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  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Were looking for Microsoft Student Partners

    Applications are now open!

    The Microsoft Student Partner Programme recognises top young minds from around the world that are passionate about technology. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop real-world skills to help you succeed in your future career, to help others learn about the technology of today and tomorrow, and to connect with other like-minded students, all whilst having a ton of fun along the way. The program is our way of encouraging students who are interested in building a closer relationship with Microsoft, and those who are simply hooked on technology, or talking about it to others to develop their skills further.


    So what exactly is a Microsoft Student Partner?

    As a team we are responsible for helping students and start-ups design, create and publish great quality apps for Windows 8, Windows Azure and Windows Phone. An MSP’s role is to help us achieve this by:

    • creating great quality apps
    • writing great content we can use to showcase student talent
    • co-delivering content with us at events

    So we are looking for students who:

    • are experienced software developers
    • are passionate about developer technology and for Microsoft
    • are able to prove this passion
    • you have written a .NET/HTML5/JavaScript application
    • are at a UK university and over 18
    • have the support of a faculty member
    • are able to articulate technology to a crowd

    We do want to encourage discussion and debate about technology and hence your experiences and opinions are extremely valuable. If you want to share your passion and develop industry-leading skills, we want to hear from you.

    What will you get in return?

    As part of your role as an MSP you will receive the following

    • an MSDN subscription
    • monthly Lync calls with the UK Academic team
    • technical education sessions organised on-line
    • the ability to showcase your skills to a wider audience though Microsoft promoting your apps and skills to the wider student and developer community
    • increased visibility in your university (dependant on you driving this with your faculty contact)

    How do we select MSPs?

    The application process will open in August 2012 and we’ll review applications in September. Subsequent selection will take place until the end of December 2012.


    To consider applying for the MSP Program, you must be:

    • Over 18 years of age.
    • Studying a full-time course at an officially recognised university in the UK.
    • Have the support of a Faculty Member or a Professional within the technology industry.
    • Everyone needs to have published at least one app in a Microsoft MarketPlace or Store (Windows Phone, Windows 8, Azure application)
    • If you have an app in the design stage you can become an MSP on probation for 3 months until your app gets published

    What are we looking for?

    All MSPs should have the following basic qualities:

    • Passionate about technology and what it can do
    • Someone who loves to learn
    • Be part of an active and vibrant network


    • Demonstrates a high degree of responsibility, honesty, and integrity
    • Good rapport with faculty and students studying other disciplines
    • Willing to share knowledge & eager to educate and inspire others
    • High level of social activity, both online & offline
    • Willingness to support and organise university events and involve the local community

    What’s the fine print?

    • The time commitment is somewhat variable and depends on you and the activity but it might be somewhere between 1-3 hours/week.
    • Students must be enrolled fulltime in an accredited academic institution within the UK.
    • In order for new people to be accepted onto the programme we expect prospective MSPs to provide some evidence that you have the desire, capacity and willingness to share your passion for technology.
    • If we find it is not meeting your needs then MSPs are free to leave the programme at any time
    • Microsoft retains the right to exclude people from the programme at any time.
    • Your details will not be used for any other marketing purpose.

    How to apply?

    Applications for the 2012-2013 Academic Year are now open. To apply for the Microsoft UK MSP programme, please refer to the competencies required and the responsibilities above.

    Complete the application form by clicking here.

    ·You will need to provide contact details from an academic member of your department or the professional who you have worked with in the technology industry

    Contact Us

    For all questions regarding the Microsoft UK program, please email

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Learn how to create Windows 8 apps that could change the way people live their lives


    Windows 8 Code Weekend - 8-9th September – London

    A dev4good event in collaboration with and this year to bring together talented thinkers, designers and coders from around the UK to work on some real-world issues faced by UK charities.

    The technology theme for the event is Windows 8, but no prior knowledge of Windows 8 app development is required. The goals for the weekend are simple. We want to learn how to create Windows 8 apps that could change the way people live their lives.


    So if you are a software developer (on any platform), designer, academic, computing student, or are just interested in help out then we need you. It’s going to be a real challenge and sleep will be optional. Are you up for it? If you are, the event registration page is here.

    Remember, this is a not-for-profit event being run by volunteers, so you won’t be paid for the work you do. You will, however, get to meet and work with some of the smartest developers and designers in the UK all while doing some real good for society.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Client-side developers do need to embrace the cloud.



    1. Client-side developers do need to embrace the cloud. The increasing popularity of connected devices like tablet computers and smartphones is having a direct effect on the adoption rate of personal cloud services. You can expect both connected devices and cloud services to grow together.
    2. This trend has been accelerating over the past couple of years. Mobile and portable devices have limited internal storage and rely heavily on cloud services.
    3. Mobile Computing Applications are generally Connected apps.
    4. You can pull data to them or you can receive push notifications
      • Mobile Apps are about connecting to the services you need, like Hotmail, Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Messaging, and People app
    5. Developers will need to think about a central, cloud-based storage location.
      • SkyDrive is one cloud option available to solve this problem especially within academia as all Live@edu and Office365 students get a free skydrive account.
    6. You may create your Mobile Applications that requires a custom cloud-based backend, Maybe you are designing an app to bring together photos from many different sources and to then view and share them. Your photos may need to be aggregated from several locations such as Facebook, Flickr, Skydrive or even local storage.         

    How the cloud can help  

    1. There are some basic features that all Mobile computing developers will need to master.
    2. This is where cloud computing can really make a difference and accelerate your time to market.
    3. Although most applications support their own local storage, you will probably want to leverage the cloud to store important data. Most users will have multiple devices. They will expect that the data is accessible from anywhere. That’s why it is important for developers to know how to leverage Storage Services in the cloud.
    4. All mobile computing devices comes with a rich communications stack. Most developers will leverage http for most of their communications. There are also push notifications that allow applications to retrieve information in the background and without requesting data specifically.


    There are 2 ways your Application can get data 


    1. The cloud provides a way to reach across device platforms and a larger pool of resources from which to get data.
    2. Mobile applications can get data in two ways. The first ways is to simply ask for it by making a web request. This is using a pull approach. The second way applications can get data is to leverage push notifications.
    3. When a device uses a pull approach, it is basically a HTTP-based, request/response. Developers can choose from various frameworks, which include WCF, OData, WebAPI, WebRequest, etc.
    4. Data can be sent in a variety of formats, such as SOAP, JSON, XML, POX, etc.
    5. Push notifications are initiated by the cloud. Before Applications can receive push notifications, applications must register themselves with the push notification service.
    6. Your custom cloud service can communicate with the Windows Notification Service to tell it to send push notifications
      1. The windows notification service is designed to be bandwidth and battery friendly.
      2. It is the push notification mechanism that is used to update live tiles on the Windows 8 desktop and Windows Phone.
      3. The downside to push notifications is that there is no guaranteed delivery of content.
        1. If guarantees are needed for data delivery, then some of the pull techniques previously discussed may be appropriate.
    7. Oftentimes push notifications result in a pull request from a Windows 8 application. This means that once the Windows 8 application gets a push notification, it knows it needs to then request data from the cloud using a pull approach. Of course, it may choose to ignore this, given a user preference.


    Push and Pull – Maybe Both




    Example of a Notification

    1. The Push Notification Service is provided by Microsoft. However, Windows 8 applications must register for this service. Once registered, applications are ready to receive data that is sent by the Windows Push Notification Service.
    2. The Push Notification Service may receive data itself from a Windows Azure cloud application that you create. This cloud based application can aggregate data from other sources if necessary. You can see from the diagram above it may request data from Flickr or Facebook or just about from anywhere.

