Interested in testing all the new features in Windows 8 and/or Windows Azure? But you don’t want to spend a day installing all required prerequisites? Then the MSDN Virtual Labs are the solution you need. They enable you to quickly evaluate and test Microsoft's newest products and technologies through a series of guided, hands-on labs that you can complete in 90 minutes or less. There is no complex setup or installation required, and best of all, it’s free!
Windows 8 Virtual Labs
- Lab 1 for C# - Creating a Windows 8 App
Contoso Cookbook is a series of hands on labs designed to immerse you into Windows 8 app development. In this first lab in the series, you will use XAML and C# to create the application, implement navigation, download the data from Windows Azure (or load it locally if you don’t have an Internet connection), and connect the data to controls using data binding.
- Lab 2 for C# - Orientation, Snapping, and Semantic Zoom
In this lab, you will build upon Lab 1 by adding three important UI-related features to Contoso Cookbook. First, you will customize the layout of the item-detail and group-detail pages when the screen is rotated. Next, you will customize the layout of the item-detail page when the application is snapped. Finally, you will implement semantic zoom in the start page, enabling users to zoom out and see all the recipe groups on a single screen.
- Lab 3 for C# - Searching and Sharing
In this lab, you will add support for searching and sharing to Contoso Cookbook. You will get first-hand experience implementing searching and sharing contracts, and learn how these contracts provide a higher level of integration between either two apps or an app and Windows itself.
- Lab 4 for C# - App Bars and Media Capture
In this lab, you will enhance Contoso Cookbook by allowing users to capture photos and videos of their favorite recipes and share them with other applications. You will also add an application bar that provides shortcuts to these features and learn how to incorporate popup menus into application bar commands.
- Lab 5 for C# - Process Lifetime Management
In this lab, you will learn about Process Lifetime Management. Process Lifetime Management, or PLM, is one of the most important concepts for a developer building Windows Store apps to understand. Unlike traditional Windows applications, which continue to execute even when they are in the background, Windows Store apps only execute when they are in the foreground.
- Lab 6 for C# - Settings and Preferences
In this lab, you’ll add About and Preferences commands to the settings pane in Contoso Cookbook. You’ll expose a simple user preference that can be toggled on and off with a toggle switch, and you’ll use roaming settings to store that preference so it will follow users wherever they go.
- Lab 7 for C# - Tiles and Notifications
In this lab, you will get first-hand experience with secondary tiles, push notifications, and toasts by adding them to Contoso Cookbook. At the conclusion, users will be able to pin favorite recipes to the start screen with secondary tiles, see tiles updated by the Windows Notification Service, and see scheduled toasts in action.
- Lab 8 for C# - The Windows Store APIs
In this lab, you will use the Windows Store APIs to monetize Contoso Cookbook. First you will modify the about box to detect trial versions and include a purchase button if the app has not been paid for. Next, you will use CurrentAppSimulator to simulate a purchase when the purchase button is clicked. Finally, you will simulate in-app purchases by offering Italian recipes as a paid add-on rather than for free.
- Lab 9 for C# - Touch and Pointer Input
In this lab, you’ll take a preexisting photo-editing app named Contoso Photo and add touch support to turn it into a fully functional application. You’ll add support for simple gestures such as taps and double-taps, and you’ll build in support for pinch-zooms as well as for dragging and panning. In addition, you’ll make sure all of it works with a mouse so the application is equally at home on devices that lack touch screens. Sound appealing? Then let’s dive into the world of touch and see what it takes to build a great touch-enabled app.
Windows Azure Virtual Labs
- Windows Azure: Debugging Applications in Windows Azure
- Windows Azure: Connecting a PaaS Application to an IaaS Application with a Virtual Network
- Windows Azure: Introduction to Virtual Machines
- Windows Azure: Introduction to Cloud Services
- Windows Azure: Introduction to SQL Database
- Windows Azure: Advanced Web and Worker Roles
- Windows Azure: Introduction to Virtual Machines (Linux)
- Windows Azure: Worker Role Communication
- Windows Azure: Native Code
- Windows Azure: Exploring Storage
- Windows Azure: Running a Parametric Sweep Applications with the HPC Scheduler
- Windows Azure: Running MPI Applications with the HPC Scheduler
- Windows Azure: Windows Phone and The Cloud
- Windows Azure: Building Services with PHP
- Windows Azure: Building Services
- Windows Azure: Using Tables