Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy is a website for Developers and IT Pros offering free Microsoft training delivere d by experts. Follow us on Twitter @MSVirtAcademy

  • If you are already working with Node.js, but you're not sure how packages and modules work, don’t miss the opportunity to see how the magic comes together! We’re excited to join experts Jeremy Foster and Chris Kinsman on September 2, for “Mastering Node.js Modules and Packages.” We’ll see cool demos, including a detailed look at real-world packages and how they are structured. And we’ll learn how to create and consume modules, how to bundle them into a package, and how easy it is to publish to npm.

    This server-side application framework is really popular, and we’ll learn why. The Node.js online repository, npm, contains just about any code your project might need, and it's easy to plug in that code and to keep it up-to-date. Plus, you can start giving back to the vibrant node ecosystem by sharing the clever things you have built.

    (NOTE: If you'd like to review Node.js concepts, take a look at the Microsoft Virtual Academy
    MEAN Stack Jump Start and the popular course, Using Node.js with Visual Studio Code.)

    Course Outline

    • Introducing Modules
    • Module Design Patterns
    • Introducing Packages
    • Creating Custom Packages
    • Publishing Packages
    • Performance and Other Considerations

    Register now!

    Mastering Node.js Modules and Packages

    Date: September 2, 2015
    Time: 9am‒5pm PDT
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

  • We’ve come a long way in the last two months! We’ve made a slew of significant improvements to the Microsoft Virtual Academy website, and we’re still going! Today’s release brings new functionalities and exciting offers that we can’t wait for you to see. As always, we strive to improve your experience with MVA, making it easier for you to find the courses you’re looking for and helping you to stay engaged with the course material.

    Here’s what you can expect from our latest update:

     

    Imagine@MVA

    Teachers and students, we now have a dedicated section for you on MVA! Imagine@MVA aggregates existing training, as well as new courses. Whether you want to learn to code, skill up on cloud computing, or validate your skills, you’ll benefit from MVA’s streamlined user experience and variety of content. Teachers, we’ve got you covered too! Check out the educator resources page for help to light up technology in your classroom and to stay current with computer science trends to infuse in your teaching.

     

    Richer Microsoft Press experience and discount

    In our last release, we revamped the Microsoft Press landing page on MVA, which features a collection of free e-books, ready for you to download. Today, we’ve included a richer books experience through the course catalog so you can quickly and easily find the appropriate reference materials. In addition, we’re announcing a new offer, reserved for MVA members only: 50 percent off of e-books and 40 percent off of print books at the Microsoft Press Store! If you haven’t already, register on MVA and get your discount codes! If you’re already a member, sign in and click “edit profile” to view your discount codes.

     

    Loving the feedback!

    We continue to listen to your feedback and to include your suggestions in our sprints! For example, as a result of your feedback, this release includes improved course player performance and more in-depth course descriptions on the topic and product pages. Keep it coming, and share your thoughts and suggestions with us on the MVA site feedback forum.

     

    Happy learning!

    The MVA Team

  • Windows 10 is here, and we’ve got some great training resources to help you skill up, and there’s more on the way! Our experts walk you through real-world scenarios and offer helpful demos to help you get familiar with new Windows 10 features, including security enhancements, Microsoft Edge, and multifactor authentication, along with a modern UI, the new Windows 10 app model, open source tools, and mobile device management. Welcome to the exciting new world of Windows 10!

    Developers, check out these courses, and download the SDK.

          A Developer’s Guide to Windows 10

    Get an in-depth look at the Universal Windows Platform! Experts Jerry Nixon and Andy Wigley show you how Windows capabilities and social integration can help you create amazing experiences on devices running Windows 10. Get demo-rich Windows 10 guidance in 30-minute modules, so you can explore the topics that interest you most.

    Developing Universal Windows Apps with C# and XAML Jump Start

    Get real-world guidance for developing universal Windows apps, and save yourself valuable time when creating apps for today’s mobile workforce and consumer marketplace. Learn from Microsoft experts as they build a working app using tools and techniques that can give you a dramatic advantage as a developer targeting both Windows and Windows Phone devices. See what's smart to share and what's not, when developing for the two platforms. Explore a broad range of features, covering both consumer and enterprise scenarios.

    Developing Universal Windows Apps with HTML and JavaScript Jump Start  

    If you want to use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build rich, native apps on a new and exciting platform, look no further. Get the details from Microsoft experts in this fast-paced course complete with demos and a look at design considerations for screens from 4 to 40 inches!

    Universal Windows App Development with Cortana and the Speech SDK

    Want to add Cortana to your app? Whether you're into text-to-speech (TTS) technology for accessibility, social responsibility, or gaming (or all of the above!), you're probably excited about the possibilities that Cortana offers. Explore the why and how of speech apps, tour Cortana, and review the capabilities of the Speech SDK in Windows and Windows Phone. Work with speech synthesis, look at integrating Cortana, check out voice commands, and find out how to build speech-enabled mobile apps with Visual Studio for Windows devices. You'd be surprised at what you can do with as little as three lines of code!