    Downloads and Setup  - Windows Azure Toolkits for Devices


    Windows Phone -


    Android -



    iOS -


    Windows 8 -




    The Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games is a set of guidance, samples, and tools that helps developers quickly get started building a casual or social game on Windows Azure.

    Keeping data off the local device and in the cloud


    1. Some powerful capabilities are available here.
    2. To start with, there is the ability to store huge amounts of data.
    3. Tables allow you to stores huge lists of things or huge collections of objects. Tables can partition themselves across many machines, supporting extremely fast query results even if there are billions of rows.
    4. Blobs allow you to store large binary objects like videos, documents, even web pages.
    5. Queues allow you to support asynchronous messaging. That means your applications can send information to a cloud application and not be affected by how busy the cloud application is.
    6. Because Azure supports Infrastructure as a Service Technologies (IaaS), developers have almost an unlimited amount of options for their Data Storage needs
      1. Microsoft supports Linux in the cloud. This means you can install almost any data store that is supported on Linux, meaning that you can use MongoDB, Cassandra, MySQL, or almost any other data platform.


    Managing Identity 


    1. Download the Identity Training kit
    2. Leveraging the Windows Identity Foundation SDK and training kit is probably the best starting point for anyone serious about implementing secure systems.
    3. Security is a big topic.
    4. Applications can leverage claims-based authentication techniques. Typically, this involves a security token service, which creates SAML tokens. Inside these tokens are claims.
    5. Claims-based identity can greatly simplify the authentication process for the user because he or she doesn't have to sign in multiple times to multiple applications.
    6. Single sign in is ideal for some situations, such as to authenticate against multiple applications or websites.
    7. Claims-based identity is a way to achieve single sign in.  It can make the authentication less complex for your apps because those apps don't have to provide ways to create an account or password, etc.
    8. Another great feature of claims-based identity is that it allows your applications to obtain specific user information, without having to ask the user for that information.
    9. SAML tokens make it possible for single sign on scenarios, where your security credentials need to travel through different security gateways.
    10. The Access Control Service allows you to leverage third party identity providers, such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, and Live.
    11. This frees the developer from having to worry about identity in their application. Identity management is complex and time consuming and takes away from a developer's focus on the application itself.

    Resources for Mobile Application development

    Project Templates, Samples and Libraries Source Code

    Creating a New Windows 8 Cloud Application

    Running the Windows 8 Cloud Application

    Using the Windows 8 Cloud Application Services Application

    Sample Metro App using Windows Azure Service Bus

    Raw Notifications Sample - C# and JavaScript

    Notifications Sample - C# and JavaScript

    Push Notification Worker Sample

    Margie's Travel

    ACS Windows Metro Sample

    How to Deploy Your Services to Windows Azure

    How to Obtain Namespace and Management Keys

    More information and details on Windows 8 Tile Notification Types

    More information and details on Windows 8 Toast Notification Types

    More information and details on Windows 8 Badge Notification Types

    More information and details on Windows 8Geolocation

    More information and details on Windows 8 Notifications

    MSDN Developers Portal -

    Windows 8 Developers -

    Try these NuGet Packages






    Try Windows Azure in Education 150 day Academic Pass and 90 day Student Pass



    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      Why start learning to build for Windows 8



      If you have done any reading about Windows 8, one thing all the press is focusing on is Windows 8 offers and unprecedented opportunity to monetize your developer skills.

      Combining the broad reach of Windows which already exists, a new developer platform in the form of Windows Store Apps, best-in-class developer tools Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server, a reimagined user experience with Windows Store, Metro Style Apps, support for new chipsets Intel and RTM, and a built-in Store with industry-leading business terms, with initial revenue share of 70% revenue for you 30 % for Microsoft and 100% in app purchase revenue to you.

      Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity, ever!

      So lets look at some of the reasons for developers to consider writing applications for the Windows Store.

