• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Gaming Courses and Curricula are you thinking/teaching cloud



    Social applications (games, sharing, and location-based applications and services) are very quickly becoming the most prominent types of applications. These social applications have the potential to grow from a few users to millions of users in an incredibly short period of time, and as such, they need a robust, scalable, and dependable platform on which to run to meet the growing demands of the users.

    Social Gaming

    If we take the founding principles of Windows Azure (on-demand scalable computing resources, storage, and geographic delivery) and apply them to the needs of social games, we can quickly see how Windows Azure and Social Gaming is a perfect match. Companies like Sneaky Games (the developers of the Facebook fantasy game Fantasy Kingdoms) and Playdom (the makers of Bola Social Soccer, a Facebook, Sonico, and Orkut game with over 5 million users) are already using Windows Azure as their backend platform.

    Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games

    To make it even easier to develop social games with Windows Azure, there is the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games.  The toolkit allows you to quickly get started building new social games with Windows Azure.  It includes accelerators, libraries, developer tools, and samples. It also has specific services and code to handle capabilities unique to games, such as storing user profiles, maintaining leader boards, in-app purchasing, and so forth.


    As a starting point, the toolkit also includes the source code for a game called Tankster, created by Grant Skinner and his team at gskinner.com. The game is built with HTML5 and comes complete with reusable service-side code and documentation.  It also supports a variety of social interactions including messaging, wall posts, and comments while player achievements and game stats are presented on a live leaderboard so gamers can interact with each other.

    Try your skills at a round of Tankster >>

    Next Steps

    So what’s next?

    Download the toolkit >>

    Then have a look at the samples and Tankster.

    Deep dive into the architecture behind Tankster - Part 1 >> Part 2 >>

    If you’ve previously developed a game, see how you can overlay the functionality provided by the toolkit onto your game. If the toolkit doesn’t fit with your game, no worries. Think about your game’s architecture and where you can leverage Windows Azure’s on-demand compute, storage, and geographic delivery services to get your game in the Cloud. Either way, take this opportunity to see how you, too, can leverage the benefits of Windows Azure.

    Need access to the Cloud?

    Learn how Windows Azure can be used in curricula, support research endeavours, and enable student projects. Institution administrators can explore how to use Windows Azure for infrastructural and application need via Azure for Education Grants.


    Microsoft provides grants for educators wanting to use Windows Azure platform in their curricula. These grants are facilitated through Windows Azure academic passes, which provide the following resources for a period of 5 months from the date of redemption: More info


    Need access to Windows Azure outside the classroom? Working on a project on cloud computing? Or maybe your master thesis? As a student you can take advantage of the free Windows Azure trial offer and run a Small Windows Azure instance with a 1GB SQL Azure database for 90 days* More info


    The Windows Azure Research Engagement project aims to boost scholarly and scientific research by extending computing to the cloud. We provide a cloud computing platform and work with researchers on projects that push the frontiers of client and cloud computing. More info

    Institution Administrators

    Microsoft IT Academy provides students with the future ready technology skills they need to be successful in college and a career.

    • Increase your students’ employability with relevant technology courses that help them secure jobs following graduation.
    • Offer educators and other staff members the opportunity to enhance their own professional development
    • Gain access to resources that will help you save time and money More info
  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft UK Windows 8 App Excellence Labs



    In the past year, I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of UK academics, students and educators  who are passionate and excited about the opportunities with Windows 8. Now, we would like to share how to get early access into the Windows Store for your Windows 8 app via the Windows 8 App Excellence Labs (AEL).

    What is the App Excellence Lab?

    The App Excellence Lab is a 2-hour engagement with a trained Microsoft Services Engineer who will run your app through a series of tests based on a quality checklist to ensure your app is (or will be) in top-notch shape when you submit. You will also get a chance discuss ways to make your app even better and you will get answers to any questions you might have. Of course, the Labs are the singular path for motivated developers to gain early access to the Store, allowing you to receive an account, register your app and get a head start in publishing your app.

    Who is it for?

    The App Excellence Labs are open to developers who have almost completed their app as well as to developers who are in their early development/ideation cycle who would benefit from a consultation with Windows Engineer. Bottom line is that you will be able to work with a client expert who can rapidly help you accelerate your development.

    When and where are the App Excellence Labs held?

    The App Excellence Labs are held Monday to Friday at the Microsoft Campus in Thames Valley Park (Reading). We highly recommend you to attend in person, however, if for any reason you are unable to attend in person, we do offer a virtual option for you to join via Live Meeting. Please see the time slots listed below.

    Below is the list of current times available for App Excellence Labs sign up.

