• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Meet the New Windows Azure - Spring 2012 Update


    The spring 2012 release of Windows Azure has many great new features and capabilities including new services focused on helping customers build or bring their applications to the cloud in their own unique way. These new services include: Windows Azure Web Sites, Virtual Machines, and Media Services.

    These new services, along with several other enhancements, pricing updates, and availability in new countries went live on June 7th. for more details see the following presentation from Scott Guthrie and special academic trials and pricing at http://www.windowsazure.com/education

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Last week’s activity at TechEd Europe





    As your aware from my previous posts, I attended Microsoft TechEd Europe, the premier IT Conference with a  number of the UK IT Pro team and spent the week in Amsterdam, talking to, Academics Developers and IT Pros from the academic sector, whilst supporting Microsoft TechNet and Microsoft Virtual Academy programs at the Geek Lounge and learning more about this new wave of products that are on the horizon.

    WP_000134 WP_000129

    During this week there will have been 350 sessions for IT Pros and Developers, there were nearly 600 UK IT Pros and Developers in attendance:

    Keynote Day 1 -  from Brad Anderson, Jason Zander & Scott Guthrie

    WP_000133 WP_000136 WP_000137

    It was clear from the demos that Microsoft is the only company to deliver the cloud OS.  We have the knowledge, the people and the ability: Our Azure service now provides the equivalent of all the worlds computing power from 1999!  We serve half a billion Live IDs a day!   The key note was full of amazing demos and the power of Hyper V was clearly demonstrated with the  hypervisor technology "Hyper-V" demonstrating a maximum throughput of 1 million operations per second in a VM. That's three times faster than VMware.

    There were some great press reviews see http://www.itworld.com/software/282465/7-key-takeaways-teched-europe-day-1 so please do watch the keynote http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012/KEY01

    Keynote Day 2 – Day 2 moved onto Windows 8 for the Enterprise. 

    WP_000145   WP_000147

    Antoine Leblond talked to the benefits of Window 8 for business.  His demo of Windows-to-go received a round of applause.   He talked about the shift from desktop to mobile and that next year he expected to see more tablets sold than desktop PCs.  There were also demos showing that Windows 8 is still going to be a great experience on desktop machines.  Again the keynote was full of excellent demos so please watch the keynote here http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012/KEY02

    The rest of the week has been spent attending sessions, discussing technologies and changes to the future of Windows along with the opportunities of Azure within education.  

    I would encourage you to ask your teams who attend the event about their experiences and get them to share the buzz and insight to the weeks learning which they received, if you weren't fortunate enough to attend the sessions then feel free to watch the presentation at http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012/

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft IT Academy–Microsoft Courseware Marketplace



    We are excited to announce the launch of a new Courseware Marketplace for both IT Academies and Microsoft Learning Partners on July 31st 2012. 

    The new Webshop will make available the ability to customise and order digital content to IT Academies for the first time.

    Some of the new features will include:

    · One stop shop – for all printed and digital content, including digital discounts

    · Customisation – ability to modularise and customise specific courseware from our entire catalogue

    · Collaboration – share and highlight amongst classes and for yourself

    · E-Reader – access content online and offline including your course notes

    · New Technology – Metro Windows 8 App at Windows 8 launch

    To find out more about the new features and how they can help you save costs and time as well as deliver great new technology courses and experiences for your students, sign up to one of our free webinars below.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    TechEd Europe 2012



    Today I’m at the last day of TechEd 2012 in Amsterdam, I am in Amsterdam sharing some exciting news about apps and updates for Windows Azure, Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

    There are number of UK Universities in attendance

    University of Huddersfield
    University of Westminster
    Birmingham City University
    University of Leeds
    University of Edinburgh    
    The University of York
    University of Cambridge
    University of Southampton
    University of Wolverhampton
    Liverpool John Moores University
    University of the Highlands and Islands
    University of Essex
    University of Hull
    Lancaster University    
    University of Southampton
    Queen's University Belfast
    University of Derby
    Northumbria University
    Plymouth University    
    University College London
    University of Bath
    University of Warwick
    Coventry University
    London South Bank University
    The Open University
    Royal Holloway University of London    
    University of Glasgow
    The University of Manchester

    I your not lucky enough to be attending the event or cannot wait for your colleagues to return you can check out the presentations and videos of the sessions here.. http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012

    So sit back and enjoy the on-demand sessions and live streaming content from TechEd Europe 2012 in Amsterdam.

    If your interested in attending any of our events for IT Pro or developers see http://uktechdays.cloudapp.net/upcoming-events.aspx

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft TechEd Europe 2012, 25th–29th June 2012 - Sold out



    With thousands of people expected at the Amsterdam RAI from tomorrow including delegates, speakers and staff, partners and press and analysts TechEd Europe 2012, has SOLD OUT.

