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  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows 8 Metro Style Gaming


    Next week I will be at the Develop Conference, attending some of the 103 sessions, 5 keynotes, and on the Microsoft stand at the Expo. I’m looking forward to networking with the 1500 developers and 450 companies during the event and discussing the opportunity of developing Windows 8 Metro Style games.


    On we list options for developing Windows 8 games.

    At present there are over 50 games available in the store using the above technologies, here are some good links to get started

    · Metro style app using JavaScript. You can use the established web technologies: HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to develop full-screen, chrome-free games.


    · Metro style app using C++, C#, or Visual Basic and XAML. You can use managed code languages like C# and Visual Basic to develop 2D (and lightweight 3D) games. If you have developed in Silverlight for Internet Explorer or Windows Phone 7, this model will feel very familiar.


    · Metro style C++ with DirectX. You can develop both 2D and 3D games that effectively use the graphics processing horsepower on a range of Windows desktops and 3D-enabled Windows devices, from high powered gaming rigs to low power slates. It requires a strong working knowledge of Windows programming and native C/C++.




    There are a number of online tutorial around Marble Maze which is a DirectX game written in C++. This leads you to the more basic “Hello World” example over here although while the results of that example are “Hello World” in nature.

    There’s another, more realistic sample over here with a walk-through to build up a Metro style shooting game. It takes the form of a completed code sample and a walk through of what’s going on in that sample.

    It runs to around 40 source files.

    The key learning outcome for starting to build games for Metro are as follows as these would make excellent starting points for curricula development for Developing Metro Style Games.

    1) Understanding how a Metro style app gets on the screen – i.e. the infrastructure around IFrameworkViewSource and IFrameworkView.

    2) Understanding C++/CX which is a bunch of C++ extensions relatively familiar to people like me who’ve come from the C++/CLI world but a bit odd to a regular C++ developer.

    3) Understanding some of the technologies used like the Parallel Patterns Library (PPL) which our default templates throw at you.

    4) Understanding some of the C++ 11 techniques like lambdas which our default templates also throw at you.

    5) Understanding how a Metro style app is meant to work from the point of view of lifecycle management (i.e. suspend/resume/terminate).

    6) Understanding the WinRT APIs available and their main usage and purpose.

    Steps 5 & 6 are common to any Windows 8 Metro style app developer.


    There is a JavaScript tutorial but the game involved is very, very basic.


    As we are all aware, there are many game engines /frameworks (middleware) available. Some of these are already supporting development for Win 8 metro games whilst others are planning to support it within the coming months. I have listed the ones which are or have short terms plans to support W8 metro apps. I am sure that there will be more to come…


    A full games development tool/suite – physics, rendering, scripting, AI etc.

    Windows 8 Metro support:                         coming soon (for GA)

    Dev languages:                                                 (game scripting) C#, Javascript


    An Open Source, OpenGL implementation of the Microsoft XNA 4 Framework

    Windows 8 Metro support:                         coming soon (‘later this year’)

    Dev languages:                                                 C#/XNA


    SharpDX is an open-source project delivering the full DirectX API under the .Net platform, allowing the development of high performance game, 2D and 3D graphics rendering as well as realtime sound application.

    Windows 8 Metro support:                         Now

    Dev languages:                                                 C#

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Server 2012 within teaching, learning and research



    Well this week marked another important milestone for Microsoft with the release of Windows Server 2012, on Tuesday 4th of September, Microsoft made the official announcement of Windows Server 2012 you watch all the content at

    What’s new in Server 2012

    Microsoft has positioned this as a very cloud-friendly OS. So its more important then ever to start ensuring your teaching cloud fundamentals to your students to help with this we have dedicated curriculum at

    Here are some of the new features.