      1. The Size of the Windows Opportunity

      There is more than 1.25 billion Windows users globally. The market potential for your selling your application is enormous. Clearly, the market for Windows-based applications far outnumbers anything else. Thinking about academia specifically, potential employers will be wanting to recruit students with the skills, experience and portfolio of existing Windows 8 apps to build their latest software releases.

      2. The Scale of the Windows Opportunity

      Simply put the Windows Store offers a marketplace for your application with a global reach of 200+ markets, 100+ languages, even distribution to enterprise customers. A generous revenue sharing model is in place. Imagine that you keep 70-80% of the revenue share from your application.

      3. So what are we doing to help


      1. Some amazing help is available from Microsoft
      2. I am talking about the Windows 8 Camps
      3. Sign up HERE for the App Excellence Lab Process
      4. You will get a 2 hour, 1-1 session with a technical person to help review your app, pass it (to submit to the store submission process) or give you feedback you can go away and work on.
      5. The sessions can be virtual or physical so you can do it from your location.
      6. The AEL process is about quality so please make sure your app is in good shape so you have the best possible chance of getting the app through the process.
      7. AELs run from now to GA October 26th so there are lots of dates and times so you will be able to find a time that suits you.
      8. Get to grips with Windows 8 have one-on-one sessions with Microsoft staff
      9. They will help review your application for:
        • Performance
        • Adherence to the Windows 8 Design Principles
      10. This process could result in a your app getting early into the Windows Store


      4. So What type of App should I be building?

      What is the Best App Type? - Entertainment apps are the most popular, followed by Books and References, and Games.
      What languages can I develop in? Windows 8, Windows Store apps can leverage a variety of skills you already know (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, XAML, C#, VB, or C++ ).

      5. The Windows Store Ensures Visibility

      Strong support for search, category browsing, ranking lists, editorial content. The Windows Store features latest, most popular, and fast rising apps.

      6. Enterprise Support
      Don’t limit yourself to consumer apps. Perhaps you have an idea for an Enterprise application. Luckily, the Windows Store will have rich support for deployment and management scenarios.  Compliance and security is built in. There is support for direct control over the deployment of Metro style apps.

      7. How you make money
      Your applications can be time-based and feature-based trials, paid apps, including in-app purchases.  In-app purchases can help you customize the transaction flow with the customer. Sales analytics can also help you increase your reach.

      8. Free Apps - Many choose to offer free applications + an ad model

      I personally think it makes the most sense to get your application out there as a trial. We have learned from the Windows Phone marketplace that trial versions get 70 times more downloads than paid versions. 10% of those convert to the paid version, typically within a few hours.


      1. The Windows Dev Center

      • Developer downloads – This single page gives access to all of the downloads you need to build apps, including Windows 8 RTM, Visual Studio Express 2012, design assets, code samples, and additional SDKs and tools.
      • Design resources – All Windows 8 design resources are located at See case studies, category guidance, and get a new downloadable version of the UX guidelines for Windows 8 apps.
      • Developer content – The ‘Docs’ section of the Windows Dev Center is updated for RTM including more detailed API docs, new How-to articles, a new section for developing apps with C++ and DirectX, and many more samples.
      • Selling content – Find the Windows Store markets, how to price apps, and the latest versions of the Windows Store Agreements including the App Certification Requirements.
      • Community content – Access to developer forums, blogs, Dev Camps, and local event listings

      2. The Windows engineering and Windows Store teams are blogging regularly at the following sites

    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      Creating a Linux Virtual Machine as a Persistent Windows Azure VM role.




      Over the past few weeks, I have had a few questions around the ability of Windows Azure to run non Windows operating systems. In this post I will explain the process of  installing Linux on Windows Azure.

      Firstly some key facts about Windows Azure support for Linux 

      Creating a virtual machine that is running the Linux operating system is easy when you use the image gallery in the Windows Azure Preview Management Portal. With no prior experience with Windows Azure, you can create a virtual machine running the Linux operating system in the cloud that you can access and customize.

      Images are provided by these trusted members of the Linux community:


      So how to create a virtual machine?



