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  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    iOS Resources for Windows 8 Developers:


    The iOS Resources page ( is now live on dev center. This is a great starting place for iOS developers to begin their Windows app building.  

    apple-ipad surface

    The page currently has numerous articles, including:

    - Installing Windows 8 and dev tools on Macs

    - Getting started guide for iOS developers

    - API mapping index preview which maps iOS APIs to Windows 8 APIs saving developers’ time when porting over apps

    - An introduction to C# for Objective-C developers

    - iPad design case study

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    //Build Windows Phone 8 and availability of SDK





    Today at BUILD we announced the availability of the Windows Phone 8.0 SDK.



    - Announcing the new Windows Phone 8 Developer Platform by Kevin Gallo -

    - Windows Phone 8 SDK at the Download Center -

    - Updated Windows Phone Dev Center -

    - What’s new in Windows Phone 8 -

    - Visual Studio Blog – Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0 -

    - .Net Framework Blog – Announcing the release of the .NET Framework for Windows Phone 8 -

    - Windows Phone Blog – Meet Windows Phone 8 -

    - Windows Phone 8 Developer Videos -

    - Windows Phone Dev Center Twitter Feed -

    - Windows Phone Twitter Feed -

    Download Windows Phone 8 now

    The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 has been released to the web and is immediately available for download via MSDN Subscriber Downloads, as well as via the Microsoft Download Center using the following links:

    - Direct link:

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Channel9 Windows 8 Videos and Build Keynote



    Channel 9 has 85 new videos on Windows 8.

    There are over 30 in their “Introducing Windows 8” series. These are great starter and include all the necessary information for anyone wanting to get started on Windows 8 ( i.e. here’s what Share means, here’s what Search means )

    There are also some really interesting video on the following subject areas which are great for students wanting to develop application portfolios

    1) Enterprise Deployment -

    2) Understanding Windows Store





    3) Accessibility videos



    Don't forget Windows Build starts today 30/10/12


    Stay tuned, because Microsoft's BUILD conference is rapidly approaching, and Windows Phone will be there. BUILD sold out in record time this year, and if you weren't one of the lucky few who got a spot, don't worry, because the entire event will be streamed live.

    Build 2012

    Build 2012 Redmond, WA, October 30 - November 2, 2012, 136 sessions Live Stream

    At Build, we'll dive deep to cover all the areas you care about. How to design and build beautiful Windows 8 apps. How to sell your apps in the Windows 8 Store and make money. And much more. Join us on the Microsoft Campus for 4 days of extraordinary presentations delivered by the…

    //Build Resources

    We're looking forward to going in depth with you on what's new in Windows Phone 8 for developers. Watch Channel 9 for session content 24-48 hours post-event.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone 8 launch event to be held in San Francisco on October 29th


    Today is a important day for Windows Phone, Come see what’s new in Windows Phone 8. Join the webcast at 10 a.m. PT on Oct. 29, live from San Francisco.


    Resources for Windows Phone 8

    Youtube -

    Facebook -

    Windows Phone Blog -

    Pininterest -

    Webcast -

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Three Thing Game Winner – Team Sheerware with HyperMorpth


    ThreeThingGame LogoT MonogameLogo100x100 Win8_logo

    Well today marked the final of the University of Hull Three Thing Game competition.

    From the 40 team 160 students who started we had only lost a small number and throughout the night all of the teams had made AWESOME progress. 


    Many of the teams were already testing and evaluating their and fellows teams games when we arrived back at the venue early this morning.

    I have to state that we were all significantly impressed with the number of first year students who were still in attendance when considering they had only started with XNA this week so the last 24 hours had been a significant learning curve.

    The judging was extremely difficult, I had the honour to be part of the judging teams, during the judging we were chaperoned by camera operators who captured the presentations on video @RobMiles and the team from Hull will be editing these and making them available as show real so check back soon for an update.

