In 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:
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.
The 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
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 .
This is where you can find the full project video:
Imagine Cup 2012 – Make A Sign (Project Presentation)
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.
There 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 . So if you’re a developer or UX designer, sign up right now to join us for an unforgettable experience!
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:
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!
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.
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.
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) .
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
What do the new certification acronyms MCSA, MCSE or MCSM stand for?
Microsoft Certified SolutionsAssociate(MCSA)
Microsoft Certified SolutionsExpert (MCSE) or Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer(MCSD)
Microsoft Certified SolutionsMaster (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 broadand 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.
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.
While planning the next 4 months of local readiness events the team came up with this great “new way” of navigating the readiness system: a map. Yes jut like a subway or metro map. Pick your destination and follow the route.
The Windows 8 Metro Map is your guide to your app in Windows store. We have a great ride outlined! Get it now.
If you missed TechDays 2012 … bad luck there is no way to bring you back the whole 10th anniversary experience. The good news however is that we’ve just posted the digital version with recordings of each of the sessions so you can learn from the best.
From now on, you can browse all the sessions, view them online or download to your favorite media player + download the slides.
We welcomed many top speakers like Scott Guthrie, Brian Keller, Jeff Prosise, … in the developer track and Ward Ralston, Corey Heynes, John Craddock, … in the IT Pro track.
Happy learning and feel free to share your thoughts about TechDays 2012 via #techdaysbe or #msdnbe
We’re looking for feedback from Belgian developers on the use of their tools, languages and platform they target. NO YOU DON’T need to be a Microsoft addict or even developing on the Microsoft platform, all developers are equal (at least for this survey ).
So thank you for taking the time to fill in our short developer survey. The survey is anonymous and no personal data will be stored. If you would like to take part in the give-away of the Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone, please answer the contest question and provide your e-mail address at the very end of the survey. By entering the contest, you are conclusively deemed to have agreed to be bound by the general terms and conditions.
Free Web Camps are back again! This time you can register for any of the four confirmed one-day events to learn more about Open source web apps and get to some practical hands-on HTML5 coding experience.
If you are wondering how to take advantage of HTML5 and CSS3, use and deploy a free open source app like Umbraco, Orchard, Drupal, or others or simply want to program your own website, then this event is for you.
Practical details @ Microsoft Belgium on these dates:
Those who’ve seen me speaking last 18 months know that NUI (Natural User Interface) is one of those trends I strongly believe in. There is no doubt in my mind that in 5 years from now it will be hard to buy a PC screen without touch. And stronger a lot of flat (or not so flat) surfaces will get touch enabled. Add the Kinect technology and you have the next paradigm shift. If you have the same passion or your still not convinced yet watch this new Future Vision Video.
2011 edition of Productivity Future Vision video
Steve Clayton one of our chief storytellers looked back at the 2009 version of this video and the predictions it made to check ho much of it is starting to become reality.
MIC’s ThursDay’s are opportunity for you to meet your peers and discuss about best practices in the IT industry in Brussels ! You are also welcome to reach out to the MIC Brussels team members during the event, who will help you find which part of the MIC Brussels program would fit best for you.
Agenda (from 15:00 to 17:30)
Welcome by the MIC Brussels team
How to innovate and how to sell in the Public Sector, by Baudouin Urbain, Public Sector Director at Microsoft Belux
How the Cloud answers SMEs IT needs, by David Hernie, IT Evangelist and Architect at Microsoft Belux
Best Practice sharing from Getyoo, the startup that will connect you to anything ! New: Getyoo is now investing the tourism sector and will allow tourist to interact with monuments, shops, expositions… The new project, “Brussels experience”, is an interactive city-tour like no other. Be among the first to hear about this project on MIC’s thursDay!
Wrap up & closing drinks
We are looking forward to seeing you on October the 20th at MIC’s thursDay, :-)
Join us if you are inspired by working with IT partners and making successful!
The Tele-Partner Account Manager (T-PAM) role is responsible for managing a portfolio of partners over the phone. The Partner Account Manager will drive partner commitment to Microsoft, drive interest for and adoption of Microsoft Technology, reach revenue and pipeline targets as well as deliver a high level of partner satisfaction in a fast paced, highly accountable environment.