      Here is a step by step walkthrough adapted from Bruno Terkaly Blog   

      1. Open Internet Explorer and browse to enter the Windows Azure portal. Then, log in with your credentials.
      2. In the menu located at the bottom, select New | Virtual Machine | From Gallery to start creating a new virtual machine.


      Working with the gallery
      1. Select "From Gallery" to start creating a new virtual machine.
      2. Gallery will provide a list of available operating systems.

      Select a flavour of Linux

       Selecting a flavour of Linux


      1. Not including your own, you can choose your VM to run the following Systems:
        • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
          • This image contains the full version of SQL Server, including all components except Distributed Replay, Always On, and Clustering capabilities.
        • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
          • Windows Server 2008 R2 is a multi-purpose server designed to increase the reliability and flexibility of your server or private cloud infrastructure.
        • Windows Server 2012
          • Windows Server 2012 incorporates Microsoft's experience building and operating public clouds, resulting in a dynamic, highly available server platform. It offers a scalable, dynamic and multi-tenant-aware infrastructure that helps securely connect across premises.
        • CentOS 6.2
          • This distribution of CentOS version 6.2 is provided by OpenLogic and contains an installation of the Basic Server packages
        • OpenSUSE64-12.1
          • OpenSUSE Linux 64 Bits (IAAS M1 Preview)
          • This is the distribution with Yast2
        • Suse Linux Enterprise Server
          • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a highly reliable, scalable, and secure server operating system, built to power mission-critical workloads in both physical and virtual environments. It is an affordable, interoperable, and manageable open source foundation
        • Ubuntu Server 12.04
          • Ubuntu Server 12.04 amd64 20120528.1
          • Ubuntu Server 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) amd64 20120528.1 Cloud Image


           Naming the Virtual Machine (Linux)
      1. You will need to provide:
        • Virtual Machine Name
        • User Name
        • Password
        • Size (larger VMs allow up to 14GB of memory)
      2. Some guidelines regarding Administrator account
        1. Rename the Default Administrator Account
        2. When you rename the default Administrator account, it removes the obvious indication that this account has elevated privileges.
        3. Although an attacker still needs the password to use the default Administrator account, a renamed default Administrator account adds an additional layer of protection against elevation of privilege attacks.
        4. Note: Renaming the default administrator account hinders only certain types of attack.
        5. Additionally, tools are available that enumerate group members, and these always list the original administrator account first.
        6. For the best protection against attacks on your built-in administrator account, create a new administration account and then disable the built-in account.


      Specifying Linux VM Details

      1. The DNS name is the name of your Linux OS in the cloud
      2. Specify a storage account or automatically generate one
        • This is so you can store tables, blobs, and queues
      3. Specify region or affinity
        • Affinity is a useful concept.
          • It allows you to group dependant Windows Azure services, and deploy those in one place if possible
            • If your services are dependant on each other it is good if those are co-located, so that transactions between them are executed faster.
              • The best option is if the network hops between your hosted services are minimized as much as possible
            • Lowering your bill - For the most part bandwidth within the data center is free of charge
           Understanding Availability Set
      1. Availability sets means that your VMs will be distributed across different fault domains in the data center.
      2. This means if an entire rack goes down, you will have a running instance available


      Your Virtual Machine Running (Portal)

      1. The Linux OS is up and running after just a few minutes.
      2. We now need to test connectivity
      3. We will use the Putty tool(s)


      Understanding the Dashboard, Endpoints, and Configuration

      1. You have a few choices here:
        • Dashboard
          • Usage Overview
          • Status
          • URL
          • HostName
          • Public Virtual IP Address
          • SSH Details
          • Size
          • Disks
          • Location
          • Deployment ID
          • Subscription Name
          • Subscription ID
        • Endpoints
          • Name
          • Protocol (UDP or TCP)
          • Public Port
          • Private Port
          • Load Balanced
        • Configure
          • Virtual Machine Size
          • Availability Set


