• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Porting iOS apps to Windows 8 – Online Session Sat 8th Dec


    apple-ipad iphone

    Do you have a great app in the iOS store, but haven't got around to porting it to Windows 8 yet?

    Well fear not, because help is at hand. We're running a 2 hour virtual workshop to give you all the information you need to to unlock a whole new market and opportunities to turn your work into profit.

    The workshop will run 10am-12pm on Saturday 8th Dec. It's completely free - we want to help you make the most of the fantastic opportunities the Windows Store offers.

    As part of the workshop our expert team will take you through the following stages.

    • Introduction to Windows 8 and the Windows 8 Store
    • What are the design differences in iOS and Windows 8?
    • What is it like to port an iOS App to Windows 8?
    • 101 on Building Windows Store Apps

    For more information, and to sign up now, visit http://ubel.ly/porttoios.

    For more resources on Windows 8 training camps and development resources see http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    New Windows 8 game competition from Scirra Construct2



    New Windows 8 game competition

    Scirra are excited to announce a new competition! see https://www.scirra.com/blog

    Create a game or port an existing one with Construct 2 and then successfully publish it to the Windows 8 Store by December 21st to be entered into the competition.

    • 1st Prize: a Windows 8 tablet, a Windows Phone 8 Nokia Lumia 920 and Construct 2 Business license
    • 2nd Prize: a Windows Phone 8 Nokia Lumia 920 and Construct 2 Business license
    • 3rd, 4th and 5th: Xbox 360 games bundle and Construct 2 Personal license
    • 6th-9th: Xbox 360 games bundle
    • 10th: Xbox 360 games bundle and a flying monkey

    1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will also of course get gold, silver and bronze trophy profile badges as well!

    How to enter
    1. Develop your game in Construct 2 and export for Windows 8. You can use the Free edition!
    2. Register as a Windows 8 publisher on the Windows 8 Store to publish your game. Note there is a fee to sign up a Windows 8 developer account, around $50 depending on your country. FREE for Student via www.dreamspark.com for additional details see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/09/12/improvements-to-dreamspark-and-free-store-access-for-windows-8-student-developers.aspx
    3. Consider incorporating some of the new Windows 8 features available like Snap View, Live Tiles and Share functionality
    4. Submit your game for publishing on the Windows Store
    5. Once your game has been published, let us know about it before December 21st for a chance to win!
    Submission dates

    You need to confirm that you have submitted your game for publishing to the Windows Store by December 21st, 2012 for a chance to win.

    Send an email to competition@scirra.com with your name, the title of your entry, and a link to the Store page to register your entry.

    A select panel of judges from Scirra and Microsoft will choose 10 games as the finalists and from that group of 10 we will select prize winners based on the criteria below, and will notify winners by January 11th, 2013.

    Note your game must be published in the store to be considered for entry, so you'll have to be quick - allow a week for the store acceptance process, which means submitting to the store by the 14th! You can enter existing games that you've ported from other platforms, and that might help you make an entry quickly.

    Unfortunately  apps that were published to the Windows Store before the start of this competition are not valid- they must be new submissions. However you can still submit an existing game that has not yet been submitted to the Windows Store.

    What are the judges looking for
    • Games must be created with Construct 2
    • Implementation of key Windows 8 features including Snap View, Live Tiles and Share functionality
    • Games that are unique, creative and innovative
    • Games that are consumer friendly
    Tips and Advice

    Use the Windows 8 object in Construct 2 to access Windows 8 features.

    Note the latest beta releases include more features, such as the ability to share images and screenshots of your game. See also our guide on How to make a Windows 8 app.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    What kind of Phone Developer are you?



    One great thing about academia is that its always important to understand your skills, particular situation, objectives and what you are trying to achieve.

    So thanks to Joel Citzen and his blog The following guidance will help you get started to being the most effective developer.

    What type of developer are you?

