The goal of this site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
There are hundreds of thousands of topics in the Dev Center, http://dev.windows.com and http://dev.windowsphone.com. We know in any organisation discoverability and sharing of content is critical to success.
So why not get to grips with this detail in person at Microsoft //Build/2013.
Last month Steve Guggenheimer announced //Build/ 2013, the conference is taking place June 26-28, 2013 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. //build/ is a great opportunity to learn more about developing Windows Store apps.
The conference will include great presentations, demos, info sessions, etc. There will be no better place to get the latest and greatest info on Windows Store app development.
You can see all the details about the conference and register at www.buildwindows.com.
Here are some key resources for the each roles in your organisation.
When you go to the Windows Store apps home page, you’ll see:
The Design section. You can find useful downloads and reusable design assets more easily, and design inspiration and case studies give you the tools you need to make a unique experience on Windows.
The business opportunity of the Windows Store is significant, with a better economic model than competitive platforms and flexibility that enables you to build the business you want. The new Market section of the site provides great tips for marketing your apps, evaluating telemetry data, and passing app certification.
With //BUILD/2013 less than a month away, stay connected by following @windevs @ukmsdn on Twitter and subscribing to the Windows Store newsletter for the latest information on Windows 8.
Want to save time and money by offloading developer and IT administration tasks to the cloud? Take part in the Cloud Hero Challenge, submit your entry by Friday 19 December 2014 and win an exclusive t-shirt. Just complete ONE of the challenges listed below and submit your Azure Subscription ID & web URL in the entry form by Friday 19 December 2014, then you will get a free t-shirt sent to you.
Set up a virtual machine in less than 10 min
Provision a develop & test workstation with Visual Studio in less than 10 min
Provision a highly available, scalable website in less than 1 hour
Your free t-shirt will be sent to you when you’ve submitted your entry and it is as simple as that.
If you are keen and fancy a chance Surface Pro 3, a weekend holiday getaway or an XBOX ONE console, then take a step further and share your experience in participating in the challenge. Share in no more than 500 words your experience and you will get the chance to win either a Surface Pro 3, a weekend holiday getaway or an XBOX ONE console.
Tell us about your experience by 24th December for a chance to win* a great prize and to be featured as “Cloud Hero” of the month.
Ready to go? Click here to get started & good luck!
The Windows Azure Educator Grants are now broadly available. Educators from around the world can apply for the grant through the Azure in Education page on the Windows Azure web site and benefit from free access, with no Credit Card required, to the Windows Azure platform for a 150-day period for yourselves, your teaching assistants, and your students.
Windows Phone Next App Star is a 21-day tournament style challenge between March 19th and April 8th
Windows Phone Next App Star is a contest designed to get developers more visibility with more customers by allowing them to compete for the chance to have their app featured in a Windows Phone prime-time TV ad in the U.S. For three weeks 64 apps will compete daily in head-to-head match ups, with the winner chosen by popular vote. The last app standing will be crowned Windows Phone Next App Star.
What we need you to do is vote for your favourite
Windows Phone Store offers more than 130,000 certified apps and games designed to help people personalize their Windows Phone through unique features like Live Tiles and Kids Corner. We work hard to inspire developers to deliver hundreds of new titles every day across the categories that matter most to our customers; things like music, gaming, social, entertainment and kids & family.
We need you to vote on head-to-head app matchups via a beautiful Facebook page, sending the winner to the next round and registering each voter for a chance to win a Nokia Lumia 920 every day of the contest. This campaign is designed to impact both developers and consumers by highlighting the Windows Phone developer opportunity and showcasing a new wave of great apps on the platform. Windows Phone will be promoting matchups and announcing winners throughout the contest. So head to http://nas.newwp.it
The UK Developers selected are below so VOTE for your favourite
The following FAQ outlines why this competition is being undertaken
Q: What is Windows Phone Next App Star?
Windows Phone Next App Star is a tournament-style challenge to give one developer the chance to see their app featured in a Windows Phone TV ad campaign in the US. 64 apps and games will compete head-to-head over a 3-week period. The 64 apps will be divided into two categories – free and paid – and organized into a single-elimination head-to-head matchup bracket, with winners determined by public voting until one grand prize App Star winner is left standing.