    We hope to see many of you at the App Excellence Labs and your apps in the Store.

    Please follow the 4 simple steps to sign up to the App Excellence Labs.

    Step One

    Register and log in to https://win8.msregistration.com

    Step Two

    Once you have successfully logged in, please complete the Application Profile Survey. Our Windows 8 consultant will use this information to work with you on your app during before and during the App Excellence Lab.

    Step Three

    Under the 'Notes' section of the Application Profile Survey, please enter the following information:

    Date/Time of your preferred App Excellence Lab(by choosing two preferred times/dates of the ones listed above)

    Choose your preference of In-person or virtualApp Excellence Lab (by stating In Person or Virtual).

    Step Four

    Click on 'New Application Profile' once you've completed your profile and stated your preferred date/time & in-person and virtual preference. We will then get in touch with you to confirm your Windows 8 App Excellence Lab.

    Note: If for any reason, you do not receive a response or confirmation from us within 3 working days, please drop an email to ukmsdn@microsoft.com with your App Excellence Lab details.  

    Help & Support for the Windows 8 App Excellence Labs Booking & Attendance

    Please either call 0845 073 7159 or email v-jat@microsoft.com

    Note: If for any reason, you do not receive a response or confirmation from us within 2 working days, please drop an email to v-jat@microsoft.com with your App Excellence Lab details.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone Developer Camps in July


    The Windows Phone Camps are events which will show you how to learn and build Windows Phone apps. You can work on your own projects with assistance from our Windows Phone MVPs, network with others and also have the option of attending short tutorial sessions on Windows Phone related topics. If you are new to Windows Phone, this is the ideal event for you as you will have the opportunity to understand the general approach and capabilities of Windows Phone development.

    The Windows Phone Camps will cover an introductory design session as well as a range of short tutorial sessions. Short tutorial sessions will include topics such as Introduction to Windows Phone Development, Controls & Control Toolkit, Execution Model, Storing Data, Launchers & Choosers, Accessing Cloud Services, Marketplace & Submission. There will also be informal Mango tutorial sessions on offer covering topics such as Multi-tasking, Debugging & Profiling, Motion API, Advertising SDK and Sockets.

    There are a basic set of things you should prepare before attending the camp. This includes bringing your own suitable laptop with the Windows Phone Developer tools installed (these are free) preferably these are the latest version of the tools.

    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.

    The Windows Phone Camp will kick off at 9am and finish at 9pm. Spaces are limited, so register your place in the Windows Phone Camp today!

    Click here to register now.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Registration open for July Windows 8 Camps



    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.

    Wednesday 18th July, Windows Phone DevCamp

    Thursday 19th July, Windows 8 DevCamp

    Friday 20th July, Windows 8 DevCamp

    Saturday 21st July,Windows 8 DevCamp

    Monday 23rd July, Windows Phone DevCamp

    Tuesday 24th July, Windows 8 DevCamp

    Wednesday 25th July, Windows 8 DevCamp

    Thursday 26th July, Windows 8 DevCamp

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

    Requirements & Prerequisites for Attendees

    IMPORTANT: Bring a suitable laptop with the following downloaded:

    1) Windows 8 Release Preview installed and running on your machine - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download?ocid=W_MSC_W8R_DevCenter_MetroDL_EN-US

    2) Visual Studio 2012 Express RC installed - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps/br229516

    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 email (microsoft@delegate.com) 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

    Windows 8 Camps Agenda:





    Welcome & Explanation of the Day’s Format


    Presentation Room

    Work Room


    Windows 8 Overview – UX, Store & Opportunity

    Hands On Labs

    (.NET and HJC)

    App Migrating and UX Reviews




    Windows 8 App Features 1




    Windows 8 App Features 2





    Hands On Labs

    (.NET and HJC)

    App Migrating and UX Reviews






    For the committed only to continue their labs/migrating.




    Click here to register http://uktechdays.cloudapp.net/upcoming-events.aspx

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup 2012 Starting 06/07/2012




    Follow the action from Australia July 6 - 10 on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and the Imagine Cup blog.

    Imagine Cup 2012 - Registration


    Microsoft Student Partners, acting as roving reporters, are covering Imagine Cup and broadcasting live! Sit back, relax, and join in the fun.

    Imagine Cup 2012 - Registration


    There’s still time to choose your favourite team and help them win the People’s Choice Award. Vote for your favourite videos by July 9 and the winning team will go home with $10,000!

    Imagine Cup 2012 - Registration


    The Imagine Cup yearbook lists the project descriptions and introduces you to the teams competing in Sydney. Read about their inspiring apps, and wish them luck! .

