• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Developing a Windows 8 Application prototype

    • 3 Comments

     

    I have a had a number of questions last week, from some of the UK’s University Gaming Students and Academics re Windows 8.

    Over the past few weeks as part of my UK  tour with Aardvark Swift recruitment, I have been highlighting the opportunity of students building portfolio’s and publishing apps on Windows 8 Store to demonstrate their abilities to help them gain employment see the PowerPoint deck below.

     

    For more resources on Windows 8 development see http://www.ubelly.com/gaming

    If your interested in attending a free Windows 8 developer camp see http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8

    Game/App prototyping

    One of the questions, I was asked last week was how can student use tools to develop prototypes and proof of concepts for academic activities, I wanted to share with you the following templates for PowerPoint. Using these templates, you can quickly put together a Windows 8 app layout and iterate on it. All elements in the set are based upon regular PowerPoint vector shapes, and are fully editable and customizable.

    As anyone who has seen one of my presentations, PowerPoint is a really great rapid prototyping tool its slide-by-slide approach allows you to present a flow and tell a story with your designs. You can even create basic clickable prototypes by adding hyperlinks between slides. Furthermore, PowerPoint is available on almost every computer, including the new Windows Surface devices that run Windows RT, and is fairly simple to get started with.

    Download the Templates For Free!

    The wireframing set is available as a .pptx file (for PowerPoint 2007 or newer) that you can download using the link below:

    It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  You can therefore use it any way you want, private or commercial, just as long as you distribute the resulting work under the same license and give proper credit to the original creators:

    What’s Included?

    Example grid page
    Example grid page displaying item previews arranged in groups.

    Example page displaying details
    Example page displaying details for a single group with previews for each item in the group.

    Example page displaying
    Example page displaying one item in detail.

    Example page displaying a list
    Example page displaying a list of items and the details for the selected item.

    Example of a Metro app
    Example of a Metro app in snapped view state.

    Example of an app
    Example of an app in fill view state.

    Collection of common UI controls
    Collection of common UI controls (part 1): button, text box, list box, check box, radio button, toggle switch, etc.

    Collection of common UI controls
    Collection of common UI controls (part 2): search box, date/time picker, slider, progress bar, scrollbar, etc.

    Grid view
    Grid view (with groups).

    List view
    List view and charms bar.

    App header
    App header, app bar, and toast.

    Message dialog
    Message dialog.

    Text styles
    Text styles.

    240 app icons
    240 app icons (part 1).

    240 app icons
    240 app icons (part 2).

    Touch gestures
    Touch gestures.

    What about using tools such as PowerMockup

    While you can build great prototypes with FREE tools and PowerPoint, you may find yourself wanting the templates to be in a format that is easier to search through.

    In this case, I can highly recommend taking a look at PowerMockup, an add-on for PowerPoint.

    PowerMockup provides a searchable library of wireframe elements that can easily be dragged and dropped onto a slide. Best of all, the tool allows you to add your own creations to the library and share them with others.

    Andreas Wulf, www.powermockup.com has created these FREE additions

    After downloading the files, switch to the “PowerMockup” tab in the PowerPoint Ribbon bar, click on “Import Files”, and select the downloaded .pmst files. Here is a screenshot of how it will look like after you have imported the templates:

    PowerMockup

    All elements, including the icons, are properly named and tagged, making them easily searchable.

    PowerMockup

    I hope you enjoy the set!

    Source: http://designmodo.com/windows-8-wireframe/#ixzz2DGKTR0dv

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows 8 Shortcuts

    • 3 Comments

    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

     

    Search

    image Apps Search Screen

    image Files Search Screen

    image Settings Screen

     

    Layout

    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

    MATLAB and R on Windows Azure via Techila

    • 3 Comments

    Techila is a middleware solution for High Performance Computing that enables existing applications to utilize more computing capacity. I believe that the key problem in business and operational computing is the lack of application performance. There are enormous amounts of computing capacity available using Windows Azure cloud service.

