Now Available: Microsoft Desktop Player

Microsoft Desktop Player aggregates content across various Microsoft properties and maps it to your role as a developer, IT Pro and IT Adoption lifecycle. Also if you configure the local settings you get local IT resources like your Developer or IT Evangelist in your area, local user groups, local training resources to get your certification etc.

(In Phase I the local settings are US only)

In addition it streams breaking news from MSDN/TechNet to the desktop player. One additional advantage for site publishers is it can be embedded in their sites to give their readers rich content via the embedded player.

You can check it out at:

Be a Windows Phone 7 “Rockstar”

As you may have heard, Microsoft has announced the availability of a preview of the Windows Phone developer tools. The buzz around Windows Phone 7 Series has been so great that Microsoft wants to encourage students to be amongst the first to get cracking with the platform.

Details of the contest
  • The contest will require students or student teams to build applications written in Silverlight or XNA for Windows Phone 7 Series, using the tools that have been made available.
  • Appealing “look and feel” (like the User Experience of the Windows Phone 7 shell itself),
  • Originality of the application (we’re looking for apps that people may not have seen before),
  • The “consumer appeal” that this app might possess, and/or
  • Leveraging phone specific functionality (like Accelerometer, Location etc.)

The contest is live today and will end on May 24, 2010.

What students can win

Of the applications submitted, there will be three winning teams. Winners will be announced on June 1, 2010 on the Imagine Cup 2010 website.

  • First place winner – Each team member (up to 4 members) of the top overall winning team is invited to Poland. The winning team will be awarded USD8000. And each member of the winning team will be awarded a new Windows Phone.
  • Second place winner – The runner up team will be awarded USD4000. Each member of the winning team will also be awarded a new Windows Phone.
  • Third place winner– The second runner up team will be awarded USD3000. Each member of the winning team will also be awarded a new Windows Phone.
How to get started

Be among the elite first to be recognized as a Windows Phone 7 “Rockstar”!

Channel 9 Live at MIX 10

WHAT: The Channel 9 crew will be broadcasting live, unscripted and 100% interactive from The Commons on Days 1 & 2 of MIX 2010 in Las Vegas.

WHY: Not everyone can make it to MIX10 in person and bump into Bill Buxton or The Gu for a quick chat in the corridor. Channel 9 Live provides those unable to attend with an opportunity to be a part of the MIX experience and converse directly with executives, presenters and technology leaders.

WHO: Joining us on stage will be Scott Guthrie, Joe Belfiore, Bill Buxton, Dean Hachamovich, Charlie Kindel, Albert Shum, Doug Purdy, Erik Meijer and many more.

WHEN: The live stream begins immediately following the keynotes

  • March 15 From 10:30AM PST to 5:30PM
  • March 16 From 10:30AM PST to 5:30PM

WHERE: Same URL as the keynotes: http://live.visitmix.com

Once the keynotes end just keep watching; Channel 9 Live will begin streaming automatically

 

You can view the full schedule of sessions here: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/NicFill/Channel-9-Live-at-MIX10–Who-What-Why-When-and-How/

 

HOW to participate: We’ll be accepting questions and interacting live via Twitter (@ch9live) as well as the Channel 9 Coffee House.

 

Become a Design All-Star!

.toolbox is a free online training program where designers and developers can learn to create Silverlight applications using Expression Studio and to apply basic UX concepts to their solutions.

.toolbox provides YOU with the ability to send designers, developers, partners, customers, and students to a fun integrated environment that takes an individual from a level 100 to 400 understanding of using the design aspects of Silverlight and Expression. .toolbox is a structured curriculum-based program that features two core learning tracks with materials that increase in difficulty to build individuals’ knowledge and understanding. In Design Scenarios, designers and developers learn to create dynamically-rich Silverlight applications using Expression Studio. They learn to add code-free functionality to designs by following step-by-step tutorials that illustrate how to create interactive user experiences. In Design Principles, designers and developers learn fundamental UX concepts (e.g., choosing the right colors) along with tips in how to apply them. Badges are earned and accumulated in both tracks upon successful completion of the evaluation found at the end of each level.

 

Helpful Links

Allison Watson’s Webcast on Cloud Computing Opportunities

Allison Watson | Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group

As head of the Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft, Allison Watson leads a global team of 5,000 Microsoft employees and is responsible for Microsoft’s worldwide strategy for the more than 640,000 independently owned-and-operated partner companies. These companies resell and provide services on Microsoft technologies for 43 million customers, ranging from the smallest entrepreneurs to the largest global enterprises. Watson leads strategy for and delivers cross-company commitment to Microsoft’s partners of all types, including independent software vendors, value-added resellers, resellers, distributors and systems integrators serving business customers across all geographies and products.


Join Allison Watson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group, as she speaks to members of the Microsoft Partner Network about the opportunities cloud computing offers for Microsoft partners.

Watch the webcast!

 

Also, learn about the benefits of the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) and opportunities Microsoft Partners have to capitalize on. Watch the video or Read the blog.