    • New file system — Included in Windows Server 2012 is ReFS, a new file system designed to survive failures that would bring down or corrupt the previous NTFS file system (which is still available). Combined with improvements in cluster management and failover, this is a capability that will play across the entire user spectrum.
    • Deploy and manage at scale Windows Server 2012  is designed to make it easy to deploy multiple copies of the OS on geographically distributed systems. Obviously this is a good feature for cloud platform, but is of use to almost any enterprise IT group. Improvements in application development and deployment promise the ability to deploy any Windows Server 2012 application to any location(s) from a centralized deployment server.
    • Vastly improved Hyper-V, virtual networking, and associated tools Windows Server 2012 has many improvements to Hyper-V, including features to improve HA/DR provisioning, enhanced virtual networking, and improvements to the size of individual VMs. Microsoft’s new management solution, Systems Center 2012, offers deep integration with Hyper-V for advanced management.
    • Heavy emphasis on multi-tenancy A fundamental for deploying clouds, either as an internal private cloud or as a service provider offering shared cloud services, the ability to securely and efficiently handle multiple tenants on the cloud is a fundamental requirement. Windows Server 2012 has multiple features to enhance this capability, most of which will also be potentially useful for traditional enterprise IT environments as well. Security across the entire OS is integrated with these enhancements as well.
    • Client and remote office functions Improved management of client devices to allow centralized control of data and enhanced audit and compliance. Improvements in Branch Cache remote file services will allow tighter and more efficient management of data served to remote offices.

    So, what are the press and analyst saying about Windows Server 2012?

    Windows Server 2012 offers a major step in function capabilities aligned with several major strategic trends for both Microsoft and the rest of the industry.

    The team at Forrester posted a blog titled, “Microsoft Announces Windows Server 2012,” Here are just a few quotes.

    On the release of Windows Server 2012 as a whole:

    “Make no mistake, this is a really major restructuring of the OS, and a major step in function capabilities aligned with several major strategic trends for both Microsoft and the rest of the industry. While Microsoft’s high level message is centered on the cloud, and on the Windows Server 2012 features that make it a productive platform upon which both enterprises and service providers can build a cost-effective cloud, its features will be immensely valuable to a wide range of businesses.”

    There is no doubt that this is the most significant jump in OS capabilities since Microsoft first introduced Windows as a server OS.”

    Forrester Says Evaluate Windows Server 2012 NOW:

    “But, and this is critical, you must begin to evaluate and pilot it even if you are still completing your rollout of Windows Server 2008, as many Forrester clients still are. My guess is that WS2012 is the future of Windows OS, and will probably serve as the core of Microsoft’s strategy for the next decade. I doubt their ability to produce a radical upgrade to this in the next four or five years, and even the next version of the OS is likely to look like WS2012. This implies that you need to understand how this new OS will change and enable your strategic IT road map, particularly since the new OS has features and capabilities that, if properly exploited by you (or by your competitors), could generate real competitive differentiation such as the ability to deploy applications more rapidly, manage them more efficiently, etc.”

    What does this mean For IT Students and curricula?

    Firstly if your teaching infrastructure, administration, storage, cloud or virtualisation its critical, that you begin to evaluate and become familiar with Windows Server 2012. As academics you have a number of ways of doing this.

    1. Download a trial version from

    2. Download and install a full version for FREE for teaching, learning and research in your labs and computer clusters from DreamSpark Premium 

    3. Point your students at and get them to install windows server 2012 and get familiar. For further details and FAQ click here

    The key thing is that understand how this new OS will change and enable your strategic curricula roadmap, particularly since the new OS has features and capabilities that, could generate real competitive differentiation for your student employability giving them experience of skills such as the ability to deploy applications more rapidly, manage them more efficiently have experience of the Windows Azure IaaS, PaaS and SaaS options and virtualisation using HyperV.


    1. You should evaluate this new release.

    2. Make use of FREE training resources for your IT Services and support teams at

    3. Attend one of our FREE IT Camps to get deeper understanding of Windows Server 2012

    4. Make use of the curricula and teaching resources at

    5. Consider running older OS and software stacks within a VM, particularly given the improvements to the overall Hyper-V environment.

    6. If your contemplating a major new cloud or virtualization project or initiative, Windows Server 2012 should be the platform of choice, simply because of the FREE licensing options for teaching, learning and research as part of DreamSpark premium.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Server 2012 Certification and Training


    Windows Server 2012 Training & Certification Now Available to all Microsoft IT Academy members


    if your interested in IT Academy please visit


    1) Certifications and official Microsoft training and certifications are now available for Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, Private Cloud, Windows Store Application


    In addition to this we now have new structure for Microsoft Technical Certifications



    With a dedicated number of suitable examinations for the FE/HE education market which adds added value to the student experience and curriculum content aligning your courses with employees requirements.



    2) Windows Server Certification and examination tracks





    3) Microsoft Second Shot promotion is active so students (and lecturers) get a FREE retake if they do not pass first time for more info click here


    4) Courseware available for Windows Server 2012 is now available to all Microsoft IT Academy members   

    Module 1: Managing a Windows Server 2012 Infrastructure

    •What's New in Server Manager

    •Introducing IP Address Management

    •PowerShell and Server Core Enhancements

    •What’s New in Active Directory

    •Introducing Dynamic Access Control

    Module 2: Network, Storage, and Service Access in Windows Server 2012

    •Storage Enhancements

    •What's New in Remote Access

    •New and Improved Networking Technologies

    •Availability Enhancements

    Module 3: Server Virtualization in Windows Server 2012

    •Storage Enhancements

    •What’s New in Networking

    •Introducing Hyper-V Replica

    •What’s New in Live Migration

    •What’s New in Guest Clustering and VM Monitoring

    More Info:

    First Look Clinic Syllabus

    Hands On Lab Syllabus

    5) Microsoft IT Academy now  includes a number of enhanced resources including new online digital content and resources for more information click here




    Click Here for the FREE E-Book on Windows Server 2012

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Installing Visual Studio 2012 and enabling developer licenses for Windows 8 apps



    The  RTM versions of Visual Studio 2012 require developer activation to enable the developer to develop a Windows Store application.

    This activation is via a registered LiveID/Microsoft Account, and simply enrols VS2012 for a 90 day development license.


    I have a had a number of question how do we do this?

    The process you must be undertaken by a local admin on the desktop, you must also have access to Visual Studio and register your LiveID/MicrosoftID against the machines copy of Visual Studio 2012..



    To enable you to undertake the activation on a large scale deployment such as University or college lab environment here are some tips

    We are in the process of producing necessary documentation and white papers but In the meantime the following FAQ is helpful:

    ·         Does the developer license only have to be acquired/renewed in relation to Windows Store app development?
    Yes. To be precise: You need the developer license to install, develop, test and evaluate new style apps BEFORE you submit them to the Window Store. To be able to submit an app to the Windows Store, you'll need to open a separate Windows Store developer account through the developer website.

    ·         Is the license per user or per machine?
    Per User and machine, see

    ·         It seems that you have to have local administrator privileges to renew the license, is that correct?

    ·         Is the renewal of the license something that could be automated by an administrator via remotely deployed PowerShell scripts?
    YES, see section "Getting a developer license at a command prompt" at

    ·         How can I use a DreamSpark account?
    Here is how to associate your DreamSpark account to a Microsoft account and also get a developer license for Windows Phone/Xbox development

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Samsung AITV range and Windows 8




    So what will OEM Windows 8 machine be like?

    Samsung held an event yesterday to announce a trio of Windows 8 PCs - ATIV Tab, ATIV Smart PC and ATIV Smart PC Pro – and a Windows 8 Phone. So if you are interested in what Windows 8 OEM Find out more about the Samsung ATIV range

    What about other vendors?

    For other vendors offering you can check out the Microsoft News Center Gallery of OEM's offerings. There will be more to come, over the next few weeks as we approach the GA of Windows 8 26th October 2012

    So what about apps?

    If your interested in building or learning more about Windows 8 application development then you need to visit this new Microsoft UK Site which contains all the necessary information


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Get up to speed on Windows 8 in 6 weeks




    So its now the summer holidays, well its the perfect time to get skilled up for Windows 8, to do this you will need to be fully prepared. To confirm RTM of Windows 8 has been confirmed for August and General Release for Oct 2012.