    New to the Platform
    Typically you would have no existing apps and can’t wait to build and ship your app to Windows Phone Store or Windows Store. In this case the suggestion is that as a beginner you grab the free tools and start exploring building for either platform. You can explore:

    Windows Phone

    Seasoned in Windows Phone App    
    You already built Windows Phone Apps and now want to build apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. You will find a lot of similarities when you develop your apps for both platforms. To get started explore:

    Win8_logo WinPhone8logo

    Seasoned in Windows Store App
    You already built Windows Store apps and now want to build apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. You will find a lot of similarities when you develop your apps for both platforms. You can get started by exploring these sources:


    Seasoned in another Platform
    You’ve built apps for other platforms, and want to ship them or port them to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Many of the programming concepts will be familiar. Both platforms support C++, and the tools have templates to help you get started. To learn more explore:

    Games Creator from another Platform
    You’ve built games for another platforms and want to port them to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. We’ve invested significantly in native gaming support on Windows Phone 8 and this will make it possible for you to port your existing games to both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Check these resources:

      Maximising Code Reuse.

      After choosing your approach, based on what type of developer you fall under, you can now decide what choices to make to maximize code reuse in your apps. As a developer, you want to streamline your development and make maintaining your app efficient. When building an app for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, you should look for opportunities to share code, designs, and assets as much as possible so that you maximize the return on your investment.


    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      Developing an end-to-end Windows Store app using C++ and XAML: Hilo (Windows) - Book Download




      The Hilo end-to-end photo sample provides guidance to C++ developers that want to create a Windows 8 app using modern C++, XAML, the Windows Runtime, and recommended development patterns. Hilo comes with source code and documentation. This is a PDF version of the on-line guidance "Developing an end-to-end Windows Store app using C++ and XAML: Hilo (Windows)."

      Developing an end-to-end Windows Store app using C++ and XAML: Hilo (Windows) - Book Download

      This is a PDF version of the on-line guidance "Developing an end-to-end Windows Store app using C++ and XAML: Hilo (Windows)"

      Quick details

      Date published:11/29/2012
      Language: English

      Download Now

      3.0 MB

      System requirements

      Supported operating systems: Windows 8

      Sample Code

      The sample code can be found here: Hilo C++ sample.

      Additional information

      The sample code can be found here: Hilo C++ sample.
      The online documentation can be found here: Developing an end-to-end Windows Store app using C++ and XAML: Hilo (Windows).
      For help and support visit the Hilo community site.

    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      Windows Phone 8 Training Kit now available

      Want to get Hands on and up to speed on Windows Phone 8 App development? You can now Download the Hands on Labs for the Windows Phone 8 Training Kit is now available to download for FREE

      Quick details

      Version: 1.0
      Date published: 11/26/2012
      Language: English


      Download Now

      157.3 MB


      Hands on labs for Windows Phone 8 software development

      System requirements

      Supported operating systems: Windows 8

      Windows 8 – http://dev.windows.com  
      Windows Phone SDK 8 – http://dev.windowsphone.com

      Additional Learning Resources

      Windows Phone API QuickStart Poster (PDF)
      Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 platform comparison
      What's new in Windows Phone SDK 8.0
      Using the MVVM pattern in Windows 8
      Targeting Multiple Platforms with Portable Code: Overview
      Sharing XAML UI
      Polymorphism (C# Programming Guide)
      MVVM Quickstart
      Implementing the Model-View-ViewModel pattern in a Windows Phone app
      How to: Add Existing Items to a Project
      Getting started developing apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8
      Develop Windows Store apps using C++ and XAML: Hilo
      Design library for Windows Phone
      Design guidance for Windows Store apps
      Cross-Platform Development with the .NET Framework
      Creating Windows Runtime Components
      Create a Continuous Client Using Portable Class Libraries
      Asynchronous Programming with Async and Await (C# and Visual Basic)
      Announcing the release of the .NET Framework for Windows Phone 8

      BUILD 2012 VIDEOS

      Create Cross-platform Apps using Portable Class Libraries (Build 2012)
      How to Leverage your Code across WP8 and Windows 8 (Build 2012)
      Windows Phone 8: Using C++ in your Applications (Build 2012)
      Windows Phone 8: Native C/C++ Game Development (Build 2012)

    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      TouchDevelop: A touch-first IDE for the Web created with TypeScript



      Last week a student at the University of York asked me about my views on typescript.

