. First of all, download the UK Application from the Windows Phone or Windows 8 store, as appropriate (the "App"). Within the App, participate in the weekly challenge and earn points by downloading and sharing the suggested other apps suggested. The more apps you download and share, the more points you will be awarded. The top 3 competitors (those with the most points accumulated within a week) will walk away with the Windows device prizes each week.

    Download The UK AppChallenge App for Windows 8


    Q: Where do I do go to download the UK AppChallenge app?
    A: Search for Store within either Windows 8 or Windows Phone and type in 'The UK AppChallenge' and download the app.

    Q: Can I participate in I am not a resident of the UK?
    A: Unfortunately no. To participate in the AppChallenge, you must be a current UK resident.

    Q: How do I maximise my chances to top the leaderboard?
    A: Make sure you have downloaded and shared all the selected apps as soon as it becomes available within each week of the challenge.

    Q: When does each challenge start and end?
    A: Each new challenge starts at Monday 12:01 AM and finishes on Sunday at 11:59 PM. This means that a new set of selected apps will be available for you to download and share on Monday.

    Q: I have a Windows Phone 7 handset, am I eligible to participate in this AppChallenge?
    A: Sorry, this AppChallenge is only available for Windows Phone 8 users.

    Q: I've downloaded the app now. How do I earn the points?
    How to earn points - Download app

    Q: I've shared the app now. How do I earn the points?
    How to earn points - Sharing

    Q: I've added a Facebook login now. How do I earn the points?
    How to earn points - Facebook

    Q: How do I know if I have won the weekly challenge?
    A: We will communicate to you via email within 3 days at the end of each weekly challenge with further details of prize delivery.

    Q: Can I win more than once in the AppChallenge?
    A: Yes, but you can only win a maximum of 4 prizes in total.

    Q: I have other questions, where can I get answers from?
    A: Drop an email to AppChallengeUK@microsoft.com.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Xamarin + Visual Studio developing apps for iOS, Windows and Android


    A number of UK Universities are now moving to teach true Mobile development courses teaching mobile development for iOS, Android and Windows.

    With http://www.DreamSpark.com all institution get FREE copies of Visual Studio for all Students and teaching labs. 

    http://www.Xamarin.com provides Visual Studio add-ins so that you can develop your iOS, Android and Windows apps all in a single solution so this means your primary IDE for all environments can be Visual Studio and write your apps entirely in C#, sharing the same code on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. This allows students to reuse their favourite .NET libraries, and still easily incorporate platform-specific libraries and frameworks when they want to.

    Building for a Mac using Windows and Visual Studio

    http://xamarin.com/visual-studio Xamarin extensions support building, deploying, and debugging on simulator or device.

    Xamarin.iOS for Visual Studio allows native iOS applications to be developed and tested on Windows computers, with a networked Mac providing the build and deployment services. Xamarin provides new Visual Studio features that enable iOS development, including iOS device Toolbar, File > New Project for iOS apps, and iOS Project Property pages.

    You will however need one Mac within your teaching labs to undertake the build and deployment.

    For some institutions this is a prohibiting factor. A perfect solution to teaching a cross platform course. http://www.MacinCloud.com is cloud based solution with a dedicated Academic Plan.

    MacinCloud allows current students, teachers and school staff from government accredited, high schools, colleges, universities and other accredited educational institutions to enjoy discounts from MacinCloud service offerings for non-commercial, academic use.

    They offer the following pricing models for Academic Users Only

    3-Hour Daily $16per month Up to 3 Hours per day 1GB Hard Drive Space iOS SDK and Tools for iPhone/iPad App Development and Mac App Development

    5-Hour Daily $20per month for Academic Users Only Up to 5 Hours per day 1GB Hard Drive Space iOS SDK and Tools for iPhone/iPad App Development
    Mac App Development included

    8-Hour Daily $30per month for Academic Users Only Up to 8 Hours per day 1GB Hard Drive Space iOS SDK and Tools for iPhone/iPad App Development
    Mac App Development included

    No Time Limit $35per month for Academic Users Only No Time Limit per day 1GB Hard Drive Space iOS SDK and Tools for iPhone/iPad App Development Mac App Development included

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Computer Science Women Students, Join us on 13 March in London from 6-9pm for the exclusive, first-ever Codess University event



    Computer Science Women Students, join us on 13 March in London from 6-9pm for the exclusive, first-ever Codess University event, where you will have the chance to check out the latest Microsoft technologies by Xbox UK, Skype, Microsoft Research, Bing and Yammer.  There will also be a panel of experienced engineers and we’ll discuss your future career.  There will be many opportunities for networking and of course, cool swag for everyone!

    Please contact codessu@microsoft.com for more details and an invitation to register.

    When: Thursday, 13 March 2014 from 18:00 to 21:00 (GMT)

    Transportation: Coaches will be provided from multiple locations throughout the London area, as well as from Cambridge and Oxford.

    For more information, check out these links:

    Website: http://www.codess.net/

    LinkedIn: Codess

    Facebook: CodessWomen

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    What does DreamSpark –> UK Education


    In less than 10 years, students have made approximately 48 million downloads of our developer tools – fuelling massive learning and innovation from students.

    Microsoft has invested in thousands of Young developers and entrepreneurs with Microsoft BizSpark. The support which BizSpark has provided has provided these new companies with huge opportunity to shape the technology industry’s future.