    Each team of judges then picked their top two entries, the top two from each group went forward into the final rounds, which consisted of eight teams. The eight teams then had to present and demo their game to the audience of fellow finalist and judges which consisted of Academics, Indie Gaming Dev’s, Microsoft and Monogame staff.

    Thanks to Rob for this lovely picture of me and the prizes you can see his full photo stream here on Flickr


    The finalist wait anxiously to be called to present. Judges can be scary!


    The Finals

    Finalist 1. ‘Three Game’O’Holics’, the first presenters, preparing to show off their game inspired by “Fighting, Desk, in a Dress”. This was an impressive take on the a doodle jump style game with a addictive two player mode and would make a gorgeous Windows Phone and Windows 8 app.


     Finalist 2  ‘No Method, No Class’. with “Caffeine, Monkey, under attack”. The gameplay and sound-effects were excellent as monkeys came in for the kill. Huge Kudos to this team as the group was made up of one second year and two first year students and was significant addictive top down shooter.


    Finalist 3. ‘Uncle Mikes Recursive Prolog Party?’” who had built a space shooter, Asteroid style but with semantic zoom to view the galaxy with a seriously addictive sound track. Again a perfect app for the Windows 8 store with the use of virtual joypad and semantics zoom control.


    Finalist 4.  ‘Sheerware Games’ showing off their Hyper Morph Windows Phone game, made from "Flying, Bombs, Tank". Based on the side scrolling defender/Rtype game built for Windows Phone and portable to Windows 8 via Monogame.


    Finalist 5. The Honeybadger crew with Ninja defence a superb Windows Phone with invaders storming your castle and you letting loose with arrows, ninja stars and fireworks to see them off again a polished app ready for the Windows Phone marketplace and Windows 8 store via monogame.


    Finalist 6. ‘Michael Jacksons Indian Takeaway’ with “Spray of Duty Modern Warbear” really original game  based on a lone Teddy soldier using his deodorant to save off increasing numbers of invading poptarts of various flavours. The game had amazing use of shaders this would be excellent as Windows 8 app using either a virtual control pad or keyboard or controller.


    Finalist 7.Battle Brothers They had created an astonishing looking space warfare game. This had great 3D graphics and physics engine. This would be a great rival to Armed within the Windows 8 store and I know it would have lots of interest and downloads.


    Finalist 8 Two Sirs’ This was one of the most ambitious games I have ever seen, the team developed a multi-player game experience involving a battle between Kinect controlled angler fish and Windows Phone powered goldfish.



    And the winners are!

    In Third Place.  Battle Brothers with their Lego prizes and I’m looking forward to seeing this amazing 3D Space Shooter in the Windows 8 store soon.


    In Second Place. Honeybadger Productions clutching their prizes of Microsoft Kinect sensor and Microsoft T shirts prizes. Well deserved and a game with great potential and look forward to seeing this is the Windows Phone marketplace and Windows 8 store soon.



    And the Winners!

    Sheerware get the big prize of Windows Phone, Windows Phone Design Guide, Limited Edition Windows 8 T Shirt, and USB drive. I am really looking forward to downloading Hyper Morph from both the Windows Phone marketplace and Windows 8 store soon.



    The People Choice Winner – Voted by all the participating teams in the competition.

    The prize of Star Wars Lego Advent Calendars and Exclusive T Shirts went to Sheerware.


    So the key message

    Get students undertaking competition such as this, ensure students develop real portfolios uploading apps/games to the Windows Phone and Windows 8 stores to demonstrate their competences and skills. All Students get free Windows Phone Marketplace, Windows 8 and Xbox developer accounts and store accounts for FREE via for more details see and

    Samples and References

    For students interested in developing for XNA we have lots of resources available for FREE see

    Microsoft Faculty Connection Resources -
    XNA Creators Club Education Samples -
    Windows 8 Development for XNA using MonoGame

    Getting your apps in Store

    You may be building great apps and games but don't forget to add the features that will make them shine

    Windows 8 app certification requirements

    Resolving certification errors after submitting to store

    Other Competitions

    posterv3 (6)

    The Inter University Game Jam 2012 is taking place on 17-18th of Nov so if this was interest please enter or get your students to enter via


    The Imagine Cup 2013 the premier student world wide student game development competition.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Porting of a existing XNA Windows Phone Game to Windows 8


    Windows Phone Win8_logo

    Basic considerations

    Typically, you develop an application for Windows Phone 7 by using Microsoft Silverlight  and one of the managed programming languages—usually C# or XNA.

    There are two main Windows Store app development approaches that you can use when migrating your Windows Phone 7 app: XAML, and JavaScript with HTML5. You develop Windows Store apps using C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using one of those languages with XAML, whereas you develop Windows Store apps using JavaScript with JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5 along with the Windows Library for JavaScript.

    Porting to a Windows Store app using XAML

    A Windows Store app using C++, C#, or Visual Basic, using XAML, is the preferred model for ports from Windows Phone 7. If you are familiar with Silverlight, you can port to a Windows Store app using XAML by using familiar languages like C# or Visual Basic, and a similar set of UI elements and APIs.

    For more detail about porting a Windows Phone 7 application to XAML, read Migrating a Windows Phone 7 app to XAML.

    Porting to a Windows Store app using JavaScript

    A Windows Store app using JavaScript is another model for Windows Phone 7 ports, and may be better suited for simple UI-based apps or to full-screen web apps or clients.

    However if your a game developer then you can move your existing Windows Phone XNA using Monogame.

    Porting to Windows Store app using MonoGame

    For some background you can read these posts:

    During the ThreeThing Game event, Dean Ellis @InfSpaceStudios  talked through the porting of a one of the teams Windows Phone game, Shear Carnage to Windows 8, the initial port took 7mins 47seconds, which is pretty impressive stuff!


    Some of the key features, the team now need to work on now to get the app store ready is..

    • In app advertisement
    • Windows 8 Store app contracts and charms settings to allow the tweeting and sharing of results
    • Development of a online leader board
    • A ensuring the app functions is both landscape and portrait modes.

    Overall this is pretty stunning for existing Windows Phone developers taking existing or new phone apps to both the Windows Phone Marketplace and Windows 8 Store.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Three Thing Game Saturday 27th October


    ThreeThingGame LogoT

    Three Thing Game has now started 40 teams with 160 students in attendance across two computer labs at the University of Hull

    here is a quick update of the day so far..

    WP_000621 WP_000620

    Saturday 27th October  

    1.00 pm XNA Rob Miles XNA session


    Here is selection of Demos from Rob's presentation:

    You can find all the demos here.

    Here are links to the some of the code we developed in the session, plus a bonus “coloured cloud” version.

    You can find a video of the presentation here, from Mix 11 in Las Vega where is was first presented. You can get a free XNA book from here.

    2:00 pm Mono Game Development on Windows 8 Presented in Lecture Theatre A by the MonoGame team and Microsoft. 


    Here is a copy of the presentation and I will make available Dean Windows 8 Store App demo of the 3D XNA tank via an Appx Package later today. 

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Welcome to Windows Store App Labs!



    Windows Store App Labs are physical locations in more than 30 cities where you can access Windows 8 devices, get design help, and meet with Windows experts to make your app great. All for free! The UK Location is at Modern Jago, Club Row, Arnold Circus, Shoreditch, London, E2 7ES


    Check out and test on the newest Windows 8 devices

    Test your app on a variety of screen sizes, input methods, and chipsets with the latest Windows 8 devices including Windows RT tablets, Ultrabooks, All-in-Ones, and more.

    Get design guidance from leading edge design agencies

    Designers will review your app mock-ups or your complete app and provide feedback on how you can improve your app’s layout, navigation, live tile, and other UI elements.

