This afternoon, I have the privilege of joining Scott Klein and Joanne Marone on stage at the 2013 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. If you are wanting to learn more about key Windows Azure scenarios that we see with our customers and how Windows Azure Data Services help you drive more opportunities in these key scenarios, you will not want to miss this interactive session. You will have the chance to get involved, ask questions and get involved in this interactive session. The when, where and what for this session is below.
Drive Opportunities with Windows Azure Data Services
When: Monday, July 8th @ 4:30 PM
Session Code: SC27i
Room: GRBCC: 372 A
Create new business opportunities with Windows Azure, which enables partners to mix-and-match cloud-based data management services to reimagine application design and IT solutions. In this session, you will be exposed to a variety of real-world scenarios that can be used to solve today’s real-world challenges and, based on Microsoft experience, you’ll see where the hidden revenue potential lies.
I want to start by thanking everyone who came out last night and attended the Chicago Cloud User Group and the Chicago .NET Users Group. The attendance was great and the room was packed! I also want to thank Microsoft for providing the space and the local Microsoft DPE guys (Dave Bost) that stayed late to give us access to the facility. Lastly, I want to thank last night’s sponsor, Avanade. The great companies who sponsor events like this make it possible for us to enjoy great food and drinks, and last night’s pizza was great!
Adam Hoffman (stratospher.es) and I really enjoyed presenting Rock, Paper, Azure last night. This is an exciting topic because it’s a lot of fun, while making use of really cool, emerging technology, like the Microsoft Cloud, Windows Azure. Like I mentioned last night, as a Windows Azure MVP and as someone who runs a consultancy (responsiveX) that works with really cool customers building web, mobile and traditional client applications on Windows Azure, I’m a big fan of Windows Azure.
The Rock, Paper, Azure, Re-launch Your Coding Strategy contest is going on until January 25th. This means you have two more opportunities to be one of the lucky $50 BestBuy gift card winners and you have two weeks to get into the Top 10 to win a Surface, XBOX 360 or $150 BestBuy gift card. Get a bot into the contest by tomorrow, Friday, January 18th at 1pm CT and you will have a chance to be one of the five (5) randomly selected winners to receive a $50 BestBuy gift card. It doesn’t have to be a great, winning bot either, you just need to have a bot in the contest. You will get another shot at another $50 BestBuy gift card on Friday, January 25th at 1pm CT. Make a competitive, intelligent bot that gets into the Top 10, and you will have a shot at the Surface, XBOX 360 and a $150 BestBuy gift card.
To get started with Rock, Paper, Azure, you will need to do the following:
Along with the chance to win some great prizes, this contest is a lot of fun. It’s fun to try to create logic that anticipates your opponent’s next move and then beats him or her to the punch. That is the strategy of building a winning bot. If you have a few minutes to watch a couple of videos from YouTube, these are a couple of great examples of this strategy.
Once you get your bot into the competition, the next step is to tweak your logic to get into the Top 10 or maybe to the top, if you view second place as the first loser. In 1999, Darse Billings organized The First International RoShamBo Programming Competition. In this competition, Dan Egnor created a bot that crushed the competition based on the strategy of anticipating your opponents’ next move and staying a step ahead. He called his algorithm and strategy IoCaine Powder, based on the scene above from “The Princess Bride”. You can learn more about his strategy and download source code for IoCaine Powder to help you get started at http://ofb.net/~egnor/iocaine.html. IoCaine Power is a great way to learn about and consider more complex strategies.
DUE TO THE COMPETITIVE NATURE OF ROCK, PAPER, AZURE, AND THE HUMAN NATURE THAT DRIVES US TO WIN, ROCK, PAPER, AZURE CAN BE VERY ADDICTIVE AND YOU MIGHT SPEND LOTS OF LATE NIGHTS BUILDING ROCK, PAPER, AZURE BOTS.
One of the things that I failed to suggest last night was to use source control. I discovered the hard way, early on in the contest, that source control is extremely valuable. Imagine having a bot that is performing OK in the contest, and in an attempt to make it better, you make some changes that cause your bot’s ranking to fall like a rock. And then you can’t remember exactly what you changed to get back to your previous bot. This is where source control comes in really handy. If you don’t have a good source control solution available to you, you can check out Team Foundation Service at http://tfs.visualstudio.com and signup for a free account.
If you would like the presentation from last night, you can get it here.
If you are really good, you might be able to build a bot that can’t be beaten like this one.
Good luck with the contest and I hope you WIN BIG!
It’s Christmas Eve and children around the world are anxiously waiting for Santa Claus to slide down their chimney’s with presents from the North Pole. Since a Sears advertisement misprint in 1955, children have tracked Santa’s current location and progress around the world by contacting NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command). For more information and the history of NORAD Tracks Santa, check out the NORAD Tracks Santa Wikipedia article.
This year, NORAD is powering their Santa tracking operation with Microsoft’s Cloud Platform, Windows Azure. As a Windows Azure MVP and running a consultancy (responsiveX) that helps customers build applications with Windows Azure, it is fun when the technology makes it into our non-tech, home lives like this. The massively scalable Windows Azure cloud makes it possible for millions of children around the world to track Santa on Christmas Eve using the web site and the many mobile applications. As you can imagine, the NORAD Santa Tracker has lots of usage on Christmas Eve when millions of children are tracking Santa’s location, but very little usage the other 364 days in the year. Before the Cloud and Windows Azure, handling this kind of spike and load was very costly and difficult to manage. Now with Windows Azure, NORAD and Microsoft can scale this up on-demand, pay only pennies per hour for each server they use, and then scale it back down once Santa is back in the North Pole on Christmas Day. Along with the use of Windows Azure, the NORAD Santa tracker uses Bing Maps, and you can download native Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps from the Windows Store’s. If you are using an iPhone or Android, you can download iOS and Android apps too. Windows Azure not only scales up and down to handle massive numbers of simultaneous users, but it is also a Cloud platform that makes it easy to scale across many platforms and devices, like Windows, iOS and Android.
Tomorrow, November 14, 2012, Microsoft will be hosting Windows Azure Conf, a free event for the Windows Azure community. This event will feature a keynote presentation by Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Scott Guthrie, along with numerous sessions from Windows Azure experts.
Windows AzureConf will be streamed live on Channel 9. This event will allow you to see how other developers are using Windows Azure to develop applications in the Cloud. Community members and industry experts from all over the world will join Scott in the Channel 9 studios to present their own inventions and experiences developing apps on Windows Azure.
At Windows Azure Conf, I will presenting the following two sessions:
Building Cross-Platform Media Apps using Windows Azure Media Services
Applications with rich video and audio are increasing popular, but preparing and delivering this media to consumers has historically required lots of costly infrastructure and setup. Windows Azure Media Services enables you to outsource your media management to the cloud to let you focus on developing your applications instead of this costly infrastructure. In this session, Eric will walk through building a cross-platform HTML5 media application for the web, Windows 8 and other devices you may use day-to-day.
Solving Security and Compliance Challenges with Hybrid Clouds
When considering public clouds, many industries and companies have concerns about security, intellectual property and regulatory compliance challenges. The good news is a hybrid cloud can often solve these challenges. In this session, Eric D. Boyd will teach you how to use Windows Azure and still protect sensitive information and achieve regulatory and compliance mandates, like PCI compliance, by combining on-premise data centers and private clouds with the Windows Azure public cloud. There are a number of ways to achieve this using messaging and networking technologies and during this presentation Eric will walk through the options and provide you with guidance on when to choose each.
Whether you’re just learning Windows Azure or you’ve already achieved success on the platform, you won’t want to miss this special event.
Last month, new and improved Windows Azure capabilities were announced and made available in a Windows Azure Preview. Following the announcement, many focused and deep technical Windows Azure sessions were presented at TechEd North America, TechEd Europe and I toured Chicago user groups presenting and overview of the new Windows Azure features. Tomorrow night, the “What’s New in Windows Azure” tour will cross the Illinois border and make it’s way into Wisconsin at the Wisconsin .NET Users Group.
If you’d like to know more about the new Windows Azure capabilities announced last month, register and come out tomorrow night to the Wisconsin .NET Users Group.
What’s New in Windows Azure
Windows Azure is continually innovating, getting new features, enhanced functionality, reduced pricing and just constantly getting better. Join Windows Azure MVP, Eric D. Boyd for an evening of getting to know what’s new in Windows Azure, walk through and explore the latest Windows Azure features, and get answers to your Cloud Computing and Windows Azure questions.
July 10th, 7pm
10700 Research Drive
Wauwatosa, WI 53226