     

    IT Pros, we’ve got a wealth of information to make your lives easier!

    Getting Started with Windows 10 for IT Professionals

    Learn how you can securely enable your organization with Windows 10, in this practical and informative course. Windows offers management features that empower IT Professionals to address the current shift toward a mobile workplace, including BYOD and CYOD scenarios. Walk through what's new in Windows 10 deployment and management, and look at runtime provisioning, mobile device management (MDM), and secure authentication.

    Windows 10: Update for IT Pros

    Microsoft Australia Senior Evangelist Jeff Alexander takes you through Windows as a Service, Windows 10 deployment, what’s new in management and the Windows Store, Runtime provisioning in Windows 10, and the new era of security features. Check it out!

     

    Coming up! We’re looking forward to a deep dive into Windows as a Service and all the good things it means to your organization. Join us live to get your questions answered in real time.

    Preparing Your Enterprise for Windows 10 as a Service
    August 13, 9am–1pm PDT (The Americas)
    August 14, 8am–12pm CEST (Europe)
    August 14, 2pm–6pm SGT (Asia)

    Get an in-depth look at some of the features that make Windows 10 such a powerful platform for IT Pros! Gain core skills around new infrastructure components to take advantage of everything in Windows 10. Find out how Windows will evolve through servicing, and learn how you can make the most of servicing to get new features to your users faster.

    Take advantage of our Windows 10 training, and be sure to let us know about the great new things you’re doing in the comments below!

  • If you’re looking at the cloud, you probably have a lot of questions about available solutions, including whether they meet industry standards, attestations, and ISO certifications. And whether you are researching a hybrid or a public cloud model with Microsoft Azure, the questions remain the same. To get information and the confidence you need, check out Getting Started with Azure Security for the IT Professional, where we recently hosted a team of security experts and Azure engineers to demystify security in the cloud.

    In this demo-filled course, we go beyond basic certifications and explore what's possible inside Azure. You’ll find out how to design and use various technologies to ensure you have the security and architecture needed to successfully launch projects in the cloud. And you’ll get to dive into datacenter operations, virtual machine (VM) configuration, network architecture, and storage infrastructure.

    Here’s the course outline:

    • Earning Trust in the Microsoft Cloud

    • Inside a Microsoft Datacenter

    • Architecting Secure Compute Solutions on Azure

    • Virtual Appliances and Security

    • Understanding Virtual Appliances

    • Extend your Network to the Microsoft Cloud

    • How to Manage Encryption Keys for Your Cloud Apps with Azure Key Vault (be sure to check out the demos for that one)

    • Disk Encryption with Key Vault

    • Antivirus Options in Azure

    • Encryption for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines

    • Azure SQL Database Security

    This course was originally delivered live, and we’ve posted highlights from the chat Q&A.

    If this course is interesting to you, stay tuned! We’ll be releasing a number of security focused courses over the next few months.

  • This cross-platform tool is far more than a text editor and is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to its many cool features. Want to walk through them? We’ll take the opportunity to do just that, on July 29, with the always-entertaining experts Stacy Mulcahy and Rami Sayar, in “Using Node.js with Visual Studio Code.”

    We’ll see why the feedback has been so good since the tool’s debut, as we learn to use Visual Studio Code to create sites using Node.js (one of the easiest and fastest ways to develop real-time apps on the web today). We’ll even see how to customize the features, and we’ll explore key commands. Want to create a basic REST API using Node.js with Express, connect your web app to a database, and learn how to debug Node.js apps using Visual Studio Code? We’ll do that, too! Plus, see how to deploy your sites to Microsoft Azure, and create, test, and schedule Azure Web Jobs. Don’t miss it!

    Course Outline

      • Introduction to Node.js
      • Introduction to Express
      • Express and Databases
      • Building a Front End for Your Express Web Apps
      • Debugging and Deploying Node.js
      • Extending Node.js with Azure Web Jobs

    Register now!

    Using Node.js with Visual Studio Code

    Date: July 29, 2015
    Time: 9am‒5pm PDT
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

  • As we announced a few weeks ago, we’ve begun making changes to the Microsoft Virtual Academy site that we think (and hope!) will allow you to enjoy and learn even more with us! We are working diligently to improve our mobile experience, to make it easier for you to find the courses you are looking for, and to help you stay engaged with course material.

     

    Here’s what you can expect from our second and latest update:

     

    New topic and product pages

    Thank you for the great feedback on the new home page design and navigation! We’ve now applied the same new streamlined MVA home page user interface to our product and topic pages. This new mobile-friendly design allows you to search and filter through a comprehensive list of courses, by difficulty level, popularity, alphabetical order, or even product version, to not only view the breadth of courses in our catalogue but also to pinpoint the exact one you need.

