Changes MPN competencies for App development and ALM


Partner-Program-logo.jpgIn November we had some changes to the competencies of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) program that are particularly interesting for Microsoft Partners that are doing Application (or App) development on the Microsoft platform. Equally interesting for companies that just start on the platform triggered by the release of Windows 8.
The Application platform competencies are now:

The “old”  Web Development, Software Development, and ISV competencies have merged to become the new Application Development competency. If you want to get started with that you can take the HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript Jump Start – get a free exam voucher!  You can get a voucher for Exam 70-480 Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 when you take the Developing Windows 8 Apps Jump Start online training. Get details (Partner log-in required).

More news for the ALM competencie:

  • Visual Studio 2012 and ALM competency readiness. First, review the learning path to discover the latest sales, licensing, and technical training.
  • How sell Visual Studio 2012 and attach other products: partner materials, reseller kit (Partner log-in required)
  • Host customer events using launch-in-a-box kits Part 1 and Part 2. Host ALM customer events with the ‘Rise to the New Normal’ IT decision maker event-in-a-box kit  (Partner log-in required)
  • Sales Specialist competency assessment (Partner log-in required) this 200-level, 45 minute sales assessment covering Visual studio 2012 can help you prepare to meet ALM competency requirements.

Windows App Day November 23rd, Antwerp

Windows App Day November 23 2012 Antwerp BelgiumThe app market is exploding, first on Apple & Android, now Windows 8 is triggering the same App explosion on the Microsoft platform. To make sure you get the necessary coaching and insight don’t miss the first Windows App Day. The agenda has 2 tracks, for App Development, User Experience and Design and is packed with national and international speakers. All of them actively working on Apps, design & the web and ready to share their learnings and best practices. Join us and get inspired!

  • All About Apps: Windows 8, Windows Azure, Windows Phone and WebApps
  • After the 100% app keynote we split into two tracks: one focused on UX, designers and web experts; a second one for developers.
  • Feel free to switch tracks during the day to compose the schedule of your taste. Find detailed info on the sessions and our speakers on our Windows App Day page!

 Don’t miss this first Windows App Day on November 23rd!

Join Windows 8 Developer Day Sign up

This is why these 3 young Belgians need your Imagine Cup Vote!!!

imagine-cup-2012The Microsoft Imagine Cup brings together students from all over the world and asks them to use their creativity and passion for technology to help solve the world’s toughest problems. Back in May you could read that 2 of our Belgian teams made it to the finals in Sydney.

One of the teams “Make a Sign” created this amazing project that uses Kinect in combination with Azure to recognize sign language used by deaf people and learn people how to use it. Earlier this week the 3 students from HEPL in Liege met with minister-president Rudy Demotte of the Walloon region.
Press: On RTL TV news. In La Derniere Heure. In Le VIF.

So before you read/watch any further do this:  go to the People’s Choice Award site and vote – and then ask your friends, family and network to vote too. Then read the rest of this post and you’ll know why you did the right thing Smile.

Congratulations to:


Julien Rousselle


Antoine Trippaers


Nicolas Bertrand

This is where you can find the full project video:

Imagine Cup 2012 – Make A Sign (Project Presentation)

Building Windows 8 apps on the Belgian beach. First session on July 12

Windows 8 Summer App-a-thon (Belgian Coast)If you’re a company thinking about building your first Metro apps and getting them ready to be part of the Windows 8 General Availability later this year than the summer app-a-thons at the Belgium coast are not to be missed. First one will be on July 12 and is going to be a special, seaside app-a-thon in Blankenberge.  What could be more inspiring for building great Metro-style apps than the sound of waves crashing into the beach, ice cream and a beautiful sunset!

We’re building upon the success of the coding night at the Windows 8 Developer Day and have a hackathon to build cool Metro-style apps.  So team up with your best UX or developer friend and form a killer app team, come alone or sign up with an entire group, whatever you want!

This seaside Summer App-a-thon promises to be an experience like N.O. O.T.H.E.R!   Hands on. Code. Build. Shine. Totally Windows 8. 

Sign upThere will be 2 coding sessions:
1 for Day Birds from 10AM – 4PM and one for Night Owls from 6PM – 12AM. You have 3 registration options: Only the Day Birds coding session; Only the Night Owls coding session or both in case your W8 addicted Smile. So if you’re a developer or UX designer, sign up right now to join us for an unforgettable experience!

New Windows Azure services that help you build “Hybrid Cloud” solutions

Microsoft has announced previews of new Windows Azure services that help developers build applications that connect data to users across public and private clouds, take advantage of VHDs and deploy scalable websites quickly and cheaply.

Today, Scott Guthrie hosted “Meet Windows Azure” to introduce these new services.  And next week, as part of TechEd North America and broadcast live online, Scott, along with Mark Russinovich, Quentin Clark, and Bill Staples will host “Learn Windows Azure” to provide deeper demonstration of the latest Windows Azure features and services to build, deploy, and manage applications in the cloud.