Contest voters can vote on every match-up once per round, while also receiving one entry per vote for a chance to win a new Windows Phone 8 device. If the voter selects “share” at the end of each round, and at least one friend follows the link, the voter’s number of entries toward a new device will be automatically doubled for that and future rounds of voting.
All 64 developer challengers will receive a new Nokia Windows Phone 8, a 1-year free Dev Center subscription and featured promotion in the Windows Phone Store. Developers will continue to win prizes for each round they win. The final App Star winner will receive all previously mentioned prizes and the app will be included in a Windows Phone television campaign in the U.S.
Q: Why you we hosting this contest? Are you simply trying to spur development of more Windows Phone apps? Microsoft has featured 152 apps and games in TV commercials since the launch of Windows Phone 8. This contest gives our developers a chance to have their apps featured and puts the power to decide into the voting public. Next App Star gives developers what they want most – a shot at the big time. The contest will give great exposure to 64 new apps, while giving one lucky winner a primetime TV ad placement. Windows Phone Store is all about giving developers the most ways to be successful.
Q: Won’t existing popular apps have an unfair advantage?
Windows Phone Next App Star is about helping new and rising developers get the credit and support they need to reach the next level. Any app already featured in a TV ad is ineligible as are any apps published by Microsoft, Microsoft employees, and our hardware and mobile operator partners.
Q: How were apps selected to be entered into the contest (developers)? The Windows Phone Store team reviewed apps that developers opted-in and submitted, making a determination based on ratings and app quality. The assessment was based 50% on customer ratings from March 6, 2013 to March 12, 2013, and 50% on our evaluation of the app’s quality, based on published criteria. More developer guidance is available at www.windowsphone.com/nextappstarofficialrules.
Q: How will the winning App Star be selected (consumers)?
The Windows Phone App Star is determined by public Internet voting at nas.newwp.it starting March 19, 2013. Voting guidelines are available at http://nextappstar.zaaz.com/rules.
The Faculty Connection Resource Center is a multi-language collection including course outlines, textbooks, tests, labs, source code, and other materials developed by Microsoft or contributed by faculty worldwide. Highlighted below are some of the newest resources added this past month:
Building Applications for Windows Phone 7.5 This introductory content covers how to create Windows Phone "Mango" solutions, edit program source files, add and manage program resources, and then build and run the solution. Once you are done with the basics, continue on with additional Jump Start sessions that examine Silverlight, building interfaces with Expression, app data storage, using Bing Maps, developing with XNA, and even selling apps. This material is designed for 1st and 2nd year university students.
Windows Phone 7.5 Tutorials The newly released tutorials on .toolbox illustrate how Silverlight and Expression Blend can help you build stellar apps on Windows Phone using the new "Mango" features and capabilities. The .toolbox site is a fun online learning environment, where you will learn basic design concepts and how to apply them, as well as the fundamentals of creating Silverlight applications using the Expression Studio tools.
Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 is an exciting CS course in game and simulation development using C# and the XNA framework. Video tutorials and extensive labs enable students to apply foundational programming skills to learn advanced skills. This material is designed for high school or introductory classes.
What's New in Windows Phone 7.5 The latest release of Windows Phone has hundreds of improvements and new features. Explore these features plus learn how to get Windows Phone 7.5 on your current phone. If you are teaching your students about mobile applications, consider trying Windows Phone 7 curriculum resources.
Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone The Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone is designed to make it easier to build mobile applications that leverage cloud services. The toolkit includes Visual Studio project templates for Windows Phone and Windows Azure, class libraries optimized for use on the phone, sample applications, and documentation.
Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket, which was first announced as Microsoft Project Codename “Dallas”. The Windows Azure MarketPlace changes the way information is exchanged by offering a wide range of content from authoritative commercial and public sources in a single marketplace. This makes it easier to find and purchase the data you need to power your applications and analytics.