    Getting to the Amsterdam RAI

    TechEd Europe is taking place at the Amsterdam RAI.  The closest station is the Amsterdam RAI station.  From the city center, you can take metro line 51, direction Amstelveen Westwijk, which takes ~15 minutes.  Tram 4 starts at Amsterdam Central station and connects a big part of the city center with Amsterdam RAI.  Tram 4 stops in front of the convention center.

    Get the Latest Event Announcements & Share Your Experiences

    Get the latest event news and announcements via our Twitter account: http://twitter.com/teched_europe.  Use #TEE12 to tag your tweets and share your experience with other attendees, followers and the TechEd Europe event team. And finally, the TechEd team will be  sharing the event photos on Facebook, but we’d also love to see yours! 

    Share your photos by uploading to your Flickr account and tagging with “TEE12”.

    Looking forward to meeting all the all the UK academic attendees in Amsterdam and for anyone else attending have a fantastic week in Amsterdam!

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Surface Slate/Tablet Announcements and changes to SUR40 branding





    With the announcement of Windows Surface devices see press release and new site which includes additional information including a video and images and the complete event video and announcement on Microsoft News Center.

    I just wanted to confirm that the current official Microsoft Surface product branding will change to the “Samsung SUR40 with Microsoft® PixelSense™”. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/pixelsense/default.aspx This change is being made to emphasize the Microsoft PixelSense technology that makes the SUR40 unique and more clearly establish that Samsung manufactures, sells, and supports this product.  I am aware a number of Universities have already purchased or about to receive devices, so just to confirm that the name change will take effect this Tuesday June 19th. If you are dealing with resellers I hope this confirmation helps to avoid any confusion with your current or new orders.

    The Samsung SUR40 with Microsoft® PixelSense™ still brings people together to connect, learn, and decide using touch and physical objects.

    Microsoft PixelSense is a display input processing technology from Microsoft used in the Samsung SUR40, which delivers interaction with touch, physical objects, and an interface designed for multiple people to use at the same time http://www.samsunglfd.com/product/feature.do?modelCd=SUR40

    Please note that “Microsoft Surface” will still continue to exist through the software platform like the SDK 2.0 for developers.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Interested in teaching Windows 8


    Here is some useful guidance from the Windows UX team on the correct way to refer to various features in the Windows 8 UI.

    These approved terms & phrases are used in the latest materials on http://design.windows.com so please familiarise yourself with these definitions and use them consistently in your teaching and learning. 

    Metro design style

    · Styles that can be applied to enable apps to have a Windows look/feel, be touch targetable, etc.

    App Bar


    · The surface that appears along the top or bottom edges of the screen and includes app commands.

    · Swipe in from the top or bottom of the screen to see the app commands.

    · Developer: To access the commands for an app, swipe in from the top or bottom edge of the screen to open the app bar.



    · The charms connect your app to other apps, the web, your friends, and your devices. Charms provide access to the key Windows features: Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings.

    · Tap the Search charm to find what you’re looking for in the app you’re using, on the web, or in other apps on your PC.

    · Tap the Share charm to share files and info with other apps on your PC.

    · Tap the Devices charm to print and connect to other external devices like media players.

    · Tap the Settings charm to change common system settings or the settings of the app you’re using.

    · Do NOT use “charms bar”

    · Don't use in UI text.


    · The area that's the outermost part or the part farthest away from the center of something.

    · Swipe in from the right edge to access Search, Share, Devices, Start, and Settings.

    · Do not use “edgy”


    · To quickly slide a finger a short distance

    · Swipe in from the right edge to show the charms.

    · Swipe in from the top or bottom edge to show the app commands.

    · Swipe in from the left edge to return to an app you were just using.

    · Swipe across an email in your inbox to select it.

    · Swipe down on a tile to select it.

    Secondary tile

    · Shortcuts to places within an app or to other content.

    · You can personalize your Start screen by creating tiles that act as shortcuts to your favourite content.

    · Secondary tiles let users personalize their Start screen by creating deep links to specific places within your app.

    · Do not use “pinned tile”

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    .NET Gadgeteer at Birmingham TechFest 2012



    Birmingham Techfest took place on Saturday 16th of June 2012. The event have over 1800 registered visitors.

    “Youngsters love gadgets. So wouldn’t it be great if they could build their own, and at school? This is exactly what more than 166 students, ages 7 to 24, did  using .NET Gadgeteer. at TechFest,

    The .NET Gadgeteer pilot project aligns with the UK’s commitment to prioritize computer science education in schools, as spelled out by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, in his speech at the BETT Show (see School ICT to be replaced by computer science programme) and will be a key part in the AQA GCSE Computer Science course starting in Sept 2012.