    Techila allows applications to utilise all available computing capacity. To try demonstrate this a great example of the benefits of Techila and the Windows Azure with Techila integration is a case study, which Techila did with a leading cancer researcher. The researchers in question had a project, which would have taken 15 years. He had developed his research application in MATLAB. He used the Windows Azure with Techila integration to boost the performance of his application with the combined power of 1200 Windows Azure instances. This allowed him to complete the project in 4,5 days! Being able to do something in 4,5 days, which usually takes 15 years gives a real competitive advantage.

    Techila develop the solution in close co-operation with end-users and system administrators from the very beginning.

    Techila has selected Pharma, Economics/ Financial, and Universities/ Academia as the key markets because of the fact that they are strong on Techila's home market, Finland. But I want to emphasize that unlike many other distributed computing solutions, Techila is a fully horizontal middleware, which can be used in any segment and which can increase the performance of any application: The code can be a MATLAB application, or it can be R (or C/C++, Java, Perl, Python, Fortran,...) They also offer an open API, which can be used to connect any ISV application (3DSMax, SAS, COMSOL, Sungard,...) to the Windows Azure capacity.

    Also please find below a demo of run a 2-day long computation in a couple of minutes using 500 Azure instances using MATLAB:

     

    Techila with R language can be found here:

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Project Hawaii: Cloud-Enabled Mobile Computing

    • 2 Comments
    clip_image001 Win7PhoneNew

    Project Hawaii: Cloud-Enabled Mobile Computing

    Project Hawaii offers university students the opportunity to explore how the cloud can enhance mobile devices, especially the increasingly ubiquitous smartphone.

    Find samples of student-created applications that range from assisting people who are blind or visually impaired to identify their locations and contact other people to enabling individuals with smart phones to contribute to a variety of science research projects by gathering useful information using the sensors on their phones.

    For more details see http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/hawaii/applications/

    Project Hawaii SDK: Create Mobile Applications—Watch the Video

    Find out how you can create cloud-enabled mobile applications with the tools and services that are included in the Project Hawaii software development kit (SDK). Arjmand Samuel, research program manager from Microsoft Research Connections, talks about what the SDK contains and how it can be used to develop Windows Phone applications.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup 2012

    • 2 Comments

    IC    IC2012

    “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.”

    The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. It provides an opportunity for students to use their creativity, passion, and knowledge of technology to help solve global challenges and make a difference in the world. While competing for cash and prizes, students gain real-life experiences, make new friends, and change the world.

    Now in its tenth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems. 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registered for the Imagine Cup 2011 Competition. The Imagine Cup is one way Microsoft encourages the brightest young minds to join together and use technology to take on the toughest problems facing our world today, whether it is combatting diseases, improving education or creating disaster communication systems.

     

    How is Microsoft UK supporting Imagine Cup 2012?

    This year we have changed our approach to the Imagine Cup competition in the UK.

    Universities have the opportunity to hold local finals for the Software Design competition, to find the best team and project to represent their institution. The winning team of each institution that runs a local final is guaranteed a place in the UK final of the Imagine Cup, judged by a panel of the industry’s brightest and most influential business minds. Teams that do not win their local final can enter online for the chance to win a place in the Imagine Cup UK final.

    Students who do not enter the Software Design competition through their institution are still eligible to submit projects into the Online Competition, judged by Microsoft, for a place in the UK final of the Imagine Cup.

    Institution Competition

    Eligibility

    To qualify for the Institution Competition:

    1. The institution must commit to have a minimum of three teams entering the Imagine Cup 2012 Software Design competition. Two or more institutions can choose to run a joint competition, but only one winning team will be guaranteed a place in the UK final.

    2. Each team must have one faculty mentor.

    3. All competitors are bound by the Rules and Regulations of the worldwide Imagine Cup 2012 competition.

    4. The Institution Competition must be clearly promoted as being part of the Imagine Cup.

    5. The Institution must notify Microsoft of their interest in running a local Imagine Cup competition by sending an e-mail to ukfac@microsoft.com no later than 17:00 on Wednesday 30th November 2011.