Find and publish applications and building block services for Windows Azure Directory available - https://datamarket.azure.com/browse/Applications
Data Sets The data market is simply a resource for discovering, purchasing, & selling data, Data can be hosted in Windows Azure or by the data provider All data available within the Data Market is exposed as OData services, present data providers include: Data.gov, Navteq, Greg London, etc. Directory & Commerce available today -https://datamarket.azure.com/browse/Data
So what are the benefits?
What new UK data is available?
Were pleased to announce that data.gov.uk Open Data web site is publishing the real-time Met Office Weather forecast data into the Windows Azure Datamarket SQL database so this is now accessible by Users/Developers from either data.gov.uk or Windows Azure DataMarket for free.
· What is already implemented is daily + 5 days weather forecast and hourly – next 3 hrs + 5 days forecast · We’re adding Met Office 3rd dataset – raw weather Observation data over the next week · Access dataset via Windows Azure MarketPlace https://datamarket.azure.com/dataset/0f2cba12-e5cf-4c6d-83c9-83114d44387a
Selling Data on DataMarket
Many popular apps and Web sites generate, store and consume large amounts of valuable data. But typically that data is only leveraged within the app for which it was created. With the introduction of WCF Data Services and OData, we had a simple way for developers to expose their data for broader use, offering a data services platform and making it easier for that data to be used not only within the initially intended application, but within third-party apps.
With DataMarket, there’s a simple opportunity for UK Universities to not only expose that data to apps they build, but also to generate profit by selling data they’re already required to store and maintain. DataMarket is built on Windows Azure and SQL Azure and allows publishers to create datasets for data that they host in SQL Azure. To learn more about how you can become a DataMarket publisher, check out blogs.msdn.com/b/dallas and http://blogs.msdn.com/datamarket.
Additionally for the UK Education sector there is a vast amount of open government data available here: http://data.gov.uk/appathon-2011 which can be used by academics and students whom wish to build or develop applications or services.
Windows Azure platform provides you on-demand compute, storage, database and content network delivery capabilities to host, scale and manage your Windows 8 applications through Microsoft data centers. Windows Azure enables you to focus on delivering value to customers – and not on managing technology infrastructure.
The Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8 is designed to make it easier for developers to create Windows Metro Style applications that harness the power of Windows Azure platform.
Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8
Windows Azure is an open and flexible global cloud platform supporting any language, tool, or framework, and is ideally suited to educators and researchers’ needs across all disciplines.
In association with Microsoft Research we are please to announce FREE training for academic educators and researchers who would like to learn how to conduct their research on a highly scalable and flexible cloud infrastructure, such as that offered by Windows Azure.
We are currently offering free, technical, two-day training event, presented by specialized Windows Azure for Research trainers. See the schedule of events
Windows Azure for Research Training – Oxford 2014 The course hosted by the Oxford eResearch Centre saw 45 participants from 18 Organisations attend St Anne's College.Oxford, UK on the 20–21 January 2014
45 researchers from 18 universities and research organisations
These courses are aimed at software research engineers, postdocs, research fellows, faculty members, and PhD students.
The event covers everything from Linux virtual machines, IPython, scaling out R and MATLAB calculations, cloud storage, sensor data processing, and, of course, big data processing. To help you apply these new tools and techniques, you will receive a 6-month Azure pass too, so you can further experiment and develop your research applications and we have an extensive set of teaching resources and Educators passes to support Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses at http://www.windowsazure.com/education
Our next course is at Manchester University on 3-4 April 2014. You can apply via the course web page.
We’ve released all of the training material as open source, which you can download here. We also have a webinar series with more coming soon, and technical papers that drill down into more detail.
We’re also excited to be supporting 75 Windows Azure for Research projects around the world so far. Our next deadline for proposals is 15th February 2014 for proposals for 12 months of Windows Azure resources to accelerate your research. So please submit your ideas here.
WebGL offers new very interesting opportunities for the gaming industry.
You can now develop a game for the web running cross-platforms and take the very same code to build a Windows Store App and add some platforms specifics & monetization.
Step 1. Validate your code against Internet Explorer 11.
To test against IE11, the best experience is to install any version of Windows 8.1 on a development machine. IE11 is also now available on Windows 7.
