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News and views from the Microsoft UK Education Team
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  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Business Intelligence in Higher Education with Microsoft PerformancePoint Server - Live meetings


    Please join us for one of the two Live Meetings to learn more about how Business Intelligence can bring benefits to your university through Microsoft Performance Point.

    Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 was designed specifically to help improve operational and financial performance across all departments and all levels of your organization. An integrated application, Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 is built to support formal organizational business intelligence (BI) and performance management processes.

    With PerformancePoint Server 2007, you can:

    Built on the highly secure, scalable Microsoft BI platform, PerformancePoint Server delivers formal centralized and managed performance management tools and processes in the familiar, easy-to-use 2007 Microsoft Office system environment. A key component of the Microsoft BI offering, PerformancePoint Server can help you align organizational performance with individual and team goals and objectives.

    We have two live meetings on the 2 and 16 of May, please see below for details of how to participate.

    When: Friday, May 2, 2008 9:30 AM (BST)
    Duration: 1:00

    Add to my Outlook Calendar:

    When: Friday, May 16, 2008 9:30 AM (BST)
    Duration: 1:00*Nd6w

    Add to my Outlook Calendar:*Nd6w&i=i.ics


    -Computer Audio(Recommended)
    To use computer audio, you need speakers and microphone, or a
    -Telephone conferencing
    Choose one of the following:
      *  Start Live Meeting client, and then in Voice & Video pane
         under Join Audio options, click Call Me. The conferencing
         service will call you at the number you specify. (Recommended)    
      *   Use the information below to connect:
            Toll:                 +44 (118) 9092000
            Participant code:     901985

    To save time before the meeting, check your system to make sure it is
    ready to use Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

    Unable to join the meeting? Follow these steps:
      1. Copy this address and paste it into your web browser:
      2. Copy and paste the required information:
            Meeting ID: 9C6NS5
            Entry Code: g<%)Sg7jj
    If you still cannot enter the meeting, contact support:

    Microsoft Office Live Meeting can be used to record meetings.
    By participating in this meeting, you agree that your communications
    may be monitored or recorded at any time during the meeting.

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Gartner Case Study on Unified Communication in Higher Education


    conference call Thanks to some research I’m doing on behalf of a university in North East England, one of my colleagues in the US passed on details of the University of Kentucky and the project to implement a unified communications platform.  This has surfaced both a Microsoft and Gartner case study.

    In summary the Gartner study shows how the university implemented a Unified Communications solution to:

    • Cut costs – no surprise there
    • Enhance communications
    • Provide a uniformity for communications across the university

    The Gartner case study is stated as being explicitly for the UK, which is interesting to note.  Naturally, the technology deployed is my current favourite – Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007.  In the UK, getting on for forty universities now have the software licences to deploy OCS across their campus which means that these could already be achieving the savings, efficiencies and enhancements that is written about in the case studies.  In addition to this, those universities could also federate to enhance communication and collaboration with other HE institutions, research partners/funders, employers and students.

    Gartner’s assessment is here:

    Microsoft’s write up is here:

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Windows 7 Application Compatibility in education


    A last week I wrote “Windows 7 is getting closer”, and one of the readers posed the question about Application Compatibility – their point was that they used over 450 applications, so couldn’t we test them all to check they work on Windows 7. Hopefully it’s no surprise to learn that we can’t do all of that, but that there’s been a big focus on overall application compatibility in Windows 7 – back to both Windows Vista and Windows XP.

    Later today, Mark Russinovich is hosting a worldwide roundtable on Application Compability that you might want to join in. As it is a single event for the whole world, it is at 7pm our time tonight, but I’ve had a look at the telly schedule and there’s nothing exciting on (thank goodness Britain’s Got Talent has finished – for so many reasons!).

    Here’s the blurb:


    “Windows 7 is approaching fast and from the application standpoint is very similar to Windows Vista. We’re going to examine Windows 7 application compatibility not only from the perspective of moving from Windows Vista, but also for those coming from Windows XP. Join us to discuss the most common challenges around application compatibility when coming from a legacy operating system, why changes were made along the way, compatibility technologies inside the OS and methods for getting incompatible applications to run on Windows 7. Along the way we share tips and tricks, demonstrate free tools to analyze and fix applications and answer your specific questions about application compatibility live.”

