A quick call out to last week’s winners. Congratulations to John Healy, Eoin Bailey and John Freeney, all of whom have won a prize of their choosing (either an Umbrella, a Rain Jacket, a Mini-Toolkit or a 32BG USB memory stick).
This week, we’re going to learn all about Office 365.
So, to be in with a chance of winning a prize, login to the Microsoft Virtual Academy and pass the Office 365 for the IT Pro – Platform course.
Send me your version of this screenshot before 09:00 on Tuesday 8th May (the Monday is a public holiday) to be in with a chance of winning a prize.
Unfortunately I can’t open this up to the world – you’ll have to give me an Irish address to claim your prize (North or South).
“Pretty Soon Every Individual and Firm Will be in the App Business” – John Kennedy Silicon Republic.
Jampot Techologies know how to make this happen and have recently being featured on Engadget, Fast Company, BBC and Intels AppUp show (skip to 3.40). Jampot’s App Builder tool allows any person or company with no technical skills create and publish a mobile app for Windows Phone, Android and iOS for $29 a month. These apps can be created in minutes and the content updated in real time. Jampot see themselves as the WordPress of app development, democratizing who can have an app. To find our more go to www.theappbuilder.com
The mobile app market is set for major growth in the next few years – Gartner anticipates that in 2015 over one billion smart phones will be sold worldwide. This is quite simply a phenomenal statistic and if we thought the burgeoning mobile app market was substantial now, its going to radically accelerate from this point on.
Well, what does this mean for Irish businesses? Fundamentally they need to sit up and take notice. This is only the beginning – companies and organisations are starting to realise that they need to stand out from their competition and need to evolve their communication strategy to interact with mobile users via engaging apps.
Thinking about it quite literally, a mobile app enables a business to be on a person’s body, right in their pocket, purse or bag. You can’t get closer to their decision making than being on the device they often care for more fondly than their children and spend more time with than their partner!
The problem is that many small companies can’t afford to have an app built on one platform, never mind the three major platforms (Windows Phone, iOS, Android). The technical and publishing requirements also often leave business owners baffled, resulting in a barrier that is stopping organisations from communicating effectively with their customers and taking advantage of this massive opportunity.
Microsoft Ireland has recognised these issues and is providing businesses with the tool to build their own app by recommending TheAppBuilder. TheAppBuilder revolutionises the industry, where literally any person or company can create an app in minutes and preview it on their phone for free. Once ready to publish to the Windows, Apple and Google stores a $29 a month subscription allows publication on all three, plus unlimited updates to the app.
Anyone, no matter what their level of technical expertise can build a mobile app quickly and easily – restaurants, photographers, beauty spas, churches, sports clubs, e-learning companies, race car drivers and thousands of other organisations have built an app using TheAppBuilder. Agencies are finding it particularly useful as they can quickly turn-around inexpensive client apps for events, conferences and campaigns.
Businesses can build and preview their app for free before selecting a no contract, no hassle subscription at www.theappbuilder.com. Go Build!
Microsoft Ireland has been running an App Me Up initiative for the last few months – and will continue for the foreseeable future. We’re offering a free Nokia Lumia 800 to any Irish (North and South) developer who publishes four Apps.
We’re giving you the free tools you’ll need to develop your Apps. Advice and Guidance on how to build and publish it. The ability to have your App promoted widely and if you publish four Apps, your free Nokia Lumia 800. So far we have given away close to 30 phones – and there’s more where they came from!
If you’re new to App development, have a quick look at this short (two minute) video of Finn Krewer talking about his experience so far.
Solar Sprint from Tipperary’s NeverMind Game studio has just launched exclusive to Windows Phone. Guide a planet from one solar system to another in order to grow and create new life. Dodge asteroids while collecting space dust to make your planet bigger. Be careful not to fly too close to the sun! See a video of the game in action at http://youtu.be/XBGlqIupbFU
Marketplace Link: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-IE/apps/97eea42e-56c8-4baa-bf07-9fd79cbf7679
You can’t take your eyes off the premiership title race this season. For Man United fans on the go get 1st4 Live Manchester United Scores developed by Irish developer Ranyart. The app has live commentary, match reports, live scores, league table and team news and live tile support. With only three games left in the season you don’t want to miss a second of it. Get the free app at http://www.windowsphone.com/en-IE/apps/ce84b47a-9b9d-4206-ac5f-9dc03d081e5e Not a Man United fan, don’t worry other team will be available for next season.
Winner of Microsoft’s March App of the Month, Irish made iSpeak is an instant text and speech translator. Simply choose the language to translate to, speak your phrase and the app will read it in a local language and accent. Just in time for the summer holidays, there is a generous free trial and the full app is only 99c get it at http://www.windowsphone.com/en-IE/apps/0ed197e0-d9c5-40d9-9845-570bf121094d Please note this app uses your data connection to translate so when abroad we recommending using on wifi.