     

    New Microsoft Press e-books landing page

    Looking for e-books? We’ve got ‘em! Check out our revamped Microsoft Press landing page on MVA for a collection of free e-books, ready for you to download. The new design and navigation allows you to filter by topic, release date, title, and popularity, to easily scan through the options and to quickly download your choices.

     

    You’re part of the MVA team!

    Since our first release, you’ve been GREAT at providing feedback! Please keep it coming. We love it and always make sure it is communicated to the folks who are actively working on the site. Be sure to give us your thoughts and suggestions in the MVA site feedback forum.

     

    Our dedicated design and engineering teams are still hard at work on new functionalities, so watch for more updates in the coming weeks and months!

     

    Happy learning!

  • How do you like the new home page? Have you tried the new player yet? Did you try it on your phone? We’ve been working hard to make it easier to find courses, to help you stay engaged with course material, and to improve our mobile experience. And the changes you see today are just the first wave of several you’ll see over the coming months, so stay tuned!

     

    For today, here’s what you can expect from the new site:

     

    Simpler site navigation

    So you don’t have to scan through long lists of course categories, the home page now features three tabs tuned to key topics, which are based on whether you’re a Developer, IT Pro, or a Data Pro. Can’t find a specific topic? In the header, check out the Course drop-down menu for a full list.

     

    With the “sticky” site header and footer, as you scroll through each page, you always have access to the search bar, the Course menu, and the forum and feedback links in the footer.

     

    Responsive design for mobile devices

    One thing we’ve heard over and over is that we need to deliver a better mobile experience. With the updated site, responsive design delivers an optimized experience based on how you are accessing the site, whether on a phone, a tablet, or a PC.

     

    New course player

    Enjoy the smooth learning experience! As we work to increase the range of training experiences we support, we’ve been thinking of the video player really more as a stage than just a rectangle for rendering video. This stage has the ability to seamlessly serve up videos, assessments, PDFs, and other files for you to download, helping you to concentrate on the courseware rather than on the navigation. As we migrate our catalog, over the course of the next week you’ll see more and more courses available on the new player.

     

    To make the self-assessments more useful, you’ll now be able to go back and review the questions after you successfully complete one.

     

    And, best of all, the player now remembers where you left off in a video, no matter which device you last used. Did you start to watch a course on your phone during your commute? When you sign in to continue watching on a PC, the video starts up right where you stopped watching.

     

    New friction-free MVA trial experience

    It used to be that, after you watched a few videos, you were asked to create an account before you could keep watching. But today, we are opening up our trial experience to include unlimited content viewing.

     

    Nevertheless, being a member of the Microsoft Virtual Academy community still has distinct advantages. Going forward, you will be prompted to register on MVA when you attempt one of these features, which are exclusive to MVA members:

    • Manage your learning plans.

    • Attend a live Jump Start.

    • Track your progress.

    • Take a self-assessment.

    • Ask questions in forums.

     

    Did we make it easier to skill up? Tell us!

    We’re very excited about these updates to the site and hope you are too! Help us continue to improve. Try out the new updates, let us know what you think, and tell us what else you would like to see as part of the MVA experience!

     

    Give us your thoughts in the MVA site feedback forum.

     

    Happy learning!

  • There are now more than 3 million registered users of Microsoft Virtual Academy! Give yourselves a round of applause! I encourage you to take a break from skilling up and get to know each other. You can meet on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Born To Learn, and in our course forums, and the stories behind other techies’ journeys will fuel your own passion for learning. To celebrate our community of 3 million lifelong learners, we’re inviting you to share your own story about how MVA has helped you meet your goals, big or small.

    Did MVA help you get a job? Are you one of the more than 700,000 people who have started coding, thanks to Bob Tabor? Did we help you get certified? Did you find the right course at the right time, just as you started a new project with a new technology? Did MVA help you get your career back on track after big life changes? Did you complete “Know it. Prove it.” challenges? Did you complete a lot of them?

    We’d love to find out about how MVA has been a part of your learning, and you never know who your own story will inspire. To join the party, go to the “Know it. Prove it.” forums, where people are posting about completed projects and achieved goals.

    Another fun way to introduce yourself to the community is to photograph yourself with our new mascot, Brain the robot. He’s easy to assemble—just download him here, cut him out, and fold and glue along the lines. Then, post a photo of you together to Twitter with the hashtag #MVAStories. With MVA users all over the world, we’re looking forward to seeing how much he gets around.

    On behalf of everyone who contributes to MVA, thank you for joining, and I look forward to getting to know even more of y’all!

  • Dear MVA learners, one of our great new additions to the MVA team, Andrew Parsons, has an exciting learning opportunity he has created this month to accelerate your skill building called Know it. Prove it 

    He just kicked this off this week and if you are not already involved you still have time to be a part of this exciting challenge. Thousands of people all over the world are joining every day.

    Whether you're a relative newcomer to development or a deeply experienced IT professional seeking to add another string to your bow, Know it. Prove it. is sure to help you kick start your year off right with 28 days of awesome, quality training from Microsoft Virtual Academy.