      So what is Typescript

      Typescript is a new JavaScript development environment, its been designed to help developers write more complex apps with the popular scripting language.

      TypeScript is free, open source and compiles into JavaScript, additionally Typescript will run on any browser, host or operating system.

      TypeScript is also extending JavaScript developers, by allowing enterprise tools to build large-scale apps around HTML 5 in the browser and on mobile devices. Apps for the Windows 8.

      Microsoft Technical Fellow Anders Hejlsberg states that. TypeScript is designed to add those extra bits, with static typing and classes at the top of Hejlsberg's list of developer desirables.

      Existing JavaScript code and libraries work in TypeScript, and it also support for Emacs, Vim and Sublime Text. A TypeScript editor plugin for Visual Studio 2012 has also been released. Code samples are already available, too.

      So how is Typescript being used, TouchDevelop is a novel, touch-first IDE originally written as a Windows Phone 7 app using C# and XAML.

      TouchDevelop lets you create WP7, Win8 and Web-apps directly on your phone, tablet, or desktop. Trying to build the JavaScript version, both for Win8 and the Web, we were frustrated by the complete lack of compile-time checking. We thus got very excited to be one of the very early adopters of TypeScript, a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to idiomatic JavaScript.

      For more details on Touch Develop Development see the following //build session.   http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2012/3-018 

      Typescript site http://www.typescriptlang.org/

    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      TouchDevelop Web App Preview at touchdevelop.com/app runs on Windows, iOS, Android


      New feature now available in Microsoft TouchDevelop, the mobile programming environment.

      TouchDevelop Web App Preview at touchdevelop.com/app runs on

      • PCs with Internet Explorer 10 or the latest versions of Chrome or Firefox
      • Microsoft Surface and other devices running Windows RT
      • iPad 2 or later (including the mini)
      • iPhone 4 or later
      • various Android phones and tablets with Chrome
      • Macs with the latest versions of Safari, Chrome or Firefox

      For Windows Phone 7/8 you can get the fully featured app in the Windows Phone Store that can access even more sensors and data.

      Create apps ON any devices - smartphones, tablets, PCs

      We have quite some fun testing the latest TouchDevelop releases on many different devices…


      TouchDevelop is a modern programming environment


      TouchDevelop lets you create and run apps on pretty much any modern computing device you might own from smartphones to tablets and even PCs. TouchDevelop features a predictive on-screen code keyboard and a touch-optimized programming language.

      Having been designed for mobile devices from the ground up, TouchDevelop is an excellent option for programming on touchscreen devices without keyboards. You can also use it with a traditional keyboard and mouse if your device supports them.


      After you have designed your fun game or a useful tool, you can share it with other people with a single tap or mouse click, so that they can run it or tweak it. More than 12,000 scripts have already been shared with over 40,000 users who have signed in to the TouchDevelop experience.


      Education and Learning


      TouchDevelop is also an excellent option for learning programming.

      The high-level programming languages makes it super easy to create simple apps. But TouchDevelop is not just for beginners – for more complicated tasks only sky is the limit, thanks to the underlying powerful language and extensive library support.

      Touch Develop for Building Windows 8 and Windows Phone Store Apps

      If the TouchDevelop environment is not enough, you can export true apps and submit them to the Windows Store or the Windows Phone Store to start earning money and building a portfolio

      Try it now!

      Start coding with the Web App in your browser at touchdevelop.com/app or get the Windows Phone app.

      Like TouchDevelop on Facebook to stay up to date.


      Win cash by developing apps with TouchDevelop! Winners will take the stage in Las Vegas at a special live event during IEEE CCNC 2013.*

    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      Windows 8 Shortcuts


      Last week I was travelling the country talking to academics and students about the opportunity of building apps for Windows 8.

      During the week I had a number of  really interesting discussions, however on Friday I had a comment from one student, who simply believed Windows 8, was for touch devices only.

