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Microsoft Intern Hack-A-Thon

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The Microsoft Developer Division hires students for a summer internship each year, and these interns were given a special chance last week to test their skills at building applications. It was called the Microsoft Intern Hack-a-thon, and these students formed teams and got the chance to build an application that targeted Windows 8, Windows Phone 7, Kinect, or the Azure platform.

At the end of the 2-day competition, these applications were demoed by the interns, then  judged and voted on by those in attendance, including a few Microsoft execs.  Competition was pretty intense, as was the eating at an intern barbecue - and in the end there were 4 teams who took winning memories back to school with them.

Let's take a look at what they built.......

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  • ed cated cat

    so... they ate interns at a BBQ and built nothing?

  • ZippyVZippyV Fired Up

    These are the kind of videos from On10 that I've been missing here.

  • David BrysonDavid Bryson


    Business Plan










    BY

    David Bryson
    August 20, 2012















    Executive Summary


    I bring this Executive Summary to lead into a new paradigm for our computer age. This program will be the new leading edge of this multi-billion dollar industry. It will restructure the way that companies are able to bring their products and services to the general public. Over the next 10 years, internet shopping and the online gaming industry will increase exponentially. In order to capitalize on the synergies between the two, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) gaming system needs to be developed. The basic utilitarian function of an ERP program allows companies to realize the highest gross profit possible from manufacturing through delivering product to a specific customer.

    "Short for enterprise resource planning, a business management system that integrates all facets of the business, including planning, manufacturing, sales, and marketing. As the ERP methodology has become more popular, software applications have emerged to help business managers implement ERP in business activities such as inventory control, order tracking, customer service, finance and human resources." http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/E/ERP.html

    This online-game will give consumers the opportunity to relax, relieve stress, interact with family members, and have fun while completing all of their consumer purchasing needs. I propose we produce a new game (or game box such as: Sony PlayStation 3, Xbox, Nintendo), in which a consumer could interactively travel throughout a mall comparable to the Mall of America and/or their local mall. This mall will utilize the graphical user interface in a 3-D gaming environment, to complete purchases throughout the Web or HTML based platform which exist today. This will provide the speed that will allow customers to go from store to store while manipulating a virtual representation of themselves. Within this virtual world the consumer could enjoy every aspect of a shopping center in combination with Internet shopping. Within this game, individuals will have the ability to utilize text messaging, audio and video applications. This will enable individuals to shop in groups and interact with each other while they are shopping. Numerous applications are currently on the Internet such as MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and ICQ that individuals throughout the world use to maintain friendships and/or contacts online. Utilizing the online messaging application embedded in my proposed program, individuals will be able to shop together, increasing sales due to peer pressure, keeping up with the latest fashion trends, purchasing the latest CDs or playing the latest game. Individuals would be able to compare prices, styles, share interests and receive customer feedback on products with individuals online creating a dynamic consumer report. The business name will be called the “Nicole Madolyn Mall” (NMM). This name is dedicated to my daughter Nicole Madolyn Bryson. As a quadriplegic father, I need to secure my daughter’s financial future. This name offers a sophisticated and elegant presentation for the next generation of, e-commerce shoppers. Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Harrods of London and Nordstrom's are all examples of personal names used to create brand recognition. Utilizing this tactic, NMM will become a highly respected name ubiquitously known to consumers throughout the world.

    The synergies created between online shopping, and online gaming will provide companies with numerous methods of reducing costs throughout their organizational structures such as:

    1. Companies will be able to restructure their business operations from an e-global to a local distribution, reducing costs by utilizing existing staff in brick-and-mortar stores (by filling orders and/or delivering product). This Internet/Gaming-based concept allows companies to increase customer service. Goods and services can be distributed directly from the store on the same day as ordered.
    2. The mall will allow companies to streamline their distribution channels and inventory levels based on consumers’ changing buying habits (i.e. Sears-Kmart merger - distribution centers located throughout the country).
    3. By implementing this direct delivery model, companies’ inventory turnover ratