If you have ever built a Windows Store application without browsing to Design Center: http://design.windows.com and Dev Center: http://dev.windows.com then you have missed out on some of the best practices and a wealth of resources you could have leveraged.
These two sites should be the first destination for anyone building Windows Store Apps. These sites include detailed guidance on:
User Experience Design
Design Assets like Adobe Photoshop Files
For developers, the sites can be overwhelming when you first visit them as they contain a lot of information for anyone to absorb on a single visit. I recommend you start at the basic tutorials here:
Create your first Windows Store app using C# or Visual Basic
Or there is a fantastic HOL for building a Contoso Cookbook.
For UX designers, the site provides planning & guidance based on already successful apps.
In the past, it could be difficult to demonstrate the Office Server products (SharePoint, Lync, or Exchange) to prospective clients. You had to setup up your own server, load some demo data, add some sample users, decide what to demo, and carry around a beefy laptop with enough RAM and hard drive to run those servers.
Fortunately, in an Office 365 world, the process is much simpler.
As a Microsoft Partner, you have access to the Microsoft Office Demos site at https://www.microsoftofficedemos.com site.
This site has been set up to allow you access to a demonstration environment and guide materials for the new Office and Office 2013 without requiring a full installation locally.
Your Microsoft Office demo environment consists of a personalized Office 365 trial tenant created, configured, and populated with demo-ready content by a special provisioning tool (accessible from the Create Demo page of this site). That tenant includes access to trials of the latest Office client products as well. Once your Office 365 tenant is set up, it can be used along with a demo guide to deliver an effective demo to a customer or partner that covers the full range of Office products – including backend (Exchange, SharePoint, Lync) and client (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) products.
Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) images of the Office 2013 server and client products are hosted on the web and also available for download for those who cannot use Office 365 to perform their demos.
Your personalized Office demo environment uses the following:
The set of demo personas and preconfigured content deployed by the provisioning tool correspond to the demo guides and Hands-on Labs created for the new Office and Office 2013 environment. These demos focus on a small set of "hero" personas which are used to walk through the demo steps with minimal changes of user context.
Talking script and click guideline documents for these demos and Hands-on Labs, as well as more information on the Office demo environment, can be found here.
With the Demo Content Provisioning wizard, you can create a new demo environment from scratch (which includes setting up and configuring a trial tenant), refresh a demo (so the demo “dates” on e-mails and newsfeed posts are up-to-date), or load the demo content on an existing tenant. Choose a location for the demo and pick a tenant name, and then sit back and relax as the tenant is provisioned
While the tenant is provisioning, head over to the Resources page and download the demo guides. There are separate demo scripts for Enterprise, Small and Midsize Business, as well as for each individual product.
To help get you started with your Demo, Partner Solution Consultant Jon Horner has recorded a session on “How to Demo Office 365”. Check it out!
Coming soon is a GREAT opportunity to join us for some exciting learning. This Jump Start provides an accelerated overview of Advanced Windows Store App Development Using C#. This is a course for intermediate to advanced learners and will help you prepare for Microsoft exam 70-485. Microsoft Technical Evangelist Jerry Nixon and the co-founder of Crank211, Daren May will share numerous demos and samples of simple and complex techniques on how to add animations and transitions in a Windows Store app to improve the user experience, how to optimize various storage mechanisms, choose a suitable caching strategy for their Windows Store app, to name a few topics. Get ready for a packed fun and fast paced event!
Check out the recent post from one of our escalation engineers, Rob Caplan. If you are building a Windows Store App or know someone who is this just might prove helpful.