Core T- PAM accountabilities include: Partner business planning, Partner technology adoption, revenue target attainment, and partner relationship management. Key traits of a world class T-PAM include a deep working knowledge of the partner ecosystem and her/his portfolio; excellent, well managed relationships; a sense of urgency that every deal and partner counts; and proactive actions to exceed adoption of Microsoft Technology that can make the partner more successful.
This role is a vendor positionwith a strong collaboration with the Microsoft Partner team and allowing strong personal growth in a professional result driven organization.
Earlier this week we’ve published a major release of Windows Phone. It’s an important update that offers hundreds of new features to the phone, marketplace and for developers that target the platform. Here is the official blog post on the WindowsPhone team Blog. We target to update 98% of phone customers worldwide within the next four weeks.
What’s hot for Belgian developers? First, we’ve simplified payout and taxes administration by eliminating the need to provide an ITIN on your W-8 to take advantage of a reduced withholding rate. A blog post will follow with the new simplified procedure and we will organize a webcast for your Q&A in November.. Stay tune #wp7be or #wp7dev or follow David Hernie who’s our Phone Champ.
Develop & publish or republish your great apps, we will help you to promote it through the marketplace and our brand new website ‘The Belgium Windows Phone Page‘ (NL) or (FR).
Last point, save the date(s)
Oct 25- 26 (FR version) Nov 9-10 (EN version)- We organize 2 deep development technical trainings- No marketing blala – 2 days to learn how to develop, publish and promote your Windows Phone 7 Apps. We will lend you phones to test your development, help you to promote your app, understand concept of the Live tiles – Cloud integration or how to use the Advertising SDK and get more revenue. It’s free – all details are here : WP7 technical training organized in Belgium
Already save the date for Nov 3th – We “The UX tour” landing in Belgium: all you want to know about Design, HTML5, Web & Phone with international speakers and latest technology trends .. Stay tune, we arrive with all info.
Learn from the best
Register now for Microsoft Connect on October 11th! Connect is the yearly gathering for the Microsoft partner community where Microsoft introduces you to its roadmap for the upcoming year. During the ISV morning breakout you’ll have the opportunity to learn how 3 of your colleague ISV’s (Quesd, Rhea, Winbooks) successfully made the move to Azure. On top of that we’ll provide an ISV update on where you can find more information about the upcoming Windows 8. Luc Van de Velde, Director Developer & Platform group Register for Connect
Windows 8 changes everything
Be amongst the first to build applications for the next version of Windows. Send your developers over to the Windows Developer Center to download the Windows Developer Preview and get them prepared for the future! Nick Trogh, Developer Evangelist
Get your application into the spotlight and sell them online
Microsoft just announced the upcoming availability of the Windows Azure Marketplace in 25 new markets, including Belgium! So learn how to get started here and make sure to submit your application by next month! Christophe Van Mollekot, Partner Account Manager ISV
Get inspired: grow your business through adopting the SaaS model
Read how Credenza Software managed to expand its market base from 30 to 600 customers in only one year by redesigning its business model thanks to Windows Azure! Discover how Credenza leveraged the cloud to grow its business. Hermien Heveraet, Telepartner Account Manager
Before summer we ran a successful pilot project for Student Ambassadors and as such we’ve decided to roll out the to as many campuses in Belgium and Luxembourg as possible. So if you are a student or have one in the family we’d love to get in touch and get them to joining us in this great initiative.
Through this program, we want to empower the Student Ambassadors so that they’re able to help their peers and, with the support of Microsoft, make sure students all around Belgium and Luxembourg get the best tools + the knowledge to use them to save time and have more fun. Students will get the opportunity and materials to give trainings and seminars to your classmates and friends and help them with their IT related questions. Doing so will help you earn points which you can exchange afterwards for nice stuff like an XBOX + Kinect, a Windows Phone, laptops, and other great goodies.
Who are we looking for? If you’re an outgoing, chatty and proactive individual who’s well networked on campus, then you’re exactly what we’re looking for! It’s about who you know rather than what you know. A desire to get your teeth into a fun, exciting and rewarding role throughout the academic year is equally important. Having an interest in technology and marketing would be great as well, though don’t worry if you don’t.