June, 2011


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Universities now becoming Microsoft BizSpark Network Partners

    What is BizSpark?

    BizSpark is an innovative new program that unites start-up’s with entrepreneurial and technology resources in a global community with a common goal of supporting and accelerating the success of a new generation of high-potential start-up’s.

    BizSpark provides fast, easy access to current full-featured Microsoft development tools and production licenses of server products; professional technical support from Microsoft; and connections to a global community of business experts who can help guide you through the hurdles of growing your business.

    Download more details about BizSpark which describes the programme benefits and more.

    Visit the Microsoft BizSpark website.

    Visit the Microsoft Startup Zone.


    Eligibility requirements are minimal: If you're a privately held company building a software-based product or service (even using open source code), in business for fewer than three years, and with less than USD$1M in annual revenue, you're in!

    How to enrol

    To enrol, you must be sponsored by a BizSpark Network Partner. This is where University Innovation and Enterprise sections can offer a huge benefit to your start-up and entrepreneurs.

    BizSpark Network Partner Programme Guide, which explains how 3rdparty organisations like Universities can participate in becoming a BizSpark Network Partner.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Biology Initiative - new technology and tools to the area of bioinformatics and biology


    (MBI) Microsoft Biology Initiative is an effort in Microsoft Research to bring new technology and tools to the area of bioinformatics and biology.

    This initiative is comprised of two primary components, the Microsoft Biology Foundation (MBF) and the Microsoft Biology Tools (MBT).

    Microsoft Biology Foundation
    The Microsoft Biology Foundation (MBF) is a language-neutral bioinformatics toolkit built as an extension to the Microsoft .NET Framework—initially aimed at the area of Genomics research. Currently, it implements a range of parsers for common bioinformatics file formats; a range of algorithms for manipulating DNA, RNA, and protein sequences; and a set of connectors to biological web services such as NCBI BLAST. MBF is available under an open source license, and executables, source code, demo applications, and documentation are freely downloadable from the project page. MBF 2.0 beta 1 is now available for download. Learn more...

    Microsoft Biology Tools
    The Microsoft Biology Tools (MBT) are a collection of tools that enable biology and bioinformatics researchers to be more productive in making scientific discoveries. The tools in this catalog are free and, when available, include links to the source code and open source collaboration projects. Browse the catalog...

    Related Research Groups

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Tools and Resources for Academics and Researchers


    Data collection and analysis, as well as information authoring, publishing, and preservation, are essential components of an academic’s daily work. The following resources have been developed to help assist you with these tasks.

    Microsoft Tools and Resources

    Papers on STEM

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus Business breakfast network event



    On Friday June 17th Miles Deegan and myself  of Microsoft presented at the Daresbury SCI Business Breakfast Networking Event.


    daresburyin The Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus Business breakfast network event is an opportunity to connect with the North’s most dynamic hi-tech entrepreneurs, corporates, universities, support organisations and funding and professional communities.

    Once a month, a group of over 100 such individuals, meets in the Daresbury Innovation Centre to start their Friday with an hour or two of high-value networking.

    The presentation was aimed at Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud Services within SME and Microsoft BizSpark programme for start-up companies.


    Microsoft BizSpark

    A program that provides Software, Support and Visibility for Software Startups.


    Fast and easy access to current, full-featured tools and platforms you need to design, develop, test and demonstrate your software application. Here’s a sample list of the software you have access to:

    ASP.NET: a technology for building dynamic web applications

    Expression Studio: tools for designing and building web and Windows client applications and rich media content

    SQL Server: all editions of our database server software

    Visual Studio: a comprehensive suite of development tools designed to help software developers create innovative, next-generation applications

    Windows 7, Vista, XP: the latest and legacy Windows operating systems – for design, dev, test and demo only

    Windows Azure Platform: access to our cloud computing platform

    Windows Server: all editions of our server operating system

    For those familiar with Microsoft Products, BizSpark includes access and licenses to most of the software included in a Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN Subscription.


    A connection to over 2,000 BizSpark Network Partners. These are active members of the global ecosystem: university incubators, hosters, government agencies, investors, consultants, influential bloggers and financial institutions who can provide guidance, mentoring and resources.

    Email support, online training and invitations to local technical events for entrepreneurs working with early adopter technologies, like Windows® 7, Microsoft® Silverlight, Windows® Azure and Microsoft® SQL Server 2008.

    Developer support through managed newsgroups, online library, online concierge, newsletters, conferences, blogs

    Two technical support incidents per start-up


    Start-ups have the opportunity to achieve global visibility to an audience of potential investors, clients, and partners by profiling their company and posting offers and events in the BizSpark online networking hub, BizSpark Connect. Startups may also be highlighted as a featured company and be promoted as BizSpark "Startup of the Day” on Microsoft.com/BizSpark and BizSpark’s social media sites.

    To qualify for the programme you must meet the following criteria:

    Developing Software

    Privately held

    Less than 3 years old

    Making Less than US $1 million in annual revenue

    There is no fee to enroll in Microsoft BizSpark

    If you want to enrol on the programme you can do this most simply through Daresbury SIC who is a network partner.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Supporting Britain Works



    Giving people the opportunity to acquire workplace skills and experiences, Get the essential technology, design, and business tools that will help your students land the job of their dreams after graduation.

    Britain Works will help today and tomorrows students to learn new skills, improve and enhance  current skills, get real-world experience through internship programmes, and to start networking.

    Whether you're new to technology or a seasoned IT professional, Microsoft can help get you the skills, training and certification needed to compete in today's technology-driven workplace.