      We got onto the topic of keyboard and mouse as I was presenting using a Lenovo thinkpad which supports both touch and keyboard and mouse. I was simply demonstrating Windows navigation via touch and then via keyboard and mouse during the presentation demos and the student in question seemed to be blown away by this and when we discussed this it more detail after the event he wasn't aware of the number of Windows Shortcut keys available.


      So here a quick list of some of my favourites


      Charms and menus

      image Charms

      image Share

      image Settings

      image Devices

      image Second Screen

        image Admin Menu



      image Apps Search Screen

      image Files Search Screen

      image Settings Screen



      image Lockscreen Orientation

         image Split to the right

        image Split to the left


      Start Screen

      image image Scroll Start Screen

      image Apps Options/App bar

    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      Imagine Cup UK – North East regional activities http://www.imaginecupnortheast.co.uk/




      So if your an academic or student based in the North East of the UK then you need to be aware of the Imagine Cup North East regional events which are being coordinated by Sunderland Software City. Last year the North East flew for the UK at the World Wide Finals with team eye works as the UK winner.

      Sunderland Software City and the regional support in the NE from Microsoft Partners and MVPs want to be the UK winners again!

      This week the teams from Sunderland Software City and a number of MVP Based in the North East held an event in Gateshead.

      I will be in the North East on Thursday and Friday presenting on the opportunity of Windows 8 Game Development at the University of Newcastle, Northumbria University and Teeside University so the Imagine Cup Gaming competition is ideal for students studying or with an interest in gaming.

      Sunderland Software City and the teams are hosting another event at the University of Teesside on the evening of Monday 3rd December and then are following this up with an event on Saturday 8th December which will help form teams and work on their entry ideas so we can ensure before Christmas teams are formed, know who they are working with (how to communicate with each other etc) and what they are working on. 

      Then at the end of January they are planning a 36 hour hack event with additional workshops and presentations (presentation skills, core skills - TFS, UX, Win8 Apps, WP8 Apps, Azure, Business Plans etc) running alongside the hack.

      If anyone shows interest and wants to know more direct them to www.imaginecupnortheast.co.uk where they can register for events

      You can stay in touch with us through www.twitter.com/imaginecupne and www.facebook.com/imaginecupnortheast

      For more details of ImagineCup see http://www.imaginecup.com

      The Competitions are:

      World Citizenship

      Make an app that could change someone’s life. Pick your cause: the environment, education, health, you name it. Use technology as an agent of change.


      Build amazing games for Windows 8, Windows Phone and the cloud.


      Reinvent social networks. Transform online shopping. Experience music in a new way. Do something amazing with GPS. It’s time to take that crazy idea of yours and ship it!

      For a student information pack click here

      For a faculty information pack click here

      If your interested in becoming a mentor click here

    • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

      Windows Azure Camps in Manchester 10th Dec




      In conjunction with Salford Software we are holding an exclusive,  IT Professional Azure Camp

      Monday 10th December, 2012

      Location – Media City, UK Plot B4, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 2HE

      This event is a technical hands on introduction to some of the IaaS Cloud Services that Microsoft is now offering to Academic organisations.

      The camp will be led by an Azure specialist and is aimed at the IT Professional. On it you will build and deploy an entire SharePoint infrastructure with a dual-machine server-farm, Active Directory Domain Controller and SQL Server. On the road to that infrastructure you will create a dual-server, load-balanced IIS website, a WIndows Azure Virtual Network in to which you will deploy the Active Directory Domain plus all the member servers (SQL and SharePoint) and you’ll also learn how to generalise your images and add them to your library of images to make future deployment simpler.

      All running in the Cloud!

      You will walk away with a complete – Cloud based – service that you will be able to continue to use, further develop and show colleagues following the camp.