    Benefits

    The benefits of holding an Institution Competition include:

    · The winning team from the Institution Competition is automatically through to the UK Imagine Cup Software Design final.

    · Employees from Microsoft will be available to sit on the judging panel of the local final.

    · Microsoft will endeavour to identify local technology companies that can offer industry mentors to the student teams.

    · Microsoft will offer prizes to winners and runner-ups of local finals.

    · Microsoft will provide Imagine Cup marketing materials to the Institution

    · Microsoft will highlight the Institution Competition in blogs, on our web site and other channels.

    · Teams from the Institution Competition that do not win their local final can enter the online competition for a place in the Imagine Cup UK final.

    Get your students to register for Imagine Cup 2012.

    Online Competition

    The Online Competition will be for student teams who haven’t entered through their institutions or who have not won their Institution Competition for Software Design. Software Design teams entering through the Online Competition have the option to submit partially complete projects prior to the final deadline for review by, and feedback from, Microsoft.

    All entrants of the Game Design and IT Challenge competitions must also enter online.

    Get your students to register for Imagine Cup 2012.

    Key Dates

    Wednesday 30th November 2011 - 17:00

    Deadline for notifying Microsoft UK of the intention to run a local Institution Competition for the Imagine Cup 2012.

    Sunday 4th March 2012 - 23:59

    Deadline for submission of partially complete projects for review by, and feedback from, Microsoft. Feedback will be provided by Friday 16th March 5:30 pm.

    Tuesday 13th March 2012

    Deadline for preliminary summary of project submission online at www.imaginecup.com.

    Sunday 15th April 2012 - 23:59

    Project submission deadline online (both online entries and institution final winner entries).

    Tuesday 17th April 2012

    Announcement of shortlisted online Software Design entries.

    Thursday 19th April 2012

    Judging of finalists in London with external judging panel.

    Wednesday 25th April 2012

    Live broadcast of Imagine Cup UK final results and feedback.

    July 2012

    Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia.

    For any questions or more information please email ukfac@microsoft.com

    See last year’s Imagine Cup winner Team Hermes from Ireland

    See Team Note-Taker from the USA’s entry here.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Curriculum on Game Development using XNA

    • 2 Comments

    XNA_4_0

    This exciting and engaging computer science semester course enables students to apply a basic foundation in programming to create games using C# and Microsoft XNA Game Studio.

    Dreamspark

    Don't forget simply login to DreamSpark.com for your FREE XNA software and developer tools.

    The course guides you through the development of Games using Visual Studio 2010 C# combined with the Microsoft XNA framework which creates the XNA Game Studio – a professional game development environment for PC, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone.

    Students will

    • Address social causes and real-world problems
    • Explore game and simulation development as communication and art
    • Apply knowledge of variables, conditionals, loops, object-oriented programming, recursion, and data structures to game creation.

    The free curriculum package includes

    • Teacher Roadmap
    • Daily lesson plans
    • Demonstration projects
    • 14 video tutorials
    • 22 lab assignments and solutions
    • Student activities
    • Assessment tools with keys and exemplars

    Download

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Teacher Roadmap

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Part 1 Basics

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Part 2 Games for All

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Appendix

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Download Building Windows Phone Apps: A Developer’s Guide

    • 2 Comments
    WP_1-line_red_rgb_pdf

    DevWp7

    I’m pleased to announce that the 1st edition of “Building Windows Phone Apps: A Developer’s Guide” is available to download.

    This e-book is a community effort to capture useful information and learning about building apps on the Windows Phone platform.

    Download Building Windows Phone Apps: A Developer’s Guide

    For more details on this publication and its authors see Mike Ormond's Blog, please feel free to use this book with students and your courses also if you have any comments suggestions or ideas for additional chapters or content please post your feedback on Mike’s Blog.

    Happy reading!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Preparation for Build Windows useful links and URLs

    • 2 Comments

    build_logo

    So its now only a few days until the Build Windows conference, BUILD takes place between 13th – 16th of September 2011.

    The event has been total sold out for many months. I have to say I am pretty excited!  why?  I am lucky enough to be attending the event.  As your aware from my previous posts Build Windows is a new event that shows modern hardware and software developers how to take advantage of the future of Windows. So make sure you take note of the URLs and twitter addresses below to learn how the new Windows 8 UI is being designed to work seamlessly with a diversity of devices and form factors.

    BUILD will be the first place to take a dive deep into the future of Windows. Microsoft is extending its newest developer event Build Windows globally in multiple ways including live streamed keynotes, having a major international presence in Anaheim. So it want to learn about the future of Windows make sure you take a look at the following..

    BUILD Conference Site - http://www.buildwindows.com/

    BUILD Conference Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/bldwin make sure you follow @bldwin

    BUILD Conference Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Build/156095381124816

    Building Windows 8 Blog - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/

    Building Windows 8 Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/BuildWindows8 make sure you follow @BuildWindows8

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    We need your feedback on Microsoft DreamSpark

    • 2 Comments

    DreamSpark-2_bL_t

    We want to your feedback on the DreamSpark service within the UK

    What is DreamSpark

    We know a lot of you use DreamSpark but we’d like to know a little more about its value to you. So we are running in conjunction with c3education to get a more detailed understanding.

    We would like to see if it is helping raise attainment levels for educators and students and get general feedback on the programme. We need this so that we have evidence to share with the public and with journalists interested in the story. The ideal situation would be to establish a baseline for the beginning of the programme and to record impact perhaps twice a year, to check whether we are on track.

    From today 21st of February 2012,we have a launched two surveys one for students and one for academics.

    Below are the links to each of the questionnaires.

    DreamSpark – Academics/Educator Survey https://nerp241b2.questionpro.com

    DreamSpark –Student Survey https://nerp241b1.questionpro.com c3education who are operating the survey on our behalf will offer an Xbox 360 and a Kinect sensor to one lucky winner who completes the survey by 29th Feb 2012 and gives us their contact details at the end of the survey. You have to be a UK student. The winner will be drawn at random from all completions who fill in their details in the survey.

     

    Your feedback and assistance, in completing these would be greatly appreciated, We will also share top level results through this blog and our Linkedin group.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Announcing Visual Studio Achievements

    • 2 Comments

    Bring Some Game To Your Coding lessons

    I thought you all may be interested in the following.

    Visual Studio is a ideal tools for schools, colleges and Universities for inspiring future developers, to enhance the experience Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements, with the achievements students talents and learning are recognized as they perform various coding feats, which unlock achievements and earn badges which can be shared and displayed on social network profiles and web sites.

    Some examples of individual achievements include Regional Manager (have more than 10 regions in a single class), Close To The Metal (use 5 preprocessor directives), Stubby (generate method stubs 10 times) or Interrupting Cow (have 10 breakpoints in a file). All in all, there are 32 achievements awaiting to be unlocked, all of which are listed here. Here's what the 6 different badges look like:

    The Six Categories of Achievements

    powercoder

    Learn More About Visual Studio

    Visual Studio is a powerful tool with tons of features, many of which you may not know about. Earning some of the badges may result in learning about features you didn’t even know existed!

    Download It Download Now

    How It Works

    With the Visual Studio Achievements Extension, achievements are unlocked based on your activity. Your code is analysed on a background thread each time you compile. In addition, the extension listens for certain events and actions that you may perform in Visual Studio, reporting progress on these events to the server. When you unlock an achievement, Visual Studio lets you know visually with a pop-up displaying the award. Each time you earn a badge, a unique page is created with your profile picture, the badge and a description. Students can then automatically tweet about achievements they earn and/or share them on Facebook.

    Get Visual Studio for FREE via DreamSpark 

    DreamSpark_bL_tvisual_studio_logo

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