    So to help you get prepared we have created a 6 week plan for you.The plan is based on a minimum of 10 hours study time per week. The better prepared you are the better you will do with implementing Windows 8 within your curricula or even simply having the discussion with students using Windows 8 next term.

    From a Microsoft perspective we have a massive amount of materials to help you prepare and create a very comprehensive application and we provide you with the suite of Tools and Documentation to help you create their very first Metro 8 App.

    Additionally we have also made available a large array of Samples, Examples and Templates as well as Video tutorials and blogs. If you follow these you will find the path to releasing your first game or application for Windows 8.

    Apps can be written in C#, C++, HTML or even using a new bespoke tool aimed at Designers. The most import thing is to start right now, read and work your way through the plan, install Windows 8 and the Metro SDK and start developing.

    So here is the six week plan for Windows 8 development.

    Week One

    1. Introduction

    a. What is a Windows 8 Metro App, click Here

    b. A great intro Blog for you, click Here

    c. Understand the UX Guidelines click Here

    2. Getting started with Metro style apps, click Here

    a. Installing Windows 8

    b. Download and install SDK & Dev Tools

    3. Get the Developer Licence, Click Here

    a. Install the" Windows 8 camp in a box", click Here

    b. Quickly get an overview of all the presentations

    4. Choose your preferred Development environment/Language

    a. JavaScript and HTML (recommended for Designers & Artists)

    b. Download relevant documentation, click Here

    c. C#, Visual Basic and XAML (recommended for Designers & Artists)

    d Download relevant documentation, click Here

    e. C++ and DirectX (recommended for Programmers or teams with Programmers in)

    f. Download relevant documentation, click Here

    5. Understanding What makes a great Metro app, click Here

    6. Planning your first App, click Here

    a. Planning for Monetisation, click Here

    b. Planning for Quality and Certification, click Here

    c. Planning for different devices, click Here

    d. Plan for a Global Market, click Here

    e. Plan for Usability, click Here and Here

    Week Two

    1. Review available Templates and sample Apps, click Here and Here

    2. Take a look at the Samples and Examples in the Windows 8 Camp in a box

    a. Work through these Examples

    3. Take a look at the Windows 8 Faculty game examples, click Here

    a. Consider how you could use these examples to create your own game

    4. Download Designer PSD’s, click Here

    5. Play, with your chosen development

    a. Set up Visual Studios

    b. Work through a simple “Hello World”, style tutorial

    c. C++, click Here

    d. HTML5/Javascript, click Here

    e. Visual Basic, click Here

    f. C#, click Here

    f. Get your development processed organised and ready to go

    6. Plan and design your first simple app,

    7. Create it

    Week 3

    1. Re-review progress so far, and create second more complicated app

    2. Further reading on what makes a great Metro App, click Here

    3. Looking at ways to speed up your development, click Here

    4. Using Blend, click Here and Here

    5. Continue with your chosen Development training

    a. C++, click Here

    b. HTML5/Javascript, click Here

    c. Visual Basic, click Here

    d. C#, click Here

    Week 4

    1. Continue with your detailed studies and tutorials

    2. Watch as many YouTube Tutorials and App sample videos as you can

    3. Advanced considerations, click Here

    a. Selling apps

    b. Concepts and architecture

    c. API reference

    d. End-to-end apps.

    Week 5

    1. Continue with your detailed studies and tutorials

    2. Planning for the Assessments or Developing Games

    a. Some Great Game building Links, click Here

    b. How to Design a great Metro 8 Game, click Here

    c. More Game / Entertainment considerations, click Here

    Week 6

    1. Continue with your detailed studies and tutorials

    2. Finally, understand about Metro 8 App Publishing, click Here

    a. Market Opportunity

    b. Designed for discovery

    c. Flexible business models

    d. Uber-transparency

    e. Best economics

    Some Great Links

    Microsoft's official Metro 8 App site

    Microsoft's UK Student and Faculty resources 

    A complete list of resources for METRO Windows 8 Developers

    Microsoft's App Publishing – Declaring capabilities

    · Manifest Designer

    · How to specify capabilities in a package manifest.