      Please register at the site below:


      Windows Azure IT Pro Camp



      09:00 – 09:30


      09:30 – 10:00

      The Windows Azure Platform

      10:00 – 10:30

      Windows Azure Virtual Machines

      10:30 – 10:45


      10:45 – 11:15

      Lab: Windows Azure Virtual Machines

      11:15 – 11:45

      Windows Azure Virtual Networks

      11:45 – 12:15

      Lab: Windows Azure Virtual Networks

      12:15 – 12:45


      12:45 – 13:15

      Active Directory in the Cloud: Windows Azure Active Directory, Running a DC in Windows Azure


      Lab: Running an Active Directory Domain Controller in Windows Azure

      14:15 – 15:00

      SQL Server and Sharepoint in the Cloud

      15:00 – 15:15


      15:15 – 16:45

      Lab: Running a complete infrastructure in the cloud (Sharepoint, SQL Server, Active Directory)


      Wrap-up and Review

      Note: Because you can leave your Windows Azure service deployed and you will have all the configuration and projects etc. on your laptop when you leave the camp, any unfinished labs can be completed at home/in the office.

      You will need to bring a laptop and complete some pre-requisites to participate in the camp. Please see details below:

      You will need a working Windows Azure subscription and you need to have applied for and successfully been granted access to:

      Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks – for the IT Pro camp.

      There is a video that describes how to apply for these features here.

      Any working subscription is suitable; paid or free.

      You can get a free trial subscription. This grants you access to certain resources free for 90 days. You will need a Windows Live ID and a Credit Card to register. The spending limit on the free trial account is set at £0.00. When the free trial period of 90 days has passed you will be asked if you’d like to remove the spending limit and from that point on treat it as a standard paid subscription.

      If you use more than the free allocation of resources in a month, you will also be asked if you’d like to remove the spending limit. There is no perpetually free subscription available for Windows Azure.

      Details of the free trial accounts are here:

      To get a free trial subscription go to http://bit.ly/azure4free. . To register for this offer, you need a credit card to activate it, but the spending limit on the subscription is set to £0.00 so you won’t be charged.

      To add Windows Azure benefits to your existing MSDN subscription, go to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/member-offers/msdn-benefits/

      To add Windows Azure benefits if you are a BizSpark customer, go to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/member-offers/bizspark-benefits/

      To add Windows Azure benefits if you are an MPN member go to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/offers/ms-azr-0002p

      There are also free trial subscriptions available to certain MSDN subscribers. Or if your at teaching academic you can apply for a Azure Educator account which offer a 12 month FREE subscription at http://www.windowsazure.com/education

      IT Pro camp pre-requisites

      As an IT Pro who uses a laptop, you’ll almost certainly have the required software already installed. You will need:

      A working Windows Azure subscription – see details above. You need to have successfully applied and been granted access to the Windows Azure Virtual Machines preview.

      A wireless-enabled 64-bit laptop with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 8 RTM. The camp is written with Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 users in mind. If you are using Windows 8 there will be variations in the way the UI is described.

      Bring the power supply: you will be using the laptop all day.

      A basic knowledge of the Windows infrastructure stack (Windows, Windows Server, Active Directory, Web, Security, SQL Server etc) to the level required by an IT Pro.

      Perform the following software setup:

      1. Log in to an account that has full administrative privileges on the 64-bit machine. This is the account you will do the machine setup from and also the lab-work. It’s essential to ensure you use the same administrative account for both setup and lab-work to avoid permissions problems. By far the biggest problems on this bootcamp are to do with permission problems on machine setup.

      2. Install the Windows Azure Powershell Cmdlets by following the instructions on this page:


      Frequently Asked Questions

      How much do I need to know about Windows Azure to attend this Camp?

      You don’t need any prior experience or knowledge about Windows Azure to attend this Camp. The purpose of the event is to provide you with the basic skills and knowledge to get started with learning about Windows Azure.

      Who can attend the Camps?

      Students, developers, technologists, IT Pros, architects, hobbyist, technology enthusiasts. Everyone is welcome! All we ask is that you are ready and keen to learn about Windows Azure.

      How much does it cost to attend this Camp?

      Your luck’s in – it’s free.

      What do I need to prepare in advance to make the most of the Camp?

      There are a basic set of things you should prepare before attending the Camp, listed above. Please make sure you are prepared so you can make the most of your day at the Camp.

      What if I have registered already and cannot make it on the day?

      Please let us know as soon as you can if you can’t make the camp as there’ll be plenty of people who are keen to take your spot. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you have registered and committed. Thanks!

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