Among the highlights of the announcements made :

  • Windows Azure Virtual Machines enable the moving of workloads on virtual hard disks (VHDs) between on-premises environments and the cloud.  Windows Azure supports both Windows and Linux VHD images, which can be customized or chosen from a pre-populated gallery.  With the commonly supported VHD format, developers and IT Pros can move existing workloads like a SQL Server database or an existing line-of-business application into Windows Azure to create greater scale, lower cost or deploy to new users.  It has never been easier to move your applications to the cloud and boost them with virtually unlimited power, flexibility and reliability.
  • Windows Azure Virtual Network enables the creation, extension and management of virtual private networks into Windows Azure.  Organizations can now more effectively and securely extend their corporate networks into the cloud.  Did you ever wish you had an extra couple of servers for running a calculation job or to deal with a peak in user demand?  Now you can seamlessly add and remove computing resources to your network, as your need them.
  • Windows Azure Web Sites makes building .NET, Node.js, Java and PHP web experiences easier and cheaper than ever while supporting deployment techniques like Git and FTP and framework applications like WordPress, Joomla!, DotNetNuke, Umbraco and Drupal that web developers already know and trust. Why should it be hard to setup a website that can scale with user demand, that is always up and running, regardless of the technology you’re using?
  • Python support, new Tools  The new Windows Azure SDK (June 2012) includes updated support for Java, PHP and .NET and adds Python support, while providing 100% command line support for developers using a Windows PC or a Mac.  No matter what your development flavor is, you can build applications that take advantage of Windows Azure and all its building blocks – experience the openness and interoperability of Windows Azure.

To discover, learn and get started building applications on the Windows Azure platform, I encourage you to:

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Follow the live stream of “Meet Windows Azure” and discoverthe new Windows Azure services.

Tune into Learn Windows Azure on Monday June 11 for a deeper demonstration of what’s new.
Set up a trial account for getting free access to Windows Azure.

image Of course you want to play with these new features! How can you host your own virtual machine in Azure? What is needed to create a PHP web site using MySQL on Azure?

As of Monday June 11, the Azure Training Kit will be updated and guide you step-by-step through a series of hands-on labs.

Download the tools now  and get started!

Download Windows 8 Release Preview and start building your own apps!!!

Windows 8 Release Preview has been made available last week, representing another important quality milestone on the road to Windows 8 General Availability (GA).
This post provides you with some must-know information around what and where to download the bits, the tools and information on how you can count on our support in taking your app to launch.

Belgian Apps???
If you have been following our Belgian activities around Windows 8, ever since our developer event in March Windows 8 Developer Day and Night of Windows 8 (app-a-thon), you know folks are working hard on apps.

We are very happy to announce that two of our Belgian partners we’ve been working with since the early stages now made it into the Windows Store for Release Preview: Le Soir by Rossel and Slash Monsters by Fishing Cactus/Tokkun Studio. Le Soir one of the first European newspaper in Windows Store!

fishing3lesoir1

Your app in Windows Store? Loads of stuff coming to you
As we get closer and closer to the next milestone for Windows 8, locally here in Belgium and Luxembourg we are preparing a bunch of ways to support you along the way into publishing that app in Windows Store by launch – you do want to take that first mover advantage.

How we’re helping you
Below you can find a collection of activities and resources coming your way. Or come our way by means of an App Clinic.

image Training events for developers and designers
Windows Camps and UX Workshops, check out our Metro map.
image Seaside coding at the Belgian Coast: Summer App-a-thons on Windows 8 Metro Style Apps.
When: 12 July (and 8 August in Antwerp)
app clinic App Clinics: join Evangelists, external developer or Metro UX consultants to discuss any questions on your mind regarding your app.

By joining an App Clinic you are also on the right track to get access to App Excellence Labs.

Lab App Excellence Labs
When you’ve been in touch with us through an App Clinic and your application is polished enough go to review, you are invited to participate in an App Excellence Lab. This is a 2-hour review of you application with a Microsoft engineer and if you pass the requirements checklist you get a Windows Store Token!
Because the Store is still closed for public registration for now, this is the only way to get registered and reserve your app name for future fame.
Have an app ready? Register your interest via the App Clinic form (mention App Excellence Labs) .

Windows 8 Release Preview: downloads

  1. For Windows 8 downloads and ISO files you can go to http://preview.windows.com
  2. For developer downloads you’ll find the developer SDK with Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 RC and Expression Blend for Visual Studio, remote debugging tools, Live SDK and more: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/apps/br229516.aspx
  3. New samples for Release Preview: Download sample app pack (300 MB)
  4. Updated documentation: http://dev.windows.com
    If you have read through the documentation previously you’ll see that a lot of the content has been updated, this includes both the developer documentation as well as UX Guidelines.

We are looking forward to helping you take advantage of this huge new opportunity to reach millions of users worldwide.
It’s going to be a hot Summer!

2 Belgian student teams will join the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in Sydney!!!

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Imagine Cup is a Big Deal!! Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition in witch 350.000 students from 183 countries compete for international recognition and cash prizes. In July, 106 student teams from 75 countries will celebrate Imagine Cup’s 10th Anniversary by competing in the Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Imagine Cup with 1.65 million students from 190 countries participating in the competition during the past decade.

They did it again! 2 Belgian teams  “Make a Sign” & “Hotfix_windows” will represent Belgium on the Worldwide Finals in Sydney. After 4 months of hard work and dedication, these 2 Belgian teams can be proud on their performance – making us now amongst the best performing countries in Imagine Cup 2012 : there are only 9 West-European teams and 104 teams worldwide still in running. And again not a coincidence that the teams come from 2 of our best schools in the country HOWEST/DAE in Kortrijk and HEPL in Liege that both have a long Imagine Cup participation track including some finals positions.

These are the 2 Belgian entries making it to the finals:

Team Hotfix_Windows – We influence the world we live in. Learn via a game how you can create a positive impact on world. Developed by 4 students of Hogeschool West Vlaanderen (Howest) in the digital arts & entertainment faculty.

Team: Make A Sign – Imagine you could not hear or speak? Social interaction would all of a sudden become much more complex. 3 students from Haute Ecole Provinciale Liege (HEPL) have developed an application based on Kinect technology to construct a sign database for all languages, and learn in a very convenient and fun way how to communicate correctly.

More information about Imagine Cup is available at the Imagine Cup Virtual Pressroom and on the Imagine Cup blog.