    Intro to Window 8 & the App store

    One on One style tutorial Webcasts on Metro 8 development

    BUILD Conference Resources  

    Designing for Windows

    UX GuideLines

    Windows User Experience Training

    Windows Camp Resources

    Additional Videos


    Windows 8–Developer Resources

    Developer downloads




    Windows 8 Consumer Preview Download

    Windows 8 Consumer Preview download (web installer or ISO’s), videos, and FAQ’s.

    Developer downloads for Metro style apps

    Visual Studio 11 Express and the Windows 8 SDK + all the extra tools and SDK’s for Metro style app development.

    Design assets for Metro style apps

    100+ Photoshop files with common controls, shell components, tiles, icons, animation clips, color wheel references, and more.

    Metro style app developer content




    Windows Dev Center home

    Links to Metro style app, Desktop app, Hardware, and IE development.

    Metro style app development home

    Links to key resources for designing, developing, and selling Metro style apps.

    Product guide for developers

    Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Developers.

    Official documentation

    Comprehensive docs, articles, quickstarts, roadmaps, tutorials, checklists, developer agreements, and whitepapers covering all aspects of app design, development, and selling:

    · Getting started

    · Planning apps

    · Designing UX for apps

    · Developing apps

    · Packaging apps

    · Debugging and testing apps

    · Selling apps

    · API reference

    · Concepts and architecture

    · Language reference

    · End-to-end apps

    Design resources

    Design principles, UX design patterns, detailed UX guidelines, downloadable design assets, assessing usability.

    Selling apps in the Windows Store

    Windows Store markets, developer agreements, and checklists to prepare.

    Developer downloads for Metro style apps

    Visual Studio Express and the Windows 8 SDK + extra tools and SDK’s for Metro style app development.

    Metro style app samples

    Over 200 official samples from Microsoft are available in multiple programming languages. You can copy code inline, upload new code, rate, and leave comments.

    Developer forums

    Developer forums for Metro style apps covering designing, developing, and selling apps.

    Blogs for developers

    Blog Name



    Building Windows 8 blog (B8)

    An inside look at how, what, and why different features of Windows 8 are being built. This blog is written by Windows President Steven Sinofsky together with members of the Windows engineering team.

    Windows Store blog for developers

    All about doing business in the Windows Store. Members of the engineering team who’ve built the Windows Store write posts along with Antoine Leblond, Vice President of Windows Web Services.

    Windows 8 app developer blog (D8)

    Explores best practices for coding and designing Metro style apps. It is written by the team of developers who are building Windows 8.

    IE blog

    Windows Internet Explorer Engineering Team Blog.

    Inside Windows Live blog

    The engineering being Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive, and Windows Live.

    Visual Studio Blog

    The official source of product insight from the Visual Studio Engineering Team.

    The Windows Blog

    Consumer and general interest topics.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Visual Studio 2012 Available for Download



    Today marked an exciting day, we announced via S. Somasegar’s blog post and Jason Zander’s blog post that MSDN subscribers including DreamSpark premium institutional administrators now have access to Visual Studio 2012. DreamSpark subscribers can download and install Visual Studio 2012 later this month once its made available.

    Additionally we confirmed that we will be having a Virtual Launch Event on September 12, 2012 for Visual Studio 2012 please see further details at

    So from today all versions of Visual Studio 2012, including Visual Studio Professional, Premium, Test Professional, and Ultimate. Additionally, Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio Express for Web, Visual Studio Express for Windows 8, and Team Foundation Server Express are now available.

    So What is new in Visual Studio 2012?

    Visual Studio 2012 includes numerous updates to simplify the development experience, help teams collaborate more effectively, and delight end-users across a variety of devices.  Although there are too many features to highlight here, below are a few key new features:

    · Improved web development tooling with Page Inspector and DOM Explorer

    · Support for Microsoft’s latest platforms including Windows 8.

    · Visual Studio Light Switch and Blend for Visual Studio are included giving developers access to rapid application tools and designer surfaces.

    · Write simplified asynchronous code using the .NET Framework 4.5

    · Take team collaboration to the cloud with Team Foundation Service Preview or on-premise with the latest version of Team Foundation Server.

