Faculty Connection is an online set of real-world resources and shared peer knowledge, the goal of the Faculty Connection site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips of technology educators.
The UK Academic Team is responsible for offering IT students and faculty members free access to software, for enhancing knowledge and skills by providing curriculum materials and other learning opportunities, for helping students achieve their dreams by organizing an international competition, and finally for assisting last year students through career resources and job opportunities at our customers and partners.
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
Good news Windows Phone lovers, Orange UK are offering all Orange Windows Phone customers a free app every day during July. To download your free app, navigate to “Orange Selects” within the Marketplace on your phone.
The app at the top of the list is the free app of the day, and will change each day. Enjoy!
Today I’m excited to share with some exciting development news relating to Microsoft Surface and how were helping you support the next generation device – the Samsung SUR40 Microsoft Surface.
Microsoft Surface 2.0 SDK releases next week!
At MIX 2011, the Surface Team announced that they would release our SDK this summer. I am happy to share with you that the SDK will be available for public download for free from the Microsoft Download Center on July 12th.
For those of you who haven't seen or heard of Surface SUR40 please watch the following video from the MIX11 Conference
Here are some of the new features which are ideal in the academic teaching learning and research space.
1. The SDK now runs on the latest technologies: WPF 4.0, XNA 4.0, Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit).
2. Multiplatform support the new SDK target both Microsoft Surface Hardware and Windows 7 Touch enabled PCs with a single SDK. The surface team have coined the phrase “Write once - touch anywhere”. That means that the same binary can be used in both types of hardware and for you this means you can get developing for surface using multitouch PCs which will save budgets and mean you can get developing today!
3. The ability to actually query the hardware capabilities of the device.
4. New APIs for you to query the capabilities of the hardware (maximum number of touches recognized by the hardware, whether the hardware can actually distinguish touches caused by fingers versus other touches, tag recognition support, tilt support, etc.)
You can learn more about adapting your application to the environment here.
5. The availability of a Microsoft Surface Input Simulator. For more information on our new Input Simulator, check out the Surface Team blog post.
6. A new look consistent with other Microsoft Products such as Zune and Windows Phone. The style is clean, simple yet elegant.
7. The ability to port a Surface v1 application, check out the Microsoft Surface Migration PowerToy will be available via the Code Gallery on July 12 as well the PowerToy is also open source in case you want to tweak it for your needs.
Introducing the Microsoft Surface Design and Development Center on MSDN The Microsoft Surface Design and Development Center provides access to the Microsoft Surface 2.0 SDK, online training, hands on labs, design and interaction guidelines, application certification, documentation, whitepapers, developer forums and other resources. The Design and Development Center focuses on helping people get jumpstarted with developing amazing new vision based touch applications that people can share at the same time.
Microsoft Surface Online Training Resources
The online training is a course that enables people to learn about planning, designing, developing, testing, and deploying Microsoft Surface 2.0 applications for use on the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface and Windows 7 touch PCs. People proceed through the course at their own pace, or jump directly to the topics which they need. Hands on labs provide developers and designers with a guided opportunity to start building applications and get familiarized with the Microsoft Surface 2.0 SDK. Design and interaction guidelines, certification, and SDK documentation help outline the best practices for making great touch applications that draw on the power of vision input and object interaction. The developer forums are a place that the Surface development community can share information, get help and support.
For more information on Microsoft Surface see the Microsoft Surface Team Blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/surface/
As your all aware from one of my recent posts HPC customers now have access to additional resources, which have been made available with the release of Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2. I am pleased to announce the availability of a new white paper entitled Introducing Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2 which can be downloaded via the Microsoft Download Center.
The paper is available for FREE and is authored by David Chappell, Principal of DavidChappell & Associates, and is designed to provide insight into Windows HPC Server for those running parallel applications on clusters. Chappell explains. “The goal is to support high-performance computing (HPC), a category that includes a range of applications that can benefit from being distributed across a cluster. To allow this, Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Service Pack (SP) 2 supports four major types of parallel applications. This paper provides an introduction to Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2, including a look at the services it provides for creating and using clusters and an overview of how it supports each of the four application types. With today’s broader notion of cluster, which includes desktop workstations and cloud instances as well as traditional on-premises servers, adopting this technology has gotten easier.” The whitepaper describes the following methods of parallel applications supported by Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP2
Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2 (SP2) RTM is available for download here.
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.
Want to know more about Dare to be Digital see the following video
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
In this blog I want to focus on the Kinect teams
The Microsoft Kinect Teams are:
Team Ape-y Eyes Blog http://daretobedigital.com/team-information-2011/team.php?idTeam=1491&year=2011 Twitter @ApeyEyes
Team Crispy Nugget Studios Blog http://daretobedigital.com/team-information-2011/team.php?idTeam=1233&year=2011 Twitter @Crispy_Nugget_S
Team Digital Knights Blog http://daretobedigital.com/team-information-2011/team.php?idTeam=1380&year=2011 Twitter @Dare2011DK Team Furnace Games Blog http://daretobedigital.com/team-information-2011/team.php?idTeam=1415&year=2011 Twitter @FurnaceGames
Here are the benefits for students taking part:
Want to know more
Simply visit http://www.daretobedigital.com/
Microsoft Openness goal is to promote greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for customers and developers throughout the industry by making our products more open and by sharing even more information about our technologies.
