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)

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!

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.

2012 Most Valuable Professionals (MVP) for Belgium announced (full list attached)

Each quarter Microsoft awards passionate technical community leaders with the Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award recognizing they are top-tier technology influencers and outstanding community contributors. In Belgium most of them are full time professionals doing IT for a living, with some exceptions that are teachers or just passionate users.
Microsoft began the MVP Awards many years ago as a way to recognize members of the general public who devoted their time and technical expertise to helping users in various online technical forums. Over time, the program evolved, and awards are given to members of technical communities worldwide for their contributions to communities including third-party Web sites, user groups, blogs and wikis. MVP Awards are given directly by Microsoft Corp and not by the local BeLux subsidiary.

Below is the list of all 46 new and existing MVP’s for Belgium cross a wealth of technologies from Dynamics CRM and ERP, over Exchange, SQL and Azure, and consumer security and Xbox. Congratulations to all of you especially the new ones on the list !!!  I’ve added the Twitter address for most of them so feel free to start following those in your domain of technology.

MVP Technical Expertise
Claude  Leloup Access
Kris  van der Mast ASP.NET/IIS
Simone  Chiaretta ASP.NET/IIS
Didier  Stevens Consumer Security
Marc  Van Nooten Consumer Security
Mieke  Verburgh Consumer Security
Wim  Coorevits Dynamics CRM
Eric  Wauters Dynamics NAV
Luc  Van Dyck Dynamics NAV
Wim  Gielis Excel
Tom  Decaluwe Forefront
Paul  Loonen Forefront Identity Manager
Thomas  Vuylsteke Forefront Identity Manager
Hans  Le Roy Internet Explorer
Johan  Delimon Lync
Kurt  Roggen Management Infrastructure
Jethro  Seghers Office365
Luc  Sanders PowerPoint
Hans  Hoet Project
Jan  De Messemaeker Project
Joris  Poelmans SharePoint Server
Karine  Bosch SharePoint Server
Ludovic  Lefort SharePoint Server
Sébastien  Sougnez SharePoint Server
Serge  Luca SharePoint Server
Stéphane  Eyskens SharePoint Server
Gill  Cleeren Silverlight
Frederik  Vandeputte SQL Server
Isabelle  Van Campenhoudt SQL Server
Alexandre  Verkinderen System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management
Christopher  Keyaert System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management
Mike  Resseler System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management
Kenny  Buntinx System Center Configuration Manager
Kim  Oppalfens System Center Configuration Manager
Didier  van Hoye Virtual Machine
Jérôme  Lambert Visual C#
Olivier  Matis Visual C#
Marc  Gregoire Visual C++
Pieter  Gheysens Visual Studio ALM
Maarten  Balliauw Windows Azure
Panagiotis  Kefalidis Windows Azure
Yves  Goeleven Windows Azure
Nick  Asseloos Windows Home Server
Olivier  Lebeau Word
Frederik  De Breuck Xbox
Brecht  Kets XNA/DirectX

To become an MVP, candidates are nominated by other community individuals, Microsoft,  or in some cases themselves. Candidates are rigorously evaluated for their technical expertise, community leadership, and voluntary community contributions for the previous year.
Are you interested in hearing more about the MVP Award from some of our leadership team? Check out this video created by Visual C# MVP David Giard about what the MVP Award means to the technical community, what it means to Microsoft, and how MVPs are selected. Please visit the nomination page to nominate a community leader to be considered for an MVP Award.

Microsoft certification reinvented for the cloud + "Two for One" exam offer

MCSE: Lead your organization to the cloudLast week Microsoft Learning announced that it has reinvented its certification program to directly address technology’s evolution to the cloud.

Why is Microsoft changing the Microsoft Certification program?

  • Microsoft’s new certifications help bridge the IT skills gap as new jobs are created by the cloud demand deeper understanding and more rigorous trainings.
  • As Microsoft technology moves to the cloud, so does its certification program.

What key changes is Microsoft making to the program?

  • Microsoft Certification Program is raising the bar, evolving with the cloud to ensure relevance and competitive advantage in the industry.
  • Microsoft Certifications now validate a broader and deeper set of skills to build Microsoft technology solutions in the cloud or on-premise, a more comprehensive approach than certifications about individual components or aspects of a single Microsoft technology.

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What do the new certification acronyms MCSA, MCSE or MCSM stand for?

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate(MCSA)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer(MCSD)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM).

What do the new skill levels and certifications encompass?

  • The Associate Level comprises the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification, which provides a clear starting point for job seekers early in their technology career. It represents a foundation and is the prerequisite certification necessary to earn an MCSE.
  • The Expert Level comprises the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or its developer equivalent, Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), and is Microsoft’s flagship certification for individuals who want to lead their organization’s transition to the cloud. These certifications recognize IT professionals and developers with broad and deep skill sets across Microsoft solutions.
  • The Master Level is the Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) certification that differentiates the select few from their peers and represents the highest bar of knowledge and skills validation.

2 for 1 exams! Get current and get to the cloud

The best path to cloud certifications is to complete your Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) – or Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) certification and upgrade to the equivalent MCSE certifications when they become available with the “Two for One” exam offer.

More information : When you are a Microsoft partner you can visit the Microsoft Learning Campaign Factory otherwise this is the public site.