    · Improved support for SharePoint development

    There have been some changes to the Visual Studio SKUs, what is the current line up?

    We are always focused on providing the right products to meet the needs of our various customers.  For Visual Studio 2012 we have the following SKUs.

    · Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate

    · Visual Studio 2012 Premium

    · Visual Studio 2012 Professional

    · Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012

    · Visual Studio Test Professional 2012

    We have also simplified our Visual Studio Express SKUs so developers can focus on the latest Microsoft platforms.

    · Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web

    · Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8

    · Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express 2012

    Where do I go to get Visual Studio 2012?

    There are a variety of ways to buy Visual Studio 2012.  MSDN, DreamSpark Premium and DreamSpark subscribers will get it as part of their subscription. .  Enterprise and volume licensing customers can get Visual Studio 2012 through their existing channels. 

    For developers that would like to purchase Visual Studio without going through an MSDN subscription, they can get it through a Microsoft Academic resellers:

    Additional Resources

    · S. Somasegar’s blog post and Jason Zander’s blog post

    · Visual Studio 2012 Launch Event

    · Visual Studio Website

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    C++ & Direct X on Windows 8


    Windows 8’s new Metro platform offers developers the possibility to build not only apps, but also new, immersive NUI (natural user interface) gaming experiences.

    In the UK we have over 217 gaming courses, Microsoft is working to make sure that gaming devs have the necessary resources to start creating Metro games tailored to the next version of Windows and allow students to start developing some real portfolio and experience of gaming industry by allowing them to easily and simply upload their completed games to the Windows Store.

    We have a selection of material available to help educators and students get started on the Windows 8 Metro Style Game development with resources such as ‘Building your first Metro style game with C++’ which is available via the Windows Dev Center. The Windows Dev Center offers developers the guidance they need to start coding.   Additionally we have resources at the dev center for XAML/C#, HTML5/JS and it’s important to understand that leveraging C++ implies that the games built will be much more than simple Metro apps or existing XNA windows phone or XNA creator apps.

    Again in terms of curricula change and enhancement, it is important to understand that A Metro style game with C++ is a game developed using native C++ APIs, such as DirectX, that have been made available to the Windows Runtime. This model is more complex than the usual Metro style app, but it provides greater flexibility and greater access to system resources, especially graphics devices. So, it is a good model for the experienced developer.

    Essentially, a Windows 8 Metro DirectX game built with C++ implies delivering a graphics- or multimedia-intensive experience to end users, taking advantage of the graphics hardware.


    The following Channel9 Video goes into more detail and there is a whole set of resources for Developing  Windows 8 Metro Style Apps in C++

    In terms of gaming technologies and development skills, I like to break them down into the following categories

    • HTML/JS casual game developer.
    • XNA/.NET developer.
    • C++/DirectX developer.

    In terms of  academic module constructs you ideally need to break them down as follows

    1) Windows 8 Developer Overview – From the UX-to-the-Store see Windows 8 Curricula and resources now at Faculty Connection.

    2) What does a game developer need to think about doing with their game for Windows 8 (e.g. input mechanisms, screen sizes and resolutions, settings, WinRT APIs for storage and settings, suspend/resume APIs). see Windows 8 Metro Style Gaming  

    Resources and Curricula

    Your source for curriculum resources and tools to help with your teaching needs. Visit the Microsoft Faculty Connection Resource Center.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Move Your Career to the Cloud with the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification



    Last week Microsoft Learning announced that it has reinvented its certification program to directly address technology’s evolution to the cloud. 

    With the rapid growth of jobs in the cloud computing industry, there are not enough qualified workers to fill positions due to lack of knowledge or skill in this  specialized area. 

    Microsoft new cloud certifications will help bridge the IT skills gap for a number of students and partners as new jobs are created and will help build cloud-related skills validation, whether on premise or in the cloud.  Under this new product strategy, certifications will align to key technology solutions designed to better support organizations in increasing adoption and deployment efficiencies, enabling individuals to design, optimize, and operate mission-critical IT technologies. 