You can also test it as a first experience via Virtual Machines or via BrowserStack or bootcamp, parallels on Mac.
If you dont have access to MSDN or a copy of Windows 8 You can find free VMs to download on our Modern.IE website: http://www.modern.ie/en-us as well as a 3-months trial for BrowserStack.
Of course, especially for a game, you will have to test at the end on real device to tune the performance and the gameplay.
Step 2. Be sure that your game runs in every WebGL-enabled browser/platform.
Doing these two tasks will save you some time in the future and maximize your reach.
So what is new with IE11
IE11 embeds the JS & rendering engines being used to execute Windows Store Apps. So, when you’re writing HTML5 Windows 8.1 Store Apps, you’re more or less targeting IE11.
Using a WebGL engine
I would strongly suggest using a WebGl engine rather than writing yourself your code against the low-level API of WebGL.
Any WebGL engine working fine in Internet Explorer 11 but here a two excellent opensource options.
Three.JS: http://threejs.org/ created & mainly maintained by Mr Doob.
There are lots of resources available to learn ThreeJS
Open-source WebGL engine specifically designed for creating games.
3D engine: David CATUHE (@deltakosh) Scenes: Michel ROUSSEAU (@rousseau_michel) Game FX: Pierre LAGARDE (@pierlag) Game FX: David ROUSSET (@davrous)
Babylon.JS is scene oriented and has a great Blender exporter.
Using Web Application Template
For Games with WebGL. A nice way to get these to WP8 and W8 is the web app template. http://wat-docs.azurewebsites.net/
You can also relatively easily add xbox controller, sound etc.. using Xinput control feature of Windows 8
Please watch the videos below demonstrating the use of the Web Application Template (WAT) being used to build a Windows 8 HTML5/JS game.
The game can also be built as a native Windows 8 game the advantage this had over the WAT was the game could work offline.
Here is a recording of the endeavours and this 10 minute video shows how you would technically go about porting a game like this using both the WAT approach and the native approach.
The native implementation 6:40 seconds in : http://youtu.be/T51tgL3qzi8?t=6m40s
If you just want to see the app running then check out 5.42 minutes in http://youtu.be/T51tgL3qzi8?t=5m24s
For more details of the Web Application Template see msft.it/60119JW9
Here the full Agenda of the days
Mary jo foley has covered the tech industry for more than 30 years for a variety of publications and web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, tv and podcasts, speaking about all things microsoft-related. on zdnet, she blogs at allaboutmicrosoft.com. she is the author of microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). Foley also is the co-host of the Windows Weekly podcast on the TWiT network.
Theme: Client, Devices & Mobility
NOTE: All sessions are approx. 35-minutes. There is a 15-minute changeover between sessions and a 45-minute lunch break.
Jeffrey Snover is a Distinguished Engineer and the Lead Architect for the Windows Server Division. Snover is the inventor of Windows PowerShell, an object-based distributed automation engine, scripting language, and command line shell. Snover joined Microsoft in 1999 as divisional architect for the Management and Services Division, providing technical direction across Microsoft’s management technologies and products. Snover has over 32 years of industry experience with a focus on management technologies and solutions. He was an architect in the office of the CTO at Tivoli and a development manager at NetView. He has worked also as a consulting engineer and development manager at DEC, where he led various network and systems management projects. Snover held 8 patents prior to joining Microsoft, and has registered 30 patents since. He is a frequent speaker at industry and research conferences on a variety of management and language topics.
Theme: Server & Cloud
Scott is a web developer who has been blogging at http://hanselman.com for over a decade. He works in Open Source on ASP.NET and the Azure Cloud for Microsoft out of his home office in Portland, Oregon. Scott has three podcasts, http://hanselminutes.com for tech talk, http://thisdeveloperslife.com on developers' lives and loves, and http://ratchetandthegeek.com for pop culture and tech media. He's written a number of books and spoken in person to almost a half million developers worldwide.
NOTE: All sessions are approx. 45-minutes. There is a 10-minute changeover between sessions and a 45-minute lunch break.