    All of the courses that make up each of the eight challenges were hand picked to give you a great walkthrough of the area, ramping up from introductory level stuff and getting a little meatier each time. By the end of the four weeks of February, you're going to look back and think, "wow, I actually did that, and now I'm a better technology professional than before."

    Step 1: Go to Know It Prove It and register. All you need to do is sign up with your MVA account.

    Step 2: Find a great challenge where you want to improve yourself.

    Step 3: Binge learn on the topic of your choice!

    Finally, make sure you blog, tweet and post on Facebook all about your journey. Snap screenshots of your challenge badge slowly filling up with that gorgeous green. Challenge your friends to join you on the journey. And make sure you use the #kipi2015 hashtag so we can find you! 

  • Dear MVA learners,

    As 2014 comes to a close, we wanted to send all of you around the world a personal note of thanks for all your support this past year. Your excitement about MVA and how it can help you build your skills and your careers has taken us to new heights.

    Just last week we hit 2,600,000 million registered users. This is an incredible milestone especially given less than two years ago we were celebrating our first 1,000,000 registered customers. Now we see over 1,200,000 unique people coming to MVA to learn every month. 2 years ago is was 400,000 people per month. We now have thousands of courses across in 14 different languages spanning 20 diverse topic areas. We are humbled by your interest, and the amazing growth we have experienced because of your passion to improve yourselves.

    While the usage of MVA has skyrocketed, your feedback continues to help us improve to better meet your needs. In the last few months we began regular monthly surveys to better understand where you are satisfied and where we need to improve both in terms of the site experience and course topics. This is helping inform our plans for improvements in 2015.

    Thank you all for not only learning on MVA but also taking the time to help make us better. Please keep the feedback coming, we are listening!

    On behalf of the entire MVA team we want to wish you all around the world a happy and healthy 2015!

  • Dear MVA learners,

    While it is great to deliver a new feature people love, it is also fulfilling to fix something quickly when we don't get it right.

    We got some great feedback on our new course player experience but one of the things we didn't do well was turn on "autoplay" when you first visit. I am happy to announce we turned this off today for the entire MVA world.

    Your voices of honesty help us improve MVA and this is another great example of that.

    Keep the feedback coming because we are listening! 

  • This week we have released some significant enhancements to MVA that will make it easier for you to access our courses and our team. As next steps in the journey we’re taking with our community, I’m excited to tell you about both our new mobile experience and our new forums for technical support and course feedback.

    New Mobile Course Player

    We want to make it easy for you to get access to our training no matter what platform you’re using. Our new mobile player is designed to deliver a better mobile experience across Android, iOS and Windows Phone, and we’ve also made improvements to our iPad experience. This release is a first step, and we’ll be continuing to iterate so that we can help our audience be more productive in a mobile first, cloud first world.


    Faster Support in Our New Forums

    We love being in touch with our community, and we’re excited to take it to the next level with the launch of our new forums. At the end of this month we’ll be retiring the “tellthedean” email alias, because now, instead of using email to help customers one at time (and you having to wait around for a reply) you’ll be able to find answers to common questions right away and share information with other members of the community, as well as the course planners and instructors on the MVA team.

    Is a video not playing? Having problems downloading a file? If you run into an issue using the site, you can just click on the “Get help” button near the player or from the header navigation. To help us quickly track down and fix issues, each course links to a specific forum. If an answer to your question isn’t already there, just post your question for the team. We are actively monitoring and replying.

    Want to request a course on a particular topic? Want to suggest how we can make a course more useful? Or if you just want to tell us why you think an instructor is great, feedback like that really helps us, and we want to hear from you.

    And, I want to give a shout out and a huge THANK YOU to our volunteer moderators from the community. We have a crew of MVA users who are super dedicated to helping others skill up and will also be answering questions and helping out. Want to learn more about moderators? Check out the discussion in the forums!

  • Simpler management and lower cost, plus greater resilience and flexibility—you know about the advantages of extending your data center to the cloud. With end of support for Windows Server 2003 less than a year away, many organizations are modernizing their infrastructures to harness these advantages. But how do you plan, build, deploy, and operate a hybrid cloud? The following resources offer answers and best practices to help you extend your data center with a mix of on-premises and cloud infrastructure.

     Getting Started: Planning a Hybrid Cloud

    • Hybrid Cloud Series - Episode One
      Join Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich and Microsoft Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson for the first webcast (1 hour) of their Hybrid Cloud series. They cover the basics, including the Microsoft definition of hybrid cloud, its key benefits, and how hybrid cloud solutions will evolve with broader trends in the IT industry.

    • Hybrid Cloud Series – Episode Two

      In this second webcast (1 hour, 15 minutes), Mark Russinovich and Brad Anderson discuss how hybrid options are changing the way customers approach infrastructure. New capabilities mean new opportunities, and the experts look at concrete examples of how you can make hybrid a part of your toolkit.