    Microsoft learning are also making extensive changes to the MCSD developer certification to create an attractive way for HTML5 web developers to demonstrate their skills, whether they’re building for Windows 8, Windows Azure or Office 365.

    Check out the Channel 9 video that covers all the new exams in more detail.


    Here are some more detail about the changes

    Microsoft has reinvented its certification program by  building cloud related skills validation into the industry’s most recognized and respected certification program in the world. Microsoft Certifications now validate a broader and deeper set of skills and experience across a technology solution platform.

    The Expert level is Microsoft’s flagship product for those who want to lead their company’s journey to the cloud.   It is the destination for established IT Professionals and Developers who have expertise working with Microsoft technology solutions. 

    The Associate level is the prerequisite certification necessary to get your Expert level certification.

    After people have achieved their Expert level certification, The Master level is for the select few who wish to further differentiate themselves from their peers.

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a reinvented certification for today’s technology solutions

    Microsoft has reinvented its certification program by building a broader and deeper set of technology solutions skills validation, starting with cloud-enabled solution skills. As one of the most recognized and respected certification programs, Microsoft is charting the path for IT Professionals and Developers to keep their skills relevant as new technology solutions are released.

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) emphasizes solutions

    Microsoft has reinvented its certifications to validate the skill sets needed to develop, deploy, and maintain Microsoft technology solutions. These certifications recognize IT Pros and Developers who have skill sets that run both broad and deep. Certifications are available at three skill levels:

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)

    The Associate level is the prerequisite certification necessary to get your Expert level certification. This certification validates the core skills you need to get your 1st job in IT.

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) &
    Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)

    The Expert level is Microsoft’s flagship set of certifications validating that your skills are relevant in the constantly changing tech environment. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is the destination for established IT Professionals who have expertise working with Microsoft technology solutions. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) is the destination for established Developers who have expertise developing solutions with Microsoft tools.

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM)

    After you have achieved your Expert level certification, Master is the next destination. This certification is for the select few who wish to further differentiate themselves from their peers and achieve the highest level of skills validation.

    The Cloud Changes Everything

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) helps bridge the new cloud computing talent gap

    “With the demand for cloud skills growing quickly, the gap between hiring demand and talent supply across the United States is getting larger and causing more difficulties in sourcing candidates.” Wanted Analytics, Hiring Demand for Cloud Computing Skills Skyrocketing, March 2012

    The need for cloud computing skills has been pushing the market for months. Solution providers are seeking cloud-ready employees to bring their businesses to the next level. The cloud computing market is evolving at such a pace that while the number of job postings is skyrocketing, the talent isn't there to fill the positions.

    In the past 20 years, Microsoft Certifications have been THE tool to address the skills gap. To be relevant, certifications need to continue to be the tool needed and recognized in the market.

    That’s why Microsoft has reinvented its certification program—to certify a deeper set of skills that are mapped to the Cloud and to real-world business contexts. Rather than testing only on a component of a technology, IT Professionals and Developers are now tested on more advanced skills and a deeper understanding of the technology.

    New Certifications Are Available Now

    Private Cloud and SQL lead the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) reinvention

    We’ve posted a lot more information about the reinvented program and the first new certifications: Private Cloud MCSE, Database MCSE & Business Intelligence MCSE:

    Microsoft Certification overview page:

    Microsoft Certification overview video:

    MCSE information page:

    MCSE video on YouTube:

    MCSE Private Cloud:

    MCSE Data Platform:

    MCSE Business Intelligence:


    So please encourage your students and staff to take advantage of a new 2-for-1 exam offer from Prometric

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Register now for FREE Windows 8, Windows Phone and Windows Azure Events


    Windows 8


    To book attendance at a devcamp, UX workshop or App clinic

    To book a App Lab visit


    Windows Phone 8


    Register here for 14th

    Register here for 15th


    Windows Azure


    Register here for six steps of Azure

    For more other sessions see

    IT Pro Events

    Covering Windows 8, Windows Server, SQL Server

    Register Here

    For all other UK Technical events and road shows and Webinar sessions

    Register click here

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