Dealing with Documents: How (not) to use the documentsLibrary capability in Windows Store apps
Although we share quite a bit of deep technical training resources here on the Partner Technical Services blog, many of our partners need to train their customers on the basics of using Office 365 or individual applications in the Office 2013 suite. To that end, the following resources are publicly available and free, and can be shared with your customer as they make the move to Office 365:
If your organization signed up for Office 365 and you need to start reading email, sharing documents, and more, see the following resources to get started with Office 365:
Get started with Office 365
Get started with the new Office
Install Office with Office 365
Use my Office desktop applications with Office 365
Set up and use Office 365 on your phone or tablet
Start using Office and Office Web Apps
Start using SharePoint sites, SkyDrive Pro, and Newsfeed to share documents and ideas
Start using Outlook Web App for email and calendars
Start using Lync for IM and online meetings
Change your account settings in Office 365 like your password or language
Office 365 videos
The following Office 365 videos are available:
Video: Welcome to Office 365
Video: Share Documents in Office 365
Video: Use email and more in Office 365
Video: Communicate with Lync in Office 365
Video: Use Office and Office Web Apps in Office 365
Also available is the following downloadable Office 365 training course, which includes the preceding Office 365 videos to help you learn about Office 365, how to use mail, share documents, and more:
Get to know Office 365
Office 2013 suite
See the Office 2013 clean, new look. The features that you know and use are still there—together with some new features that are big time savers. To get started with Office 2013, see the following resources:
Self paced Office training
Office 2013 Quick Start Guides
Training on Office.com
What’s new in Office 2013
Access 2013 apps are built for the web for easier sharing and collaboration. Access Web App is a new type of database that you build in Access, then use and share with others as a SharePoint app in a web browser. To learn about Access 2013 see the following resources:
Access 2013 Quick Start Guide
What's new in Access 2013
Make the switch to Access 2013
Basic tasks for an Access app
Basic tasks for an Access 2013 desktop database
Excel 2013 has a brand-new look and it's also designed to help you get professional-looking results quickly. To learn about new features in Excel 2013, see the following resources:
Excel 2013 Quick Start Guide
What's new in Excel 2013
Make the switch to Excel 2013
To learn about getting started with IM, presence, and contacts, and how to set up, join, or share during a Lync 2013 meeting or set up your audio and video, see the following resources:
Quick Reference guides about Lync
What’s new in Lync 2013
Make the switch to Lync 2013
Office Web Apps
Microsoft Office Web Apps are a part of most Office 365 plans. Depending on the Office 365 plan that you purchase, you can use view and edit documents on the web. To learn about Office Web Apps, see the following resources:
Office Web Apps
Use Office Web Apps to work together in Office 365
Office Web Apps: Anywhere-access to Office documents in Office 365
Basic tasks in Excel Web App
Basic tasks in OneNote Web App
Basic tasks in PowerPoint Web App
Basic tasks in Word Web App
OneNote 2013 has a fresh, clean look. It is fully integrated with the cloud to enable you to free your files from your computer’s hard disk drives so that your notes and information are saved and searchable wherever you go, on almost any mobile device, tablet, or browser. To learn about OneNote 2013 see the following resources:
OneNote 2013 Quick Start Guide
What's new in Microsoft OneNote 2013
Make the switch to OneNote 2013
Outlook 2013 has a brand-new look that is cleaner, and helps you focus on what’s important by providing a clear view of email, calendars, and contacts. To learn about Outlook 2013 see the following resources:
Outlook 2013 Quick Start Guide
What's new in Outlook 2013
Make the switch to Outlook 2013
PowerPoint 2013 has a brand-new look and is optimized for use on tablets and phones so that you can swipe and tap your way through presentations. To learn about PowerPoint 2013 see the following resources:
PowerPoint 2013 Quick Start Guide
What's new in PowerPoint 2013
Make the switch to PowerPoint 2013
Project 2013 is a brand-new look and features that include a new set of customizable reports, built-in Lync features, and a task path feature that enables you to highlight how tasks interlink in complex projects. To learn about Project 2013 see the following resources:
Project 2013 Quick Start Guide
What's new in Project 2013
Make the switch to Project 2013
Publisher 2013 provides new ways to work with your pictures. You can use the new picture and text effects to move or swap pictures, and add visual effects to your publications. To learn about Publisher 2013 see the following resources:
Publisher 2013 Quick Start Guide
What's new in Publisher 2013
Make the switch to Publisher 2013
Visio 2013 has updated diagram templates, new styles, themes, and other useful tools to help you cut the time, you spend drawing. You’ll also find more ways to collaborate on Visio diagrams, and new commenting features. To learn about Visio 2013 see the following resources:
Visio 2013 Quick Start Guide
What’s new in Visio
Make the switch to Visio 2013
Word 2013 allows you to add an online video, open and edit a PDF file, and easily align pictures and diagrams. The new Read Mode works really well on tablets. Word includes improved collaboration features, and has direct connections to your online spaces and streamlined review features such as Simple Markup and comments. To learn about Word 2013 see the following resources:
Word 2013 Quick Start Guide
What's new in Word 2013
Make the switch to Word 2013
Users who are new to Office with Windows 8 on a touch screen can learn about touch and gestures in the Office Touch Guide.