        How to open endpoints to your Linux VM

      1. Each VM can have attached a number of disks for storing data, and communicates with other VMs through endpoints
      2. Endpoints are simply TCP or UDP ports that can be configured individually


      Opening a TCP port

      1. Note the:
        • Name
        • Protocol
          • TCP or UDP
        • Public Port (access from outside the data center)
        • Private Port (from within the data center)


      Working with Putty

      1. Now that you have provisioned and configured a Linux Virtual Machine, you will connect by using an SSH client.
      2. Note: You can download Putty, a free SSH client for Windows, here:
      3. Putty offers the following:
        • PuTTY (the Telnet and SSH client itself)
        • PSCP (an SCP client, i.e. command-line secure file copy)
        • PSFTP (an SFTP client, i.e. general file transfer sessions much like FTP)
        • PuTTYtel (a Telnet-only client)
        • Plink (a command-line interface to the PuTTY back ends)
        • Pageant (an SSH authentication agent for PuTTY, PSCP, PSFTP, and Plink)
        • PuTTYgen (an RSA and DSA key generation utility).


        Starting Putty

      1. Login with your credentials
        • User Name and Password (you provided this previously)
      2. You can get the SSH details from the portal


      Your terminal screen to your Linux VM

      1. You will need to login with your previous password.
      2. Once you do that, you are now logged in.

      What if you already have a Linux Sever you simply want to move to the cloud?

      Here is a quick step by step guide for creating and Uploading a Virtual Hard Disk that Contains the Linux Operating System

      You create a virtual machine in Windows Azure by using a virtual hard disk (VHD) file. You can choose to create a virtual machine by using a VHD file that is supplied for you in the Image Gallery, or you can choose to create your own image and upload it to Windows Azure in a VHD file.

      Create a Linux virtual machine using a partner solution

      Choose one of the partners below for help creating Linux virtual machines in Windows Azure:

      Linux partners

      Create a Linux virtual machine with your own image

      Learn how to create your own virtual hard drive (VHD) with a Linux operating system on it, and then upload it and use it to create a Linux virtual machine in Windows Azure.

          CSUpload command-line tool. This tool is a part of the Windows Azure SDK. You use this tool to set the connection to Windows Azure and upload the VHD file. You must use the tools available in Windows Azure SDK - June 2012 or later to upload VHDs to Windows Azure. To download the SDK and the tools, see Windows Azure Downloads.
      • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

        Tech.Days Windows Server 2012 Camp



        The UK IT Pro Team will be back on the road as of September delivering IT Camps to venues up and down the UK.  After a brief break during the summer, the team are back to deliver technical content in an IT Camp format, and we are pleased to announce the first set of dates to coincide with the launch of Windows Server 2012.

        These hands-on sessions will give you an introduction to Windows Server 2012 and ample opportunity to discuss any specific issues and concerns you may have with Microsoft experts Simon May and Andrew Fryer as well as professional peers working near you.

        The agenda will be set by you, but here are some topics that are likely to be covered:

        - What’s new in Windows Server 2012

        - How to create Virtual Machines

        - High availability with clustering


        Try Windows Server 2012

        If you want to get the most from the camp experience then we advise you download and have a play.


        Download Evaluation Version

        The Microsoft UK IT Pro team

        Questions, comments, feedback? Email: Or Tweet: @technetuk

        Need more technical news and updates? Sign up for the TechNet Flash newsletter



        London, 07 September – Cardinal Place


        Register Now


        Southampton, 13 September – De Vere New Place


        Register Now


        Manchester, 18 September – The Lowry Hotel


        Register Now


        Birmingham, 19 September – Etc Venues, Maple House


        Register Now


        London, 26 September – Novotel London West


        Register Now


        London, 28 September – Etc Venues, One Drummond Gate


        Register Now

        Microsoft Virtual Academy

        Improve your IT skill set and help advance your career with a free, easy to access training portal. Learn at your own pace, focusing on Microsoft technologies, gain points and get recognition



      • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

        Visual Studio 2012 and Windows on DreamSpark


        Due to the number of comments I have had on this post, I just wanted to confirm what products will be available under DreamSpark for students.

        MSDN Subscriber Downloads: August 15th, 2012

        Visual Studio 2012 and Windows 8 are available as of, August 15th, on MSDN Subscriber Downloads to DreamSpark Subscribers.

        To confirm DreamSpark Premium Subscription Program Administrators may follow these steps to get immediate access to the software:

        1) Visit

        2) Sign in with the Windows Live ID associated with their DreamSpark Subscription

        3) Search for the product of choice and click on “Download”

        4) To acquire product keys the administrator may click on “Product Keys” and “Get Key” for applicable SKUs.

        a. Note: Not all Visual Studio 2012 SKUs require a product key.

        5) The file will be downloaded in .iso format.

        a. Click here for instructions on how to use .iso files. and ELMS WebStore: August 25th, 2012 for student downloads

        Please see the SKU Availability Matrix below for specifics on which products will be available on, and through DreamSprk Premium ELMS Institutional WebStores.  The SKUs highlighted in red will be available starting August 25th, with the remaining releasing in a week thereafter, To confirm, Windows desktop operating systems are only available to students at education institutions which have purchased a DreamSpark premium subscription for STEM based disciplines .

        Note: these SKUs will be available in the following languages on the 25th, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese-Brazil, Russian, Chinese Simplified, and Chinese Traditional, with rolling releases of additional languages following on a week after:  

        For Visual Studio SKUs a separate Portuguese-Brazil language pack will be required, and will also be available on the 25th.

        Product SKU Availability Matrix

        Subscription Level

        Product SKU


        DreamSpark Premium

        Visual Studio Professional 2012



        Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web



        Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows



        Visual Studio Premium 2012


        Visual Studio Ultimate 2012


        Visual Studio TFS Express 2012



        Visual Studio TFS Server 2012



        Team Explorer for Visual Studio 2012



        Team Explorer Everywhere for TFS




        Windows 8


        Windows 8 Debug/Checked Build


        Windows 8 Enterprise


      • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

        Announcing Blend and Sketch Flow for Visual Studio 2012



        We are pleased to announce new versions of Blend + Sketchflow preview for Visual Studio 2012. Bringing Blend and Visual Studio together offers more value. Blend is a great tool offering a wide variety of designers and developers the ability to quickly and easily build great looking and powerful UI.

        These new versions make available capabilities that were previously only available in Expression Blend such as Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight and SketchFlow support, unifying the design-centric tools for building Windows Store Apps and Windows desktop apps to Visual Studio users.

        This is for evaluation only and none of the platforms contain a go-live license. Therefore you SHOULD use other released versions of Blend for production work. 

        What is the Blend + Sketchflow Preview for Visual Studio 2012?

        Blend for Visual Studio 2012 can help you design user interfaces for applications with robust tools that solve complex design tasks for building Windows Store apps.

        The Blend + Sketchflow Preview introduces powerful WYSIWYG design capabilities to Visual Studio developers by providing support for WPF and Silverlight.

        What is the difference between Blend + SketchFlow Preview for Visual Studio 2012 and Blend for Visual Studio 2012 RTW? Do I need both?

        Blend for Visual Studio 2012 is a unique, innovative authoring tool with rich visual tools for creating Windows store apps using HTML/CSS and XAML. Blend is installed with most versions of Visual Studio 2012.

        Blend + SketchFlow Preview for Visual Studio 2012 delivers WPF, Silverlight, and SketchFlow support compatible with Visual Studio 2012. You can install this alongside Visual Studio 2012 RTW.

        What is SketchFlow; how does it differ from Storyboarding in Visual Studio 2012?