Winner of Microsoft’s February App of the Month, Irish made BusFinder gives you access to live updates on the latest Dublin bus departures by searching for a bus stop or route. You can create a Live Tile of the bus stops you use most on your phone home screen so you can instantly see when your next bus is due without needing to open the app. You can try the full version of BusFinder for free for one week, the full cost is only 99c. get it at http://www.windowsphone.com/en-IE/apps/b30deeff-6dec-4717-bb2b-212982375795
Produced by the Nokia Institute of Technology, this is a windows phone must have with its gorgeous visuals and its free price tag. Blast through cannons on 32 levels as a bodysuited daredevil. Use elastic bands and trampolines to jump above obstacles or through fire rings, remembering to avoid falling and cracking your helmet. Be on the lookout for fire breathers as you bounce walls on multiple combos in the pursuit of cheers and trophies. Get it now at http://www.windowsphone.com/en-IE/apps/ae7684da-8cf8-4173-8c69-00e39aaa06c6
A quick call out to last week’s winners. Congratulations to Paraic Nolan, Anthony McCarville and DJ Wilson all of whom have won a prize of their choosing (either an Umbrella, a Rain Jacket, a Mini-Toolkit or a 32BG USB memory stick).
This week’s challenge on the Microsoft Virtual Academy is to pass the Windows Azure Security Overview test.
Send me your version of this screenshot before 09:00 on the 30th April to be in with a chance of winning a prize.
· SkyDrive for the Windows desktop - View and manage SkyDrive files & folder directly from Windows Explorer with this new preview app. Drag-and-drop to/ from SkyDrive using Windows Explorer. Files stored in your SkyDrive are in a plain folder on your PC, which means any app that works with local folders and files can now work with SkyDrive.
· Fetch files remotely - Easily access files from your internet-connected PC – from anywhere in the world via SkyDrive.com.
· Windows Phone and iPhone - Better management features and sharing options in the SkyDrive App. Now available for iPad too. Not that we have any of those.
· Single file upload limit increased to 2GB.
· New preview client for Mac OS X Lion, letting you manage your SkyDrive right from the Finder. (70% of Mac users regularly use a PC).
· SkyDrive storage updates. 7GB free for all new SkyDrive users. This is down from 25GB previously L BUT 99.4% of SkyDrive customers today use 7GB or less. Paid storage plans (+20GB, +50GB, +100GB) available at competitive prices (€8/year, €19/year, €37/year).
Note that any registered SkyDrive user who has uploaded files to SkyDrive as of April 22nd can opt in to keep 25GB of free storage. (Users already 4GB or more as of April 1 are automatically given 25GB).
More details on the blog here.
Calls to action
I have to admit, I was sceptical when I first came across Microsoft's Virtual Academy and ultimately, like so many other things despite the good intentions, it got pushed to the "I have too many other things to do right now" pile. Some time passed and low and behold I see an email from Microsoft stating some new hot shot called Dave Northey was on the scene for Microsoft Ireland. I wonder what this guy will do I found myself asking. Well one of the things Dave got up to was that night in Dublin half starkers near... (sorry, wrong Dave) ...was re-introducing the MVA but this time with a competitive element so now I'm thinking wait a minute... I get learning for free on the up and coming exciting industry topics and..... you'll give me the chance to win kit ranging from branded goods and 32GB USB sticks to a TechNet subscription? Nice! So now I'm all over it and its paid off. I now have an idea of how I can leverage Microsoft's products for private cloud deployment and can bring this to my peers in the workplace. Oh and just the small fact of, I won the monthly competition for a sweet as Nokia Lumia 800 Windows smart phone. Pfft, who needs an iPhone, this is one serious piece of kit!? Anyway folks, get involved if you haven't already and get learning. You increase your own knowledge, get to look smart in work and may even get to show off your shiny new Windows phone. Especially fun when you work with UNIX and Mac geeks :-)
Happy learning and good luck in the draw!
This week’s challenge on the Microsoft Virtual Academy is to pass the Introduction to Windows Azure test.
Send me your version of this screenshot before 09:00 on the 23rd April to be in with a chance of winning.
Prizes are currently your choice from a Microsoft branded Rain Jacket, Umbrella, Mini-Toolkit or a 32GB USB 3.0 memory key.
p.s. Well done to everyone who passed the Windows Server “8” First Look test, And a Big well done to our three winners: John McDonald, Aidan Dennehy and Michael McCabe
Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Virtual Academy a while ago. It’s a one stop shop for online training, with more and more content coming on line all the time. It offers you short exams/tests to let you demonstrate to yourself that you understand the topic just covered. It also introduces a bit of “gamification” by letting you earn points as you progress (and points make prizes)!
I’ve been offering a free TechNet Subscription to anyone who can get themselves into the Top Ten list for Ireland – I’ve given away close to 30 so far!
I have also introduced my “Learn Along With Dave” initiative, where I set a weekly challenge and pull three names out of a hat from all the entries. So far I have given away fifteen weekly prizes and a Nokia Lumia 800.
This week’s challenge is to have a first look at Windows Server “8” and to pass the associated exam.
I’m taking next week off work (well deserved holiday), so won’t be around until Monday 16th April, so you have two weeks to send me a screenshot (similar to mine) before then and you’ll be in the hat to win one of three prizes.
Last week’s challenge was the last one on Private Cloud: Application Services Management
John McDonald, Anthony Mc Neice and Ian McAleer
Well done everyone for learning along with me – and congratulations to everyone who won a prize (or two)!
Give me a while and I’ll announce this week’s challenge…