    You can attend using this link – just logon a few minutes before 7pm:

    As part of the “virtual” experience, you may submit your questions about Windows 7 Application Compatibility to the panel live during the event—or submit questions in advance to

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Windows 7 release dates for education


    Our Worldwide Partner Conference was on this week, and there has been a flurry of announcements. I’ll summarise those that may be important to you over the next few days, but if you can’t wait then go over to our PressPass site.

    One of the most important things mentioned at the conference was the imminent release of Windows 7. The Windows 7 team immediately added some more info to their blog, to give a bit more detail.

    The most important thing is that our customers who have a Campus Agreement, or another agreement with Software Assurance, will be the first to get access, and it looks like that’s in the middle of August.

    So the race is on to be the first university to deploy the release version of Windows 7 widely this summer!

    Here’s the verbatim from the Windows 7 blog:


    As previously stated, we expect Windows 7 to RTM in the 2nd half of July.

    Once Windows 7 is complete, how do I get it?

    The answer depends on who you are:

    • MSDN & TechNet Subscribers: Subscribers will be able to download the final version of Windows 7 a few weeks after we announce RTM.
    • Volume License (VL) Customers: Customers with Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download the final version of Windows 7 Enterprise a few weeks after we announce RTM. As announced today by Bill Veghte during his WPC09 keynote, customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 7 through Volume Licensing on September 1st.
    • Consumers, Enthusiasts, & Beta Testers (Everyone else): The retail version of Windows 7 will be available in stores October 22nd. If you pre-ordered Windows 7, it should be delivered sometime around the October 22nd timeframe (depends on the retailer).
    • On New PCs: OEMs are expected to start shipping new PCs with Windows 7 pre-installed on them around October 22nd.  Endquotes
  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Microsoft Simulation Software


    I've just noticed this software and can't believe I've not come across it until now:

    At a high level, it's a visual simulation platform that brings immersive games based technology to learning and training.  It's multi user, Internet and VoIP ready too with fast accurate real-time information feeds.  Have a run through of the video, you might want to mute your speakers first.

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    A question of security


    I was at a conference yesterday (sadly covered by Chatham House Rule so no juicy snippets) which looked at security of public sector ICT systems, and there was a session which was about malware. Although it was delivered in a matter-of-fact deadpan way, it left me feeling just a little bit nervous (and made me check that “Auto Updates” were enabled on my home PCs, as soon as I walked through the door of Chez Fleming).

    I’ll tell you a bit more by the end of the week, but one of the debates was about whether people running bigger ICT systems automatically applied updates (eg Windows Update), or tested them first. Now I’m not sure if you can compare universities and central government departments, so I need a bit of input on the poll below before I’m prepared to say any more…

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Exciting Learning eBook


    After a summer of hard work from Ollie Bray and members of the Microsoft Education team, we are thrilled to make our new Exciting Learning eBook available via our blog for the first time.


    The new eBook aims to address the following:

    • Enhance the understanding of the benefits of ICT and technology across the curriculum including literacy, numeracy, technology, personal, social and health education
    • Provide practical information on how technology can be used to increase student motivation and enhance learning
    • Give teachers the confidence to use technology in class as a learning and teaching methodology that reaches across all subject areas and age groups
    • Reinforce the importance and place of ICT skills for productivity and the 21st century skills agenda
    • Encourage teachers to consider using games design and other technologies with students to help children become creators rather than consumers of content
    • Improve advice on how teachers and school leaders might tackle some of the common challenges encountered when trying to develop the use of technology in schools

    The full eBook can be downloaded via our SlideShare Profile. Alternatively, the eBook can be viewed below.

    We hope you find it useful and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Learn all about Windows 8 at one of our Camps during summer


    Originally posted on the UK Faculty Connection Blog.

    Want to get up to speed on Windows 8 during the summer holidays? Here is a list of camps for you to attend. There are limited numbers at each event so if you want free training, app support and to get ahead of the curve with Windows 8 then you should sign up now!

    What to expect:

    The Windows 8 Camps have been designed to show you how to build a Windows 8 app. You can tailor the day to make it as personally productive and rewarding as possible. You can work on your own projects with assistance from Windows 8 experts, network with others and also have the option of attending short tutorial sessions on Windows 8 related topics.