    • How to Develop a Successful Hybrid Cloud Strategy

      Hear lessons learned from hundreds of IT professionals in top enterprise IT organizations in the world, who are either planning to build or are deploying a private, public, or hybrid cloud, in this 70-minute session. Explore common requirements, roles, and processes needed to have a successful, comprehensive hybrid cloud strategy. Hear about the problems and roadblocks that an IT organization faces on its journey to provide an efficient, automated, and elastic set of business-relevant services. Finally, take a conceptual look at the strategy of using the Microsoft offerings of Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft System Center 2012 R2, and Microsoft Azure to build a private and/or hybrid cloud.

    • The Microsoft Hybrid Cloud: Best Practices Guidance

      Take this MVA course (5 modules) for IT Pros who want to learn best practices for planning, building, deploying, and operating a Microsoft hybrid cloud.

     

    Moving Workloads to the Cloud

    • Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud: Step by Step

      Tune in for this 32-part series to learn how to modernize your infrastructure and extend it to a hybrid cloud. The series can help your organization walk through the planning process to not just migrate servers but also to improve overall architecture along the way by smartly leveraging hybrid cloud components as part of the migration strategy.

    • Hybrid Cloud Workloads: Websites

      Watch this MVA course (6 modules) to learn how your businesses and applications will move to the cloud in their own unique way, at their own unique speed. Watch as the experts describe and demonstrate website deployment using a combination of Microsoft Azure and the Azure Pack for Windows Server. Learn how to create a website in Azure and how to monitor it with Azure and System Center 2012.

    • Hybrid Cloud Workloads: Storage and Backup

      This MVA course (6 modules) introduces you to strategies and features of both on-premises and cloud solutions in the area of storage from Microsoft. Plus, it offers some hands-on experiences. 

    • Hybrid Cloud Workloads: Disaster Recovery and High Availability

      Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager protects applications by coordinating the replication of virtual machines (VMs) at a secondary location. In this MVA course (5 modules), see how Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager brings together Hyper-V Replica asynchronous virtual machine replication capabilities in Windows Server and the Virtual Machine Manager component of System Center, and how it combines them with the power of Microsoft Azure to provide site-to-site protection of your virtual machines and private clouds. This includes remote health monitoring and orchestrated recovery.

    • Hybrid Cloud Workloads SQL

      Watch this MVA course (6 modules) to learn how Microsoft Hybrid Cloud Strategy provides support for traditional, private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud environments. When your business requires a flexible IT infrastructure that can scale on demand, you can build a private cloud in your data center or a public cloud in Microsoft Azure global data centers. When you extend your data center to meet the public cloud, you build a hybrid cloud model. This course examines how to deploy and manage SQL databases in a hybrid cloud environment.

     

    Digging Deeper

    • TechNet Evaluation Center: Tech Journey

      Explore a personalized learning path to see how to plan, build, deploy, and operate a hybrid cloud. Start the Tech Journey, “Extend Your Datacenter to the Cloud,” and learn how to lead the move to a hybrid infrastructure in your organization. Test drive the software through free evaluations and virtual hands-on labs.

  • Did you hear the news last week about the general availability of Azure SQL Database Service Tiers? Join us live on September 26 to get your questions answered in real time as our experts show how the new service tiers are designed to support predictable performance and how they enable you to easily scale a database up or down to meet throughput demands and to maximize your budget. And the new Azure SQL Database model supports your need to build robust cloud apps, provides increased functionality and offers improved disaster recovery.

    We’ll help you decide which edition is the best fit for your organization. And you’ll see us demonstrate the near-zero administration that makes it easy to develop your applications in the cloud. Our walkthrough of the business continuity features will show you how to enable continuous operation of your cloud application and help you protect your data from human errors or data center outages.

    Course outline

      • Service Tiers: Overview

      • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

      • Predictable Performance

      • Azure SQL Database Benchmarks

    Azure SQL Database for Business-Critical Cloud Applications

    Date:  September 26, 2014
    Time: 9am‒1pm
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now!

  • Dear MVA learners! On the heels of hitting over 1,000,000 learners who visited just last month, today we unveiled a totally new way for you to experience your MVA learning!

    Over the past year many of you told us:

    "Your course player was hard to use!"

    "Clumsy, cumbersome!"

    "I didn't know where to start when I landed on a course."

    "Juggling different pages and video players was confusing!"

    This new player experience, using HTML5, is designed to help make it easier to get you to the courses you are interested in and allow you to discover and navigate all within a single page. 

    Hopefully these new changes provide you a clearer and cleaner way to learn, engage and achieve your personal learning goals.

    Just like successful technologists never stop learning, and great technology never stops evolving, we in the MVA team will continue to learn from you, evolve, and strive to create the best place for you to learn online.

    This is the first step of many refinements to this new MVA experience we will iterate on over the next few months. So there is more to come next month!