    Get technical guidance from Windows 8 experts

    Our Windows experts are on hand to help test your app and offer any technical advice you need. We can help you with coding tips, debugging, and prepping your app to submit to the Windows Store.


    United Kingdom


    Monday, October 29, 2012

    8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Modern Jago


    United Kingdom


    Monday, October 29, 2012

    1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    Modern Jago


    United Kingdom


    Monday, November 5, 2012

    8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Modern Jago


    United Kingdom


    Monday, November 5, 2012

    1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    Modern Jago


    United Kingdom


    Monday, November 12, 2012

    Coming Soon! - -

    Modern Jago


    United Kingdom


    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Coming Soon! - -

    Modern Jago


    United Kingdom


    Monday, November 26, 2012

    Coming Soon! - -

    Modern Jago


    United Kingdom


    Monday, December 3, 2012

    8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Modern Jago


    United Kingdom


    Monday, December 3, 2012

    1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    Modern Jago


    United Kingdom


    Monday, December 10, 2012

    Coming Soon! - -

    Modern Jago


    United Kingdom


    Monday, December 17, 2012

    Coming Soon! - -

    Modern Jago



  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Using the right tone of voice for your brand


    Many of you are aware that a few months ago my colleague Andrew Spooner (@andspo) developed a series of films which focused on various aspects of digital design and user experience.

    A number of UK Universities used these videos as part of their guest lecture series, with the launch of Windows 8 Andrew is currently producing a new set of videos, the first of which has been taken up by .net magazine.

    The concept of the video is based upon how we use words in our applications and how we can use tone of voice more consistently across communications, from the application to the error message.

    Andrew simple focus is help you understand, that when you consider the wider context of an application and the various places where you talk to your users, be consistent with your tone and ultimately, create more beautiful applications.

    Here’s a link to the article and the latest film:

    Andrew has presented a number of  design events and spoken in more detail about the series of films. If you have creative events coming up, or if any of your interested in hearing from a expert design/UX  speakers from Microsoft for large events, do get in contact.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Hyper-V: List of SLAT-Capable CPUs for Hosts



    With the announcement that you can run Hyper-V on the Windows 8 client. I have had a lot of  questions regarding this? I did do a post back in August explaining the process of checking your PC estate for SLAT Support see

    A number of people have reported simple having problems running Hyper-V on  a Windows 8 client as it requires SLAT to run Hyper-V.

    Running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 does *not* require SLAT but most institutions don't want to install a server OS as a desktop operating system.  SLAT is a feature of the CPU. It is called “Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI)”, and has been called Extended Page Tables (EPT) by Intel and Nested Page Tables (NPT) by AMD.

    You can use Wikipedia to  look up Intel Nehalem and AMD NPT:

    Processors that support SLAT

    • Intel processors whose names start with 'i', e.g. i3, i5, i7, i9. (There may be exceptions, but I'm not aware of any.)
    • Any Intel CPUs based on Nehalem, Westmere, or Sandybridge micro-architectures. (There may be exceptions, but I'm not aware of any.)

    For AMD machines you can look up the supported models at

    Tools for testing for SLAT

    Microsoft’s Mark Russinovich has also created a really nice utility coreinfo.exe  You can simply run coreinfo.ext and it will  detect EPT and NPT (SLAT) support on your CPU. 

    To test your machine, simply download coreinfo.exe from Microsoft Sysinternals  and use the coreinfo -v switch to list the features. An asterisk * next to a feature indicates that it is supported. A minus sign - indicates no support for that feature.

    Note: Coreinfo must be executed on a system without a hypervisor running for accurate results and under a administrator account on Windows 8.

    For example here is a screenshot from my Lenovo X200 series tablet


    “*” means the feature is present   

    “-“ means it is missing

    Alternatively, you can use Windows PowerShell to capture your specific CPU model this could be scripted to report the state of your entire PC labs or cluster estate the PowerShell command is gwmi win32_processor




    NOTE: Be sure to include the specific family/model/stepping since different processor revisions may have different feature sets.

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