    The Windows 8 Camps will cover an introductory overview session as well as a range of short tutorial sessions. Short tutorial sessions will include topics such as the basics of the OS and interaction with the OS, Metro style UX with examples in Store apps, The Store and the developer opportunity, the high level view of the platform - i.e. WinRT and the choice around implementation technology, and the tooling - the role of Visual Studio and Expression Blend. In addition, you will learn how you can publish your Windows 8 app into the Windows Store in advance of general release through the Windows 8 App Excellence Labs at this camp.

    The Windows 8 Camp will kick off at 9am and officially finish at 6pm, or 9pm for the hardcore attendees

    Before you arrive, please ensure you have downloaded:

    1) Windows 8 Release Preview installed and running on your machine
    2) Visual Studio 2012 Express RC installed

    Lastly, please let us know as soon as you can if you cannot make the camp as there will be many developers who are keen to take your spot. Please let us know (via written email) at least 2 days in advance if you are unable to attend the camp or a £20 administration fee will be charged. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you have registered and committed.

    Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at the Windows 8 Camp. Click here to register for an event near you!

    Don't forget we have lots of Windows 8 curricula resources available and additional resources see

    Curricula resources via Faculty Connection

    Windows 8 Camp in Box

    Creating your first Windows 8 Metro Style Design Game

    XNA Developers and Windows8

    Get up to speed on Windows 8 in 6 weeks

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    End of service for Windows XP and Office 2003


    If you are using Windows XP and Office 2003 in your school, college or university, we wanted to make you aware that the support for this will end in April 2014.


    Microsoft plans to end support for Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in 2014, and that will affect your education institution if you are using this software. On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide hot fixes, product updates, and most critical, security patches for Windows XP and Office 2003. This could affect your internal network security and regulatory compliance and potentially expose secure employee and organisational information. That’s why we recommend that your school, college or university updates its operating system.

    There are so many benefits to the modern education desktop including increased security, easier networking, better features and cost saving opportunities, so upgrading Windows and Office will be likely to increase productivity in your institution. For education specifically, upgrading will give you access to education apps and resources such as Learning Suite. Learning Suite is a free set of innovative applications that, when combined with the power of Microsoft Windows and Office, creates a robust, flexible and collaborative learning environment for both students and teachers.


    Also with the exciting approach of Windows 8 general availability launch on Friday 26th October 2012, there are lots of reasons to think about upgrading to the latest version. There are now over 220 education apps in the ever-growing Windows Store, and with a fresh, clean interface also comes significant new advantages and benefits of Windows 8 for education. Windows 8 for education now offers students a completely new experience, providing intuitive access to digital content alongside a fully functioning suite of learning enhancing tools that allow for more productive teachers, more engaged students and enhanced interaction and collaboration.

    So now is the time to gain the many advantages of upgrading your operating system in your school. While April 2014 may seem far away, we know that changing infrastructure is a time-consuming activity, requiring extensive planning and preparation. It’s important that your education institution has migrated from Windows XP and Office 2003 well before April 2014, and that you are using technologies like Windows 7 or Windows 8 and Office 2010 or the new Office, which are proven to be much safer, and also more economical to operate.

    Any change is requires careful planning, and moving from Windows XP and Office 2003 is no exception. By investing the time early to do this well, it will make things a lot easier. Microsoft and our partners have been helping schools, colleges and universities move to Windows 7 and Office 2010 since they launched and will do the same for Windows 8 and the new Office. A lot has changed in the decade since we released Windows XP; we have much better tools to help manage your environment (desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and even employee-owned devices), and help automate the migration process as much as possible.

    For more information, please visit:, which contains additional information on the options available to you, as well as pointers to a variety of helpful resources.

    You can also contact one of education partners for more information about upgrading.

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Learn how to get ahead in your career with the inevitable shift to cloud-based technologies


    Microsoft Learning is running a Cloud Career day on Tuesday 12th March 2013 as a virtual broadcast. Speakers include Mark Russinovich.




    As the cloud transforms IT, the need for qualified IT professionals has never been more urgent, and certification has never been more valuable. Registration is now open for Certified Career Day, an interactive LIVE event for IT professionals.

    Attendees will join a Live Industry Panel Broadcast comprised of industry experts who will discuss how the cloud is redefining IT recruitment and the growing need for certification. Then, Microsoft Product Specialists will host Live Product Sessions—in-depth depth discussions on Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 that will .

    Registrants are eligible to win an Acer Windows 8 tablet. Space is limited, so please register today at

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