March Architect Innovation Cafe Webcasts

 

March 25, 2010 at 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST

Title: Extending Your Sites Reach with IE8 Add On Features

Abstract Today’s users are getting more sophisticated and they expect more features from the sites and services they use. In this session learn about how to implement low effort, high value add-ons that expand your sites reach and bring value to your customer base .

Link to Register: https://swrt.worktankseattle.com/webcast/4240/preview.aspx

Presenter:
Jim Cirone
Architect Evangelist, Microsoft

Jim Cirone is an Architect Evangelist with Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team. He joined the DPE team 3 years ago after spending 10 years in Microsoft’s services group architecting and delivering complex solutions. In his current role he is focused on new and emerging web technologies.

——————————————————————————————————————————————

March 26, 2010 at 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST

Title: Windows Azure Design Patterns

Abstract: One of the challenges in adopting a new platform is finding usable design patterns that work for developing effective solutions. The Catch-22 is that design patterns are discovered and not invented. Nevertheless it is important to have some guidance on what design patterns make sense early in the game.

This webcast attacks the problem through a set of application scenario contexts, Azure features and solution examples. It is unique in its approach and the fact that it includes the use of features from all components of the Windows Azure Platform including the Windows Azure OS, Windows Azure AppFabric and SQL Azure. In this webcast you will learn about the components of the Windows Azure Platform that can be used to solve specific business problems.

Link to Register: https://swrt.worktankseattle.com/webcast/4241/preview.aspx

Presenter:
Bill Zack
Architect Evangelist, Microsoft

Bill Zack is an Architect Evangelist with Microsoft. He comes to this role after serving as a Solutions Architect in the Financial Services Unit of Microsoft Consulting Services. His experience includes developing, supporting and evangelizing .NET/SOA based frameworks used to jump-start development projects for financial services companies.

Version 2 of the TechNet Widget and MSDN Widget are live!

Version 2 of the TechNet Widget and MSDN Widget are live! The Widgets pull the latest RSS feeds from TechNet and MSDN and offer selections from videos, webcasts, podcasts, TechNet/MSDN Magazines, and TechNet/MSDN Flash.  This allows website owners and bloggers to obtain the latest technology content immediately and automatically.

  • User can either embed the default Widget OR tailor their own Widget content (i.e. by keywords, form factors and product).
  • Possibility to manage Widget feeds via a self-service admin tool in the Widget.
  • Option to customize the Widget with a logo and custom size requirements, then easily incorporate on a blog page, website, or MySpace page (and more) with the embed code provided.
  • The Widget has built-in social networking capabilities and can be integrated on profile pages/blogs of sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon etc.
  • Stream video via RSS feed.
  • Widget supports localization
  • Built using Silverlight.

 

Example placements:

Health Tech Today, hosted by Microsoft’s own Dr. Bill Crounse

Take a look at the new online video series showcasing Microsoft technologies in healthcare. Health Tech Today, hosted by Microsoft’s own Dr. Bill Crounse, features movers and shakers from the health industry. These fast-paced videos are an easy way for customers, partners and healthcare consumers to watch Microsoft’s solutions in action – saving lives, monitoring chronic diseases, and reducing healthcare costs.

Recent episodes include:

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu talking about eHealth
  • Healthcare futurist Jeff Goldsmith on the future of Health IT
  • A “digital paramedic” saving lives remotely
  • Video games that help diagnose children
  • And much much more

 

Homepage | Facebook | Showcase

Lady Antebellum has new IE8 Web Slice and launches album

The award winning country music group Lady Antebellum will release their second album Need You Now on January 26.  Lady A (as they are affectionately called) will also unveil their Internet Explorer 8 web slice – which features news, tour schedule, BIO, music, and photo’s. This will include announcements around their crazy popular “Webisode Wednesday” (latest one, #89, is here).

Lady A’s web slice is available on the IE8 Gallery or on each page of their site. The web slice was built by Music City Networks (MCN).

Additional background on Lady Antebellum

  • Upcoming 2010 GRAMMY Nominations:
    • Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
    • Best Country Song for “I Run To You
  • 2009 CMA Vocal Group of the Year
  • 2009 CMA Single of the Year, “I Run To You
  • Billboard’s #1 Hot Country Song of 2009, “I Run To You
  • 5-week #1 single “Need You Now
  • #1 digital single across all genres at iTunes and Amazon, “Need You Now
  • #1 ringtone at Verizon and AT&T, “Need You Now
  • First country group to break the Top 10 of Billboard’s all genre Hot 100 chart since 2007
  • Top New Duo or Group in 2009 by the Academy of Country Music

Excelerators Quiz and Alpha Geek Challenges

The Business Intelligence team at Microsoft has launched the Excelerators Quiz and the Alpha Geek Challenge.

Go now to the sites below and take the quiz to see if you’re anywhere near as good as Donald Farmer!  Remember to post your results on Facebook and Twitter or even challenge a friend. Also spread the word to all your Alpha Geek pals to participate in our challenges for some great prizes. 

www.exceleratorsquiz.com | www.alphageekchallenge.com

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