        SketchFlow provides an informal and quick way to explore, iterate and prototype user interface scenarios. SketchFlow is for building working prototypes of software for developers, while the new storyboarding capability allows PowerPoint to be used for capturing lightweight requirements from stakeholders.




      • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

        Visual Studio 2012 Available for Download



        Today marked an exciting day, we announced via S. Somasegar’s blog post and Jason Zander’s blog post that MSDN subscribers including DreamSpark premium institutional administrators now have access to Visual Studio 2012. DreamSpark subscribers can download and install Visual Studio 2012 later this month once its made available.

        Additionally we confirmed that we will be having a Virtual Launch Event on September 12, 2012 for Visual Studio 2012 please see further details at

        So from today all versions of Visual Studio 2012, including Visual Studio Professional, Premium, Test Professional, and Ultimate. Additionally, Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio Express for Web, Visual Studio Express for Windows 8, and Team Foundation Server Express are now available.

        So What is new in Visual Studio 2012?

        Visual Studio 2012 includes numerous updates to simplify the development experience, help teams collaborate more effectively, and delight end-users across a variety of devices.  Although there are too many features to highlight here, below are a few key new features:

        · Improved web development tooling with Page Inspector and DOM Explorer

        · Support for Microsoft’s latest platforms including Windows 8.

        · Visual Studio Light Switch and Blend for Visual Studio are included giving developers access to rapid application tools and designer surfaces.

        · Write simplified asynchronous code using the .NET Framework 4.5

        · Take team collaboration to the cloud with Team Foundation Service Preview or on-premise with the latest version of Team Foundation Server.

        · Improved support for SharePoint development

        There have been some changes to the Visual Studio SKUs, what is the current line up?

        We are always focused on providing the right products to meet the needs of our various customers.  For Visual Studio 2012 we have the following SKUs.

        · Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate

        · Visual Studio 2012 Premium

        · Visual Studio 2012 Professional

        · Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012

        · Visual Studio Test Professional 2012

        We have also simplified our Visual Studio Express SKUs so developers can focus on the latest Microsoft platforms.

        · Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web

        · Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8

        · Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express 2012

        Where do I go to get Visual Studio 2012?

        There are a variety of ways to buy Visual Studio 2012.  MSDN, DreamSpark Premium and DreamSpark subscribers will get it as part of their subscription. .  Enterprise and volume licensing customers can get Visual Studio 2012 through their existing channels. 

        For developers that would like to purchase Visual Studio without going through an MSDN subscription, they can get it through a Microsoft Academic resellers:

        Additional Resources

        · S. Somasegar’s blog post and Jason Zander’s blog post

        · Visual Studio 2012 Launch Event

        · Visual Studio Website

      • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

        Windows 8 RTM is available for developers


        Windows 8 RTM is available for developers and new developer content based upon RTM is now available in the Windows Dev Center:

        The Windows 8 RTM is available for developers blog details how to get a 90 day evaluation version of Windows 8 RTM if you’re not part of TechNet, MSDN or DreamSpark Premium for institutional administrators.

        The Windows Dev Center, now contains brand new overviews and migration guides for apps built on RP as well as..

        • Developer downloads – This single page gives access to all of the downloads you need to build apps, including Windows 8 RTM, Visual Studio Express 2012, design assets, code samples, and additional SDKs and tools.
        • Design resources – All Windows 8 design resources are located at See case studies, category guidance, and get a new downloadable version of the UX guidelines for Windows 8 apps.
        • Developer content – The ‘Docs’ section of the Windows Dev Center is updated for RTM including more detailed API docs, new How-to articles, a new section for developing apps with C++ and DirectX, and many more samples.
        • Selling content – Find the Windows Store markets, how to price apps, and the latest versions of the Windows Store Agreements including the App Certification Requirements.
        • Community content – Access to developer forums, blogs, Dev Camps, and local event listings

        The Windows engineering and Windows Store teams are blogging regularly at the following sites

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