Microsoft has changed as a company and is becoming more open in the way that we work with and collaborate with others in the industry, in how we listen to customers, and in our approach our the cloud services, tools and support.
For example did you know Microsoft is one of the biggest contributes to the Linux 3.0 project? LWN.net published an article listing the different contributors to the changes in the source code of Linux kernel 3.0. According to the article, Microsoft has contributed 361 changes/patches to the Linux kernel 3.0, which makes it Microsoft the seventh largest contributor to the kernel and fifth largest corporate contributor.
Watch this video where James Utzschneider, General Manager of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Microsoft explains how Microsoft is becoming more open.
At Microsoft, we’re building bridges across platforms, applications and data to create a more interoperable IT ecosystem. On this site, you’ll find stories of governments, companies, universities and individuals who have found success mixing Microsoft technologies with other technologies – including open source – to make efficient, forward-thinking solutions. And we’d love to hear from you, too.
Share your story or simply give some feedback via the Openness site http://www.voiceofopenness.com/
Openness Blog - http://blogs.technet.com/b/openness/
Openness Case Studies and Stories - http://www.voiceofopenness.com/
Openness Site - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/openness/default.aspx
Openness on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/openatmicrosoft
Microsoft & SUSE Linux Support https://expandedsupport.com
The Windows Azure Marketplace is a global online market for customers and partners to share, buy, and sell finished SaaS applications and premium datasets.
The marketplace offer a interesting resource for academic worldwide. The marketplace simply provides you access to Windows Azure based applications & datasets, the Windows Azure Marketplace is a one-stop location supported by Microsoft to help you succeed.
The data section of Windows Azure Marketplace includes data, imagery, and real-time web services from leading commercial data providers and authoritative public data sources. Customers will have access to datasets such as demographic, environmental, financial, retail, weather and sports. The data section also includes visualizations and analytics to enable insight on top of data.
The application section of the Windows Azure Marketplace contains valuable finished applications to help you, all built on the Windows Azure Platform. From billing engines to content managements systems to HPC solutions and everything in between, the applications in the Windows Azure Marketplace can help accelerate your success with the platform.
Interested in publishing your application? Click here to learn more here
If your new to cloud computing and want to have some guidance on using Windows Azure take a look at the Getting Started Tutorials.
Tutorials and Guidance
The Azure getting started tutorial resources have been developed to help you get up-and-running quickly. In addition the new tutorials section on the Windows Azure product website contains all the content, tutorials and guidance of all aspects of the Windows Azure platform.
Some of the new getting started tutorial include:
The resource bring together, Windows Azure tutorials from across several Microsoft sites and groups them by task and experience level to make it easy for you to get started with cloud services.
How to move an existing application to Windows Azure - Migrate Services and Data Tutorials
Adding authentication to an existing Windows Azure application, - Control Access Tutorials.
For feedback on these resources please contact: email@example.com.
For all of you whom are interested in open source take a look at The Interoperability bridges and Labs Center, the site is dedicated to technical collaborative work to improve interoperability between Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies.
On the web site, you will find a live directory of freely downloadable technical resources and related content such as demos, technical guidance and articles. The Center is run by the Microsoft Interoperability Strategy Group working with the Open Source community.
Microsoft Platform & Java Cloud Interoperability HTML5 Labs Windows Azure for PHP Windows Phone Interoperability
Apache POI OpenXML Java API Apache Stonehenge
AppFabric SDK for Java AppFabric SDK for PHP AppFabric SDK for Ruby Windows Azure Command-line Tools for PHP Windows Azure SDK for PHP Windows Azure Companion Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java Windows Azure SDK for Java Windows Azure SDK for PHP Windows Azure Storage for WordPress Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse
Bing 404 for WordPress Bing 404 Web Page Error Toolkit for PHP Bing Maps Module for Drupal Bing Search Library for PHP
Eclipse Tools for Silverlight Enhancements of Eclipse on Windows 7 Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse
Information Cards for C Information Cards for Java Information Cards for PHP Information Cards for Ruby
Lab: Development Environment and Software Configuration Management (SCM) Interoperability Lab: Directory Management Interoperability Lab: Document & Records Management Across Portals Lab: Federated Identity Lab: Interoperability with Open XML Lab: Multi-platform System Management Lab: Portal Aggregation and Integration Lab: Remote Desktop Interoperability Lab: Systems Management
OData Client for Objective C (iPhone-Mac) OData Module for Drupal OData SDK for PHP Restlet Extension for OData
Office Binary to Open XML Translator OpenXML Document Viewer/HTML Translator OpenXML/ODF Translator OpenXML/UOF Translator
Samples for PHP with Silverlight Samples for PHP with Webslices & Accelerators SQL CRUD Application Wizard for PHP SQL Server Reporting Services SDK for PHP Toolkit for PHP with Virtual Earth (Bing Maps) Windows Azure Command-line Tools for PHP Windows Azure SDK for PHP
Silverlight Pivot viewer Module for Drupal
Windows Live ID Module for Drupal
WSRP Producer for Microsoft SharePoint Server Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin Download HTML5 Extension for Windows Media Player Firefox Plug-in Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome
What is Microsoft Cloud Services, well Microsoft’s cloud is now comprised of a globally distributed datacentre infrastructure supporting hundreds of online services and millions of transactions on a daily basis.