    Keep the feedback coming; thanks for helping to make us better!

     

  • Are you an established Unity developer? Want to reach an even larger audience by porting your games to Windows Store and Windows Phone? Join us for a day of working sessions to help you do just that. In “Porting Unity Games to Windows Store and Windows Phone,” on September 11, learn the common pitfalls to avoid, and get advice on how to monetize your apps, in this practical, step-by-step deep dive.

    Experts Jaime Rodriguez and Mickey MacDonald walk you through an end-to-end port and explore requirements, tools, Windows APIs, and must-implement Windows features. They explain optimizing for Windows hardware and troubleshooting porting issues, and they even share their own lessons learned. At the end of the training, you can have your full game ported!

    Course Outline

    • Getting Started: Tools, Settings, and Project Structures
    • Porting Your Game: Hardware & Software Differences
    • ​Plugins: A Deep Dive into the Runtime
    • Light-Up: Making a Great Windows Game
    • Optimizing Your Game, Advanced Troubleshooting
    • The Windows Store: Monetizing and Submitting Your Game 
    • Programs & Offers, Resources, Next Steps, Q&A

    Porting Unity Games to Windows Store and Windows Phone

    Date:  September 11, 2014
    Time: 9am‒4pm
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now!

  • Lots of us have questions about open source, so we went straight to the experts for answers. Join the Richard Campbell, of .NET Rocks! fame as he interviews top open source experts, including Ross Gardler, President of The Apache Software Foundation. Richard asks questions like:

    • What is open source, anyway, and what’s so great about it?

    • How will the craft of software engineering change?

    • How do distributed teams play into open source culture?

    • How do I build a community for my project?

    • What does OSS mean for Azure?

    Watch this lively set of interviews, bring questions for a live Q&A, and leave with lots of answers and new insights!

    Course Outline

    Day 1:

    • An Introduction: What's so great about OSS? (Ross Gardler)

    • Grokking OSS Culture (Phil Haack)

    • Working the Open Source Way (Keith Dahlby)

    Day 2:

    • Legal Concerns (Cliff Allen)

    • The History of ASP.NET and Open Source (Scott Hunter)

    • .NET and Open Source (Jay Schmelzer)

    • Microsoft Open Tech (Gianugo Rabellino)

     

    Open Source Questions Answered

    Date:  September 3 & 4, 2014
    Time: 9am‒12pm
    Where: Online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now!

  • You know that time is running out, and end of support for Windows Server 2003 is just a few months away. And, although you know that it’s time to modernize your data center and upgrade your existing infrastructure to Windows Server 2012 R2, breaking up is hard to do. Difficult conversations and unknown risks are intimidating, and considering your new options isn’t always easy.

    We can help! Check out this list of resources to help you get started on upgrading your infrastructure before the end of support in July 2015.

    Getting Started: Plan Your Migration

    1. Windows Server 2003 End of Support Migration Overview

    Watch this MVA course (53 minutes) to learn the details about Windows Server 2003 end of extended support, along with the options, best practices, and tools for migration. After an overview of the process options, learn about considerations when moving apps versus machines, methodology around the process, and how to migrate with AppZero. The course also covers app compatibility statements, vendor supportability, and AppZero usage requirements.

    2. Migration Planning Assistant

    This tool allows you to outline your entire infrastructure and then get a tailored look at what you need to migrate and how to leverage the cloud to make your network stronger than ever. In a four-step process, the assistant helps you to analyze your Windows Server 2003 workloads and to generate a summary report showing recommendations and relevant Microsoft Partner offerings.

    3. Windows Server 2003 End of Life (EOL) Migration: Planning for Your Workloads

    Migrations can be complicated. But, unlike in the days of old, today there are numerous options for your destination. In this Channel 9 video (1 hour, 8 minutes) recorded at TechEd North America 2014, get an organized and systematic view of migration strategies and possible destinations. Learn about the tools and available offers, plus a decision tree methodology that provides you with the ability to easily target at-risk workloads and applications. Identify a clear migration path to help you beat the EOL clock!

    4. TechNet Evaluation Center Tech Journey

    Explore a personalized learning path to see how modernizing your data center allows you to meet today’s business challenges and can enable you to increase resilience and flexibility, simplify management, reduce cost, and speed the delivery of services to the business. Start the Tech Journey, “Modernize Your Datacenter Infrastructure,” and learn how to migrate to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure. Test drive the software through free evaluations and virtual hands-on labs.

    Migrating Your Infrastructure

    5. Migrating to Windows Server 2012 Training

    Windows Server 2012 is the most significant release of Windows Server to date, providing many options for upgrading and migrating that you can use to help ensure seamless transition to this new server platform from Windows Server 2003. This MVA course exposes you to migration tools and shows you how Windows Server 2012 can ease your transition, not merely in upgrading earlier versions of Windows Server, but also in helping to ensure that your key services can be migrated in an efficient, cost-effective, and safe manner.