    Today’s young developers are tomorrow’s innovators and business leaders so we care and offer a range of services and support to help them succeed in the future. According to UNESCO, there are 146 million Higher Education students worldwide. Microsoft research shows that 46% of students worldwide (i.e. 67 million) are “student technologists” meaning they have done some amount of development in the last 12 months. Since its introduction in 2003, students in 165 countries have utilised Microsoft DreamSpark, generating approximately 48 million downloads of our developer tools.

    We know students are passionate about technology and the  number of student developers participating in the Imagine Cup has grown from a few thousand the first year (2003) to more than 350,000 in 2011 and our research shows that more than half of student developers are non-STEM disciplines so DreamSpark is an essential tool for all institutions.


    Microsoft is supporting student technologists by creating technology platforms that are easy to develop for, and funding programs that encourage students to put their ideas into action in ways that give them professional experience and financial opportunity. Student technologists are becoming an increasingly important developer base for Microsoft’s platforms especially because of their rapid adoption of new technologies. We are investing in young developers because it gives them a leg up, while also helping us foster innovation on our platforms.

    Microsoft is giving a progression of support to students by offering free access to software through DreamSpark for technology development, opportunities to refine and present their technology through Imagine Cup, and then supporting their efforts to launch their ideas into businesses through BizSpark and the Imagine Cup Grants program.

    If your interested in taking part in our research

    Please provide your feedback

    Microsoft is making a long term investment in student developers and is committed to helping them become successful technology entrepreneurs.

    So what is Microsoft DreamSpark

    Direct offering http://www.dreamspark.com (DreamSpark – for Students): Provides students the ability to directly download all of Microsoft’s development and design tools for free

    Subscription offering (DreamSpark – for Institutions): Provides institutions to purchase an inexpensive subscription licensing them to give all of their students and educators development and design tools for free

    What are the benefits

    Economical Investment: Stay on the leading edge of technology with institution wide and department specific memberships

    Reduced licensing cost and complexity: Deploy Microsoft’s products across labs, and give to students and educators all with a single subscription

    Enhanced Teaching and learning capabilities: Engaged Students, Empowered Educators

    What are the Subscription options

    “DreamSpark”: Institutional wide offering – matches the direct offering available to students.

    “DreamSpark Premium”: STEM-D departmental only offering. Contains all Microsoft products, minus Office Suite. Only available for qualified STEM departments

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup UK National final is to be held at UCL, in London on the 29th April 2014.



    Every year, Imagine Cup teams compete in countries around the world in events known as National Finals.

    So are you interested in competing for the 2014 Imagine Cup.

    The major competition categories for 2014 are Games, Innovation and World Citizenship. You’ll find additional information on this page in the months ahead, so be sure you visit www.imaginecup.com.

    Register here to enter your team in one of the above categories. You can find more detailed instructions on our Get Started page – how to create your account, register your team, sign up for the contests and more.

    Before 21st March 2014 Teams register their members and an optional mentor at www.imaginecup.com. Teams submit entry/ies as per the rules defined on www.imaginecup.com for each competition.

    Teams will be automatically entered to compete in online UK Competition Qualifier which will be judged by a panel of Microsoft staff, industry experts and academics.

    Also, UK’s top teams will be travelling to Microsoft headquarters in Seattle, Washington for the Imagine Cup World Finals, to compete for the coveted Imagine Cup trophy and $50,000 grand prize! Last year, Exeter University  Team Colinked and their product Soundsynk an interactive music app. Team Colinked with Soundsynk advanced to the Finals of the Competition, where they won the world wide final and $50,000. After the Imagine Cup the team accepted a place at the Microsoft Venture UK Accelerator.


    1st April 2014 Microsoft announces the 12 teams that have qualified for the Finals of the UK Competition.

    29th April 2014 A panel of academics and industry experts judge the UK Competition Finals at a live event at UCL in London.

    30th April 2014 Microsoft Publicly announces the winners (First, Second and Third places) of the UK Competition Finals


    Each category will require teams to submit:

    • Video Presentation of your project to a panel of judges on camera to deliver the presentation as if to a live panel of judges for the National Finals. This presentation should explain your project and your team: Who is your team is; what your project does; who your project is for; and how you will bring your project to market. Your video must be no longer than 10 minutes and it may not have any edits or added visual effects. You may not move the camera during your presentation. In all respects it should replicate the experience of a judge sitting and viewing your live presentation.
    • Software that is usable by the judges in a hands-on evaluation.
    • Software Instructions document explaining how the use your software
  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Discover how Excel can help you with your research, including new Power BI features for data science and dynamic visualization



    Date/Time: Wed Feb 26, 2014, 8:00 AM, USA Pacific

    Duration: 1 Hour Online FREE Course

    Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used tools for researchers to manage, analyse and visualize their data. Learn about new data discovery and analysis features in Excel with the collaboration capabilities in the new Power BI for Office 365 online service, and how it can be used with Windows Azure. Find out more on the Excel Power BIWindows Azure for Research and Windows Azure for Education websites.

    Areas covered in the session:

    • How to use Excel Power BI for science and research
    • Using Excel Power Query to browse, refine and analyse research data
    • How to use Excel as a gateway to Windows Azure
    • Designing research data analysis services using PowerView
    • Visualising 4D data in Excel using PowerMap


    Kenji Takeda, Microsoft Research
    Jeff Zhang, Microsoft

    Register at https://www.eventbuilder.com/microsoft/event_registration.asp?z=z9m4o3&eventid=o63j131h

    Read more…

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