    We are going to live stream the following Imagine Cup events,  here http://icsocialmediateam.com/live-stream/

    Best of luck to Team EyeWork @teameyeworks from Newcastle College and Northumbria University representing the UK.


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    More Cloud Services on Project Hawaii


    windows phoneproject_hawaii


    Microsoft Research’s Project Hawaii extends the Windows Phone with the power of the cloud. The smartphone provides the sensors, mobility, and data; the cloud provides powerful algorithms to enable scenarios that would otherwise not be possible. The newly released Project Hawaii Software Development Kit (SDK) 2.0, developed by the Mobility and Research Group, has added four more cloud services to Project Hawaii’s existing line-up, namely:

    · Key value pair, which enables the storage of any data in the cloud—easily and quickly

    · Translation, which, well, translates from one language to another

    · Text to speech, which does just what its name implies

    · Path prediction, which narrows location searches based on the direction of travel

    Microsoft Research continues to offer Project Hawaii to a growing list of universities worldwide (50 by spring 2012), with more than 2,000 students already using the Hawaii SDK in the last year or so.

    Take a look at some of these exciting projects developed by students.

    If your interested in the opportunities of Hawaii Learn more about Project Hawaii by reading the following blog.

    If your interested in experimenting with Hawaii you can download the SDK.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    LIVE Coverage of the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, July 16–17, 2012



    LIVE Coverage of the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, July 16–17, 2012

    For the first time, we'll be broadcasting the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit live. We will stream the keynotes from the Faculty Summit plus entertaining interviews with scientific and academic visionaries who will discuss how they're tackling some of today's top research and computer science challenges.

    Join us for the live broadcast of the Faculty Summit on July 16 and 17, 9:00 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. Pacific Time.

    · See what’s in store and view the Faculty Summit broadcast live.

    · Join the conversation through Twitter hashtag #FacSumm.


    Visit Microsoft Research website: Microsoft Research Connections

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows 8 – Develop great Metro Style Apps



    So how do you go about developing Metro Style Apps for Windows 8?

    ‘Metro style’ apps are built for the new Metro touch interface for Windows 8, and will be able to run on any Windows 8 device, whether that’s full function PCs and laptops, or the different kind of Windows 8 slate devices running Intel or ARM chips. If you’re already testing the Windows 8 Release Preview, you’ll know that an Intel-based computer running Windows 8 can run all of your existing Windows software, plus the new Metro style apps.

    Microsoft Surface http://www.surface.com  

    The following presentation is a nice Introduction to Windows 8 within Academia
    View more presentations from Microsoft Education UK

    Useful resources to building Windows 8 Metro Style apps

    Resources from TechEd Europe


    A Selection of useful videos from Microsoft TechEd Europe 2012 on Metro Style App development

    FREE Ebook


    • The life story of a Metro Style App
    • Quickstart
    • App Anatomy and Page Navigation
    • Controls, Control Styling, and Basic Data Binding

    And the further 14 chapters will come out over the next few months. But if you’re interested in getting started, or you’ve got students that you know will want to have a go, then this is a good start.

    You can either download it in PDF directly, or go and read a bit more about it on the Microsoft Press blog.


    Here’s a long list of more free technical ebooks from Microsoft Press.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Moodle Skydrive Integration



    Many of you are now using Moodle, as your Virtual Learning Environment and have access to Microsoft's SkyDrive via Live@edu.

    Were pleased to announce that the Moodle community has developed and released a plugin for Moodle 2.3 which allows students to save their files into SkyDrive, directly in the cloud, from Moodle.

    You can find out more, and download the SkyDrive plugin from the Moodle website

    Note, this plugin doesn't come from Microsoft, but from the Moodle open-source community.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    How to build a Windows Phone app in 30 days


    The Generation App website, from the Windows Phone team, is a really well structured guide to developing apps for the Windows Phone. And ‘well structured’ means that it talks you through a 30-day plan to design, build, test, distribute and monetize applications for Windows Phone – and connects to all of the resources you will need in the form of training, documentation, tools etc.

    Don't forget as Educators, Academics and Students you get access to DreamSpark so you get Visual Studio 2010, Windows Phone and Azure tools for FREE and also a FREE Apphub Account to upload your finished apps to the marketplace.



    For students, it’s almost like a ready-made summer school course, and where you’ve got students who are already programming, but want to move onto advanced projects, this seems like just the perfect resource.

    Remember, we have lots more FREE academic resources available at Microsoft Faculty Connection resources including a full academic curricula for Windows Phone see http://www.Microsoft.com/faculty

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