Windows Azure, Windows 8, Devices and Open Source - The Microsoft Cloud Day on June 22nd at the Vue Cinema in Fulham, London is a free conference for public sector developers where you can find out more about the latest innovations in Microsoft technology for the cloud and open source.
If you are building or considering building applications for the cloud, our one-day conference will provide invaluable insights and information on our latest innovations.
There are four tracks in the Microsoft Cloud Day agenda:
Registration for the Microsoft Cloud Day on June 22nd, 11:30-18:30 is free for developers and IT professionals from the Public Sector.
You can find out more and register to attend the Microsoft Cloud Day here:
Registration code for Public Sector developers and IT professionals: CG150SAMSMQ
Bing is more than a search engine. It’s a decision engine that helps teachers and students find what they need fast in a visual and organised way. Bing can save time by making lesson preparation easier. Dynamic features such as Related Searches and Microsoft® Photosynth® technology can increase student engagement in fun and immersive ways.
1. Immediately engage Start your class with the Bing home page. The fascinating Photo of the Day, together with its clickable fun facts, fuels your students’ sense of exploration. Questions spring to mind because the subject of the photo is fresh, visual, and spontaneous. More than simply learning facts, your students are learning to think and discuss.
2. More organised Search engines can overwhelm you with hundreds of Web links. Bing organises results by categories; much like a bookstore sorts its aisles and shelves. Bing also offers Related Search results to help teachers and students trigger a slightly new path to find the right content.
3. Less clicks, more success With Bing Preview, you can hover over a search result and reveal a useful, descriptive summary of that website. This preview can save you time clicking back and forth and searching link after link.
Midnight last night, the announcement made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in LA that Microsoft are releasing our very own devises for Windows 8, the amazing looking Surface – a new family of computing devices.
Surface with Windows 8 will offer some exciting opportunities for education, and already there is a real buzz around the office, as everyone wants to get there hands on one!
At the moment, we don’t have a release date for the two models in the Surface family, Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro however, you can keep up to date with the information here or download the Windows Release Preview.
And along with Windows 8, comes the following:-
And if you are anything like me, you too will love the launch video!
Pottermore, the official Harry Potter website, was recently launched and attracted billions of page views in its first two weeks. The site is built on Windows Azure, an open cloud platform that lets users quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers.
Harry Potter is one of the largest entertainment phenomenas of all time, so fans of all ages couldn't wait to experience the world-famous stories and social and interactive experiences that the site offered. Eagerly awaiting the launch of Pottermore, the website based on the popular Harry Potter stories, Brittany Talbot and her sister, Priscilla, raced to sign up when the site went live. "I like being able to go up there and do potions and spells and walk around where Harry was," Talbot said. "I read the first book in the first week because I was so excited."
The Pottermore website demonstrates the powerful platform that Windows Azure offers for even the most challenging development projects. The site currently features activities and text based on the storyline of the first "Harry Potter" novel, additional material from Rowling, and highly interactive elements such as the ability to make comments, earn house points, learn spells, mix potions, and duel with other fans.
A factor in favour of Windows Azure, is that it provided a platform as a service (PaaS), which means that Pottermore could simply move its application onto the Windows Azure platform without the burden of managing and maintaining virtual machines. Windows Azure provided a cloud-based testing environment that enabled Pottermore to test whether the site could scale up to meet massive demand. "Elasticity was critical," said Julian Thomas, chief technology officer at Pottermore. "We knew there were between 2 million and 20 million Harry Potter fans who were waiting to get on the site, and we had to be ready."
Working hand-in-hand with Microsoft, Pottermore had its new site up and running in just three months. On April 14, Pottermore launched the new site with just a single tweet @pottermore "we're opening to everyone."
"Literally within minutes, the traffic started to flood in," Thomas said. "The demand was just enormous, but the site continued to work properly, running on Windows Azure."
Visual Studio Achievements for student Windows Azure developers
There are many talented students working with Windows Azure, and we hope the Pottermore website will provide further inspiration for developers. As additional motivation for students and to bring some game to their code, Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements. The achievements of students talents and learning are recognised as they perform various coding feats. This unlocks achievements and earn badges which can be shared and displayed on social network profiles and web sites.
We recently announced an update to Visual Studio Achievements, adding 15 new achievements, all focused on Windows Azure development. The Visual Studio Achievements Extension includes fifteen new achievements, all focused on exercising features of Windows Azure. Using the extension, various achievements are unlocked based on your activity. When you unlock an achievement, Visual Studio lets you know visually with a pop-up. In addition, your Channel 9 profile is updated with any achievements you earn. So, head over to Channel9, sign up for an account and download the plugin.
There are 15 Azure achievements, such as publishing to Windows Azure from Visual Studio (Heading into the Cloud), using page blobs (Attack of the Blob), using SQL Azure (Database Darling) and configuring start up tasks (It’s My Party). Two of the achievements – Phone in the Cloud and Game in the Cloud – require use of Windows Azure toolkits.
If you’d like some step by step guidance on how to set up System Centre Configuration Manager 2012, you need look no further than this helpful eBook by Neil Hodgkinson.
Neil is a Network Administrator at Twynham School has been hard at work over the last few months writing the eBook. It is now available at no cost on his blog Technodge.
On Neil’s blog you will also find the start of his next series of eBooks, which is around the subject of application virtualisation using Microsoft App-V5.
You can download the eBooks at http://www.technodge.co.uk/nodge/technodge-ebooks/
My favourite secondary school teacher helped me look forward to each class. I wish she had Office 365 tools to help her. Teachers using Office 365 are empowered, productive anywhere, and use the latest tools. Using Office 365, teachers can develop lesson plans offline to post on a class website. They can create and share a digital notebook to pass onto their students as a study guide, and they can record lessons in class or elsewhere. -- None of these capabilities are available or supported with Google Apps for education. Next, teachers share recorded lessons on their class site and also with other educators, reaching and inspiring more students in new ways.
Competition for jobs among young people is particularly strong, yet teachers using Office 365 foster skills that students will use in the workplace, such as using Word and Excel, and collaborating on group projects with the latest messaging tools.
With Microsoft Office 365 for education teachers spend more time doing what they care about most – teaching, because Microsoft’s reliable tools help educators work together, prepare for class, and support students’ learning.
See what a teacher’s experience is like using Office 365 versus using Google Apps.
Download the infographic.
Screenshot from a panorama captured via Photosynth on Windows Phone of a high camp on Mt Baker, WA. See the full pano here.
Sometimes a single photo - even a wide angle photo - doesn't do a place justice. Whether it's the view off a cliff, or inside an incredible cathedral, we've all been to places that cry out for a full 360 panorama. Photosynth is the only mobile app that can stitch a full sphere. That's 360 degrees horizontally and vertically.
The Photosynth app for Windows Phone feels like magic. Start it up, move the camera around, and watch your panorama fill in. Make a 360 revolution and watch it join up. Capture the floor and ceiling too. When you're done the shots are automatically stitched together, and the results are beautiful and immersive.
Capturing Stitching Viewing
Next, you can publish your panorama to the Photosynth site and onwards to Bing, or you can share it via Facebook and Twitter.
Publish to Bing Maps Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Photosynth has always been a collaboration between research and engineering, and this app continues the tradition by including core stitching and blending algorithms developed by Microsoft Research, and available on the desktop in the form of the Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor.
If you have a Windows Phone running WP 7.5*, go to the Windows Phone Marketplace and install it now!