    Britain Works

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Kinect for Windows SDK event


    We had a fantastic morning and lunch with over 80 Academics, researchers and students at a special event our team ran on the Kinect for Windows SDK.

    The speakers and agenda for the day was as follows:-

    Introductions - Geoff Hughes, Developer Platform Evangelism, Microsoft Ltd

    The Science of Kinect - Andrew Fitzgibbon, PhD, Microsoft Research Cambridge


    Time: 00:26:46

    Overview of Kinect for Windows SDK - Dave Brown, PhD, Microsoft Technology Centre

    Demos from David’s Presentation are available here

    Microsoft External Research Connections - Kenji Takeda, PhD, Microsoft Research Cambridge

    It was a great morning with lots of stimulating thoughts, discussion and debate and UK academic’s are certainly thinking of interesting uses for the Kinect device and its potential usage within teaching, learning and research.

     We would welcome any ideas you might have and also keep us informed of your progress with the SDK.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    UK institutions using Live@edu SkyDrive has been upgraded



    Today Microsoft launched a update to its amazing SkyDrive services, the updates include speed boosts, a revamped UI, and improvements to photo viewing.

    SkyDrive is a service bundled into Microsoft Live services which all UK Academic receive for free if they provide the Microsoft Live@edu services.

    Windows Live enables you to do the things that are important to you, such as staying connected with all your friends. Read your friends’ status messages with the “What’s New” feed, or chat with them using Windows Live Messenger online, on your desktop, or via mobile. Windows Live includes Photo Gallery, SkyDrive, Windows Live Messenger, Movie Maker, and more. It’s the place where you can share photos, files, e-mail, and socialize with friends.

    The latest version is a update to the SkyDrive services which is now  almost four-year-old service has cut wait time on actions like clicking folders, from six to nine seconds down to 100 to 300 milliseconds.

    The updated software also features H.264 video playback, a navigation system and a single view for files, docs, and photos.

    A video tour of its SkyDrive cloud based services below. For tips on using SkyDrive more effectively click here

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft wins Best Cloud Service award at Cloud Computing World Series Awards



    Microsoft has won the Best Cloud Service award at the 2011 Cloud Computing World Series Awards.

    Having been judged by an independent panel of industry experts, the awards were presented to Microsoft at the 3rd annual Cloud Computing World Forum on the 21st June, Olympia, London.

    Since the Windows Azure platform became generally available over a year ago, it has been adopted by customers across 41 countries. These customers are creating new services and gaining greater efficiencies as they take their companies to the cloud, enabling them to able to address customer needs quickly with innovative solutions that are cost effective and reliable.

    “It’s fantastic for us to see this type of recognition for the Windows Azure platform. We’re seeing companies creating business solutions in record times, reinforcing the new possibilities created by the cloud,” said Michael Newberry, Windows Azure lead, Microsoft UK.

    For more information on Microsoft visit http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    New Pricing Structure for Windows Azure from 1st July 2011–FREE inbound data transfers


    cloudpower      Azure_thumbnail

    We are pleased to announce a change in pricing for the Windows Azure platform that will provide significant cost savings for customers whose cloud applications experience substantial inbound traffic, and customers interested in migrating large quantities of existing data to the cloud. For billing periods that begin on or after July 1, 2011, all inbound data transfers for both peak and off-peak times will be free.

    This is a positive move for UK Academic and educational customers, this announcement has already created a great deal of excitement within the UK academic sector.

    As a team were very excited by this change, the cost of inbound data transfer has been a significant concern to academic researchers and the changes will make research projects easier to estimate and removes a barrier or uploading large data sets.

    Buy making this announcement, we hope its make Windows Azure more affordable for the academic community, no matter what the project or research activity is or how large or small.

    So now if your transferring megabytes, gigabytes or terabytes, eliminating data ingress fees will significantly reduce the time and resources required for research and development, testing and significantly reduce operational costs

    We hope that changes such as these continue to increase the value of the Windows Azure platform for our customers.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Dare to be Digital–Microsoft Windows Phone and Kinect Teams


    What Dare is...


    Dare to be Digital is a video games development competition for extremely talented students at Universities and Colleges of Art. Teams of 5 students, usually a mix of artists, programmers and audio, assemble at Abertay University for 9 weeks during June to August to develop a prototype video game, receiving mentoring from industry.

    At the end of the competition, the prototypes are displayed at talent showcasing event Dare ProtoPlay. The general public and industry experts get to play and vote for the games. At the Dare awards ceremony, three prizes of £2500 will be awarded to the three highest scoring teams based on the criteria of innovation and creativity, market potential and use of technology (none of the three will be specifically attributed to any particular criterion). Seven months later the winning teams attend the BAFTA Video Games Awards to compete for the coveted "Ones to Watch Award".

    Microsoft is proud to be an official sponsor for the provision of Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft Kinect

    Kinect  Win7Phone

    In this blog I want to focus on the Windows Phone Teams a further blog will be written about the Kinect team

    The Windows Teams are:

    Team Rebel Donut social-twitter @Rebel_Donut

    blog: http://rebeldonutgames.blogspot.com/  

    Dare blog: http://www.daretobedigital.com/team-information-2011/team.php?idTeam=1315&year=2011 

    Team Tea and Techno social-twitter @TandTechno

    Dare blog: http://www.daretobedigital.com/team-information-2011/team.php?year=2011&idTeam=1435

    Here are the benefits for students taking part:

    • Enhance your CV
    • Get mentoring from the industry
    • Produce a demo to take to interviews
    • Hone your skills and get the experience that employers are looking for
    • Expose your skills and work to games industry luminaries / potential employers
    • Experience working as part of a team

    Want to know more

    Simply visit http://www.daretobedigital.com/

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