    We look forward to more schools, colleges, and universities utilizing .NET Gadgeteer to unleash their students’ creativity and enthusiasm in technology in the UK, and beyond. Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche, Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections EMEA, and Steve Hodges, Principal Hardware Engineer, Microsoft Research Cambridge


    We had over 166 students attend the Gadgeteer workshop sessions which took place throughout the day in all we ran 6 x 40 min sessions demonstrating hands on how to Build a Digital Camera with .NET Gadgeteer.


    We had some excellent feedback from attendees including the Executive Dean of Birmingham City University Professor Melvyn Lees who attend one of the sessions ‘In the School of Computing, Telecommunications at BCU, we are proud of our longstanding partnerships with companies such as Microsoft who provide valuable up to date resources that equip of students with the knowledge and skills providing better employment prospects upon graduation’.


    Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is an open-source toolkit for building small electronic devices using the .NET Micro Framework and Visual Studio/Visual C# Express.
    Build all manner of electronic gadgets quickly and easily with .NET Gadgeteer! LEARN HOW TO GET STARTED

    Curricula Resources

    Teaching Material for .NET Gadgeteer in School
    .NET Gadgeteer can be used in schools to help students make gadgets and learn C# programming along the way. These lesson plans give teachers all the material needed to run 8 1-hour sessions using .NET Gadgeteer, including session plans, student handouts and PowerPoint presentations.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft BizSpark European Summit




    The BizSpark European Summit brought together 250+ thought leaders in the entrepreneurial community across Europe - investors, government representatives, start-ups, and journalists. The summit provided a unique platform to debate the issues facing tech entrepreneurs in Europe and see some of the best start-ups in Europe.

    So what is BizSpark?

    Microsoft BizSpark is a program designed to provide software startups all the resources they need to build successful companies and connect them with a community of experts. So if you have entrepreneurial societies, clubs or associations at your institution or are adding entrepreneurial content to your curricula please make them aware of BizSpark (3 years FREE software licensing for any Microsoft product, 3 years mentoring and 3 Years VC pitching opportunity)

    BizSpark Stats

    Over 50k startups have joined BizSpark since Nov’ 08.

    BizSpark is available in 112 countries, 9 languages

    In the UK, there are now over 2900 companies in the programme

    The European Summit

    The day-long event took place at Ravensbourne University in the heart of Tech City (East London)  and was moderated by David Rowan, Editor of WIRED UK.  The Summit agenda was co-created with the European BizSpark team, coupled with comments from an advisory panel of investors and BizSpark start-ups.  So as well as ensuring plenty of opportunity to network,  the agenda included:

    · Panel sessions discussing The Future of Apps, The Business of Cloud and debating The Evolution of Tech Talent

    · A European-wide Start-up Showcase with 15 of the most promising BizSpark start-ups from across Europe. 

    · The judging panel consisted of:

    1) Rogan Angelini-Hurll, PROfounders Capital, (UK)

    2) Guillaume Bonneton, GP Bullhound, (UK)

    3) Victor Basta, Magister Artis Ltd. (UK)

    4) Nic Brisbourne, DFJ Esprit,  (UK)

    5) Phil Cox, Silicon Valley Bank, (UK)

    6) Benoist Grossman, Idinvest Partners, (France)

    7) Robin Klein, Index, (UK)

    8) Krzysztof Kowalczyk, HardGamma Ventures (Poland)

    9) Curtis MacDonald, High Tech Gruenderfonds   (UK)

    10) Max Niederhofer, Accel Partners, (UK)

    11) Marc Sieberger, e42 Ventures, (Germany)

    12) Reshma Sohoni, Seedcamp, (UK)

    The event culminated in the presentation of two awards by Dan’l Lewin, CVP Emerging Business Team from Silicon Valley – one for the People’s Choice which was awarded to JamPot for The App Builder (chosen as a result of crowd voting through the BizSpark site.  They harnessed their social media skills and won with over a whopping 12,000 votes!) and the main award to the Winner of the Start-up showcase, which was won by Frederic Plais of Commerce Guys. Frederic’s prize is a trip to the US to attend a major Tech event in the Autumn sponsored by BizSpark France, as well as tickets to leWeb London.


    Key agenda components of the Microsoft BizSpark European Summit included:

    · Opening conversation with  Dan’l Lewin Corporate Vice President Emerging Business Development and moderator David Rowan  (http://new.livestream.com/microsoft/BizSparkSummit/videos/1368747 )

    · An interview with last year’s winners  - Alessandro Rizzoli of Mopapp. (http://new.livestream.com/microsoft/BizSparkSummit/videos/1370536  and http://new.livestream.com/microsoft/BizSparkSummit/videos/1370542

    · An Apps Vision Keynote from Rob Craft, Senior Director, Cloud Strategy, Microsoft.
    (http://new.livestream.com/microsoft/BizSparkSummit/videos/1364720 )



    Panel sessions:

    · Apps Vision ( http://new.livestream.com/microsoft/BizSparkSummit/videos/1364723)

    o Panellists >> Max Niederhofer, VP, Accel Partners Renate Nyborg, Digital Director & Head of Mobile, Edelman, Keith Varty, Head of Content and Developer Marketing, Western Europe, Nokia

    · The  Business of Cloud (http://new.livestream.com/microsoft/BizSparkSummit/videos/1365136)

    o Panellists >> Bernard Dallé, Partner, Index Ventures, Stephen Forte, Chief Strategy Officer, Telerik , Rob Fraser, CTO for Cloud Services, Microsoft UK, Andrew Yates, CEO, Artesian Solutions

    · The Evolution of Tech Talent (http://new.livestream.com/microsoft/BizSparkSummit/videos/1366974)

    o Panellists >> Mark Gillet, Corporate Vice President, Skype Product Engineering & Operations, Microsoft, Neal Gandhi, Serial Entrepreneur, Jerry Engel, Adjunct Professor, Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley

    · Extensive networking opportunities through the day, culminating in a cocktail reception


    Startup Showcase:

    · There was a 4 stage process involved in selecting startups.

    1) Country selection. BizSpark leads in all European countries were invited to nominate up to a maximum of 5 companies they considered the best from their countries. The focus for the summit was on Apps so a Windows 8/Windows Phone 7/Azure focused startup with a great business idea was the ideal candidate,

    2) An initial screening of 70 startup nominated from 21 countries took place at Microsoft London Victoria Offices, with a team from the UK including Bindi Karia, Rob Fraser and Phil Cross. The team narrowed this down to 36 startups from 17 countries

    3) Finalist selection took place with a group of European BizSpark leads meeting in Paris, Ruud de Jonge, Yuriy Zytsev, Blaise Vignon and Bindi Karia.

    4) The 15 Finallist Startups came from 12 different countries: France, Germany, Israel, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Greece, Poland, Russia and the UK

    · The BizSpark Team hired Pitching Coach, Mike Sigal from the Silicon Valley to coach the startups prior to the European Summit. This equated to approximately four hours of coaching time per startup.  Every startup found this to be an invaluable “give” from the team, and will use this advice as each and every one of them seek funding.

    · The twelve judges took part in the Q&A’s post pitch and were involved in the judging process which used a Eurovision style points system to filter to a shortlist for final judging discussions.  The Start-up judges were asked to consider:  presentation quality, overall concept, market/exist opportunity, differentiation, traction and team – to determine the winner.  

    · Startup Showcase 1 Autitouch (Netherlands); PlaceChallenge (Poland); Commerce Guys (France);  Red Badger (UK) ; Parking Defenders (Greece)  (http://new.livestream.com/microsoft/BizSparkSummit/videos/1365085)

    · Startup Showcase 2 -  6Wunderkinder (Germany);  Paperlit (Italy);  Fitting Reality (Russia);  xBrainSoft (France);  MiMedication (Belgium) (http://new.livestream.com/microsoft/BizSparkSummit/videos/1367023)

    · Startup Showcase 3:  Jampot (Ireland) ; Foresight (Israel) ; Mobilebits (Germany) ; The Oblong (UK); Entretrainer (Finland)  (http://new.livestream.com/microsoft/BizSparkSummit/videos/1366954)

    And the WINNER >> Commerce Guys from France!

    A link to the winner interviews:



  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Looking at something new for over summer? Windows 8


    With the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Developer Tools being widely available for the past few weeks and with previews of great, immersive Metro style apps like Cut the Rope, The Telegraph, Flixster, Evernote and a tonne more already in the Windows Store we’ve received quite a number of questions about when UK developers can start building Windows 8 apps and get them into the Store.

    The Windows Store is not yet open for general app submission. However…

    If you are interested in getting your personal, institutional, department or society app into the Store or even developing a windows 8 game before or soon after general availability then your local UK MSDN team can help in getting a registration code that is needed for submission to the Store.

    For those people with application plans;

    1. You apply to join our UK Windows 8 for Application Developer LinkedIn Group
    2. We will reply asking you for some details of what it is you are building and then admit you into the group.
    3. You build a great app following the guidance that we have online and which meets the Store certification requirements.
    4. We will use the LinkedIn Group to invite you to an Application Excellence Lab at Microsoft in Reading where you’ll work with an engineer to ensure certification requirements are being met and that the app is providing a great experience to the user.
    5. You leave the lab with a registration code that lets you begin the app submission process at the Windows Store.

    In addition to that process, we’d encourage everyone interested in learning more about Windows 8 and Metro development to come attend  one of our the UK Techdays events or camps  where you can talk through this process in person and also apply to join our LinkedIn Group which we’ll use to share the details of the app excellence labs.

    Note that the availability of labs is limited and invitations will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis but this will in no way limit your ability to submit an application via the regular submission process once the Store is open for general availability.

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