    6. It’s the End of the World As You Know It… Windows Server 2003 End of Life: Infrastructure Migration

    In this Channel 9 video (1 hour, 17 minutes), dig into the process of migrating your infrastructure to the latest operating system. This demo-intensive session covers how to migrate various workloads and foundation services, like DHCP, DNS, File/Print, and more. And migration is just the beginning! The session also covers ongoing management. Like the song says, “It’s the end of the world as we know it,” but you’ll be fine.

    Exploring the Microsoft Cloud OS

    7. Windows Server Courses on MVA 

    This MVA Windows Server training consists of several courses and is designed to help you gain the skills needed to use Windows Server technology to power the next generation of cloud-optimized networks, applications, and web services. The courses cover virtualization features, efficient networking management, and new storage capabilities which can help organizations give workers access to data and information across varied networks and devices, while keeping costs down.

    8. Microsoft Azure Courses on MVA

    These MVA Microsoft Azure courses cover key technical topics, including Windows Azure Virtual Machines, Virtual Networks, and platform as a service (PaaS) implementation for IT Pros, including using PowerShell for automation and management, using Active Directory, and migrating from on-premises to cloud infrastructure, in addition to important licensing information.

    9. Transform the Data Center Immersion V3

    Would you like to learn how the Microsoft Cloud OS vision can positively benefit the way your entire organization functions? Watch this MVA course, and investigate how the key tenets of Transforming the Modern Data Center can provide many benefits to enterprise IT today. The course walks you through the key steps and technologies for planning, deploying, and managing this type of environment.

    10. Server Infrastructure on MVA

    Watch these MVA server infrastructure courses to learn about the technologies and capabilities needed to run a highly efficient and modern data center, and see how it incorporates identity management, systems management, virtualization, storage, and networking.

     

  • Popular instructors Jeremy Foster and Michael Palermo will be in our studios for two great courses for HTML and JavaScript developoers, kicking off on Tuesday August 26 with The Modern Web Platform and followed by 2 days of Developing Universal Windows Apps with HTML and JavaScript on August 27 and 28.

    The Modern Web Platform will provide get an informative introduction on the latest capabilities and features available in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This fast-paced primer on core platform technologies is perfect for beginners who want a quick ramp-up or for intermediate web developers who want to explore the foundation you need to create universal apps. Explore the basics you need to create websites, web apps, and even native Windows apps. Dive deep into modern web APIs and tour libraries you can use to build anything from the simplest to the most complex apps. And Microsoft experts demo the building blocks of the new environment, with practical tips and tricks.

    Course outline

    • Introduction and Primer

    • Layout and Styling

    • Transitions and Transforms

    • APIs

    • More APIs

    • JavaScript Libraries

    The Modern Web Platform Jump Start

    Date:  August 26, 2014
    Time: 9:00am–5:00pm
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now!

    Then, if you want to build rich, native apps on a new and exciting platform, look no further than our 2 day course on Developing Universal Windows Apps with HTML and JavaScript . Get the details from Microsoft experts in this fast-paced, two-day course, complete with demos and a look at design considerations for screens from 4 to 40 inches! Get an introduction to universal apps, make tiles and splash screens, and learn how to bind data. In addition, find out how to build for a multilingual audience, work with authentication scenarios, see how to get your apps out to Windows devices and Windows Phones, and a ton more! Make the most of this opportunity to explore universal Windows apps with the experts!

    Course outline

    DAY 1:

    • Introduction to Universal Apps

    • App Lifecycle

    • Visual Assets and User Interaction

    • File Handling

    • Data

    • Networking and Web Services

    DAY 2:

    • Accessibility and Globalization

    • Hardware and Sensors

    • Custom Controls

    • Background Work

    • Managing User Info

    • Monetization, Packaging, and Publishing

    Developing Universal Windows Apps with HTML and JavaScript Jump Start

    Date:  August 27‒28, 2014
    Time: 9:00am–5:00pm
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now!

  • If you’re considering an evaluation of Office 365 for your organization, learn how easy it is to sign up for and to set up a free trial. Walk through it with us, step by step, as Larry Kaye, a seasoned pro with no experience deploying or managing Office 365, steps into the role of a typical administrator starting out with Office 365. Explore key scenarios you can try for yourself, get some hands-on experience with this free trial, and work with basic setup and configuration of Microsoft Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint.

    This course steps you through Office 365 plan selection, initial user deployment, service configuration, real-time testing, and more. Set up your domain, try the new Outlook Web Access, and work with a SharePoint collaboration site. Be sure to bring your questions, and end the day with a complete Office 365 trial tenant, ready for further evaluation and experimentation!