Microsoft Cloud services include Windows Azure, Live@edu, SkyDrive, Office 365, Bing, MSN, Windows Live, Hotmail and Xbox Live and have more than a billion customers and 20 million businesses in over 70 countries who actively use these services.
The Microsoft Data centre strategy has continually evolved, from the initial Microsoft datacentre which was built in 1989 starting with the Generation 1 to todays Generation 4 series datacentres all of which have ISO and PCI certifications, SAS70 Type II attestations, and FISMA certification and accreditation.
PUEs in the Generation 4 centres has been driven even lower as we are also using free air cooling for our N+1 modular designs. These fully modular facilities have reduced Microsoft's ability to provide services by 50% and deliver outstanding PUEs, low water utilization and low total cost of ownership.
For more details of Microsoft datacentre strategy and facilities see the following video tour and read further details at the Microsoft Datacentre blog.
Researchers from the University of Washington and Microsoft Research Connections are working together to develop a non-invasive, technological solution to improve both the health and overall quality of life for diabetics: a contact lens that monitors blood glucose levels. The functional contact lens is an example of how natural user interfaces (NUI) can enable the development of innovative solutions. To learn more, read the blog, Functional Lens Promises to Improve the Quality of Life for Diabetics and Others.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell, Microsoft Surface, and Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio developed a human-robot interaction application to create novel remote controls for rescue robots. Once perfected, this approach could enable emergency responders to safely manoeuvre rescue robots through buildings that are damaged by earthquakes, fire, or even terrorist attacks.
The eXtreme Computing Group within Microsoft Research has developed an iterative MapReduce runtime for Windows Azure, code-named Daytona. It enables laboratories, small groups, and individual researchers to use the power of the cloud to analyse data sets on gigabytes or terabytes of data and run large-scale machine-learning algorithms on dozens or hundreds of compute cores. The Project Daytona download includes a deployment guide, developer and user documentation, and code samples for both data analysis algorithms and client application. Learn more:
· Microsoft Research Debuts ‘Daytona’ Azure Analytics Tools
· Microsoft Research Releases Details About "Daytona" at Faculty Summit
· Free Tool Kit to Assist Big-Data Scientists
We are pleased to announce the launch of a program that supports collaborations between Microsoft Research Connections and major research institutions to build the foundations for a unified game layer for education. Our first official project is Just Press Play, an experiment to craft gameful experiences for the students of Rochester Institute of Technology undergraduate game design program. (Gameful experiences incorporate the use of game play mechanics that focus on the user's intrinsic motivation—engaging the user in a way that can produce long-lasting and powerful results.)
Learn about Microsoft Research Accelerators tools and services for academics and researchers that are designed to help scientists, researchers, teachers, and students explore science, analyze and visualize data, and publish the results of their research. This video provides a brief introduction to just a few of our many Research Accelerators, including the Chemistry Add-in for Word, Zentity, Scientific Workflow Workbench, and Try F#.
Find out how you can create cloud-enabled mobile applications with the tools and services that are included in the Project Hawaii software development kit (SDK). Arjmand Samuel, research program manager from Microsoft Research Connections, talks about what the SDK contains and how it can be used to develop Windows Phone applications.
The twelfth Microsoft Research Faculty Summit provided a forum for lively debate of the development, application, and funding of technologies in the environmental, medical, and educational spheres over a long period of time. The program consisted of keynote presentations, discussions, panels, workshops, and demonstrations. Learn more about the event and the integral role that industrial research plays in society, education, and technology transfer.
Interest in the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) beta, released on June 16, 2011, has been strong, and we’re delighted to learn that so many developers and innovators who are experimenting with natural user interface (NUI) applications have taken advantage of the SDK to explore the potential of the Kinect sensor. The community has provided us with a lot of good feedback, and in support of our commitment to encourage researchers and enthusiasts in their exploration of the exciting possibilities of the Kinect sensor, we will release a refreshed version of the SDK soon. The upcoming Kinect for Windows SDK beta refresh will address some of the top items you’ve told us about.
The Oxford University vaccine group is conducting a clinical trial to help save lives by making it easier for Nepalese patients to get a complete round of pneumonia vaccinations. The current vaccination regime consists of two injections administered consecutively; but to complete the regime, a third injection is required six months later. This third injection often does not get administered in Nepal, where it is difficult for many patients to access hospitals. Oxford University’s trial aims to determine whether three vaccines administered in a shorter time period can provide similar pneumonia protection. A system that employs Microsoft SharePoint and InfoPath enabled the vaccine group to create and deploy the clinical trial support infrastructure more quickly and inexpensively than by conventional methods. Oxford University Computing Lab and Microsoft Research Connections developed the system jointly.