    Course Outline

    • Understand Office 365 Applications and Services
    • Get Started with Office 365 Trial
    • Try Office 365 services and applications
    • Configure Optional Settings
    • Next Steps and Additional Resources

     

    Getting the Most out of Your Office 365 Trial

    Date:  August 26, 2014
    Time: 9am‒1pm
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now

  • If you’re interested in Web development, get ready for a ton of training and practical tips from MVA’s upcoming “Web Wednesdays” series. We’ll be kicking things off on August 27 with “Building Responsive UI with Bootstrap.”  We’ll show how to easily create webpages that work cross-platform and that scale well to different screen sizes; join us to explore this popular framework that makes it easy for all skill levels to create rich UIs for users, regardless of device.

    Experts Jon Galloway and Christopher Harrison host this informative event and take you through what you need to know to get up and running in Bootstrap. They even offer tips for building great-looking applications. Don't miss it!

    Course Outline

    • Introduction to Bootstrap
    • Bootstrap Components
    • Page Design
    • Visual Studio and ASP.NET Integration
    • JavaScript Functions
    • Using Bootstrap with LESS
    • Bootstrap in the Real World
    • Next Steps

    Building Responsive UI with Bootstrap

    Date:  August 27, 2014
    Time: 9am‒5pm
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now!

  • Update July 31: This course will now be delivered on September 30 and October 1. Hope to see you there!

    Learn how to use the skills you already have to develop universal Windows apps for today’s mobile workforce and consumer marketplace. Microsoft experts Jerry Nixon and Daren May will show you how to build an app using tools and techniques that will save yourself valuable time and give you a dramatic advantage as a developer targeting both Windows and Windows Phone devices.

    You’ll find out what’s smart to share and what’s not as Jerry and Daren demo a broad range of features covering both consumer and enterprise scenarios. You’ll also see how the built-in code generation tools in Visual Studio can be used to automatically build out hundreds of classes and thousands of lines of code.

    If you want to get started today, you can download emulators, SDKs, toolkits, and code samples from the Windows Dev Center.

    Plan to attend the two-day event, or check the schedule and just drop in on the topics that interest you.

    Developing Universal Windows Apps (C#/XAML) Jump Start

    Date:  September 30 and October 1, 2014
    Time: 9:00am–5:00pm
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now!

  • The one year countdown to end of support for Windows Server 2003 has begun, and we are here to help you plan for the challenges that will present. Upgrade paths can often be confusing, and moving existing services from versions that cannot be upgraded can carry significant risk. Windows Server 2012 R2 provides many options for upgrading and migrating that the IT Pro can use to ensure seamless transition to this new server platform. Join our latest free Jump Start, “Migrating Legacy Windows Server to 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure,” on July 24, 2014, from 9am–1pm PDT, to explore these tools. Learn how Windows Server 2012 R2 can ease your transition, not merely in upgrading earlier versions of Windows Server, but also ensuring that key services can be migrated in an efficient, cost-effective, and safe manner. You’ll also get a look at how to migrate your on-premises workloads to Microsoft Azure virtual machines to create a truly hybrid cloud environment.

    Course Outline

    • Introduction to Windows Server On-Premises Migration Tools​
    • Active Directory Migration
    • Migrating Windows Server 2003 Workloads to Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Migrating WSUS to Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Migrating Clustering to Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Migrating Hyper-V VMs to Microsoft Azure

    Migrating Legacy Windows Server to 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure

    Date:  July 24, 2014
    Time: 9am–1pm PDT
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now!

  • Join us on July 16 & 17 when we’ll show IT Pros how Windows Azure Pack (WAP) builds on the power of Windows Server and System Center to deliver an enterprise-class, cost-effective solution for self-service, multi-tenant cloud infrastructure and application services—a solution that runs on the hardware in your data center. For both service providers looking to support more customers and for enterprises looking for the flexibility and cost savings of a cloud environment, we’ll focus on WAP’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) including self-service and automation of virtual machine roles, virtual networking, clouds, and SQL Server, along with System Center and third-party integration.

    Microsoft experts Andrew Zeller and Symon Perriman will share lots of helpful demos and real world examples that will speed your journey to the cloud. And be sure to bring your questions for the live Q&A!  

    Windows Azure Pack: Infrastructure as a Service Jump Start

    Date:  July 16 & 17, 2014
    Time: 9am–1pm PDT
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now!

  • Today, we are thrilled to announce our 2,000,000th member of the MVA community! Alejandro Castaño of Colombia made his commitment to learning last week, and we are very excited to welcome him to our global community. Alejandro shared with us why he joined MVA and we wanted to share it with you: “I signed up for MVA basically to learn everything about game development on Microsoft platforms. I just want to say to all the people out there don't hesitate when you have an opportunity to learn, just go for it.”

    On behalf of the entire MVA team, I want to welcome Alejandro, and we will also reward all of the students from his country, Colombia, with bonus MVA points. Keep learning along with him!  To show our thanks and support, Alejandro will also receive an Xbox One for helping us reach this incredible milestone. We are looking forward to continue to watch our community grow and hit the next one! Help us celebrate by sharing with us why you love MVA in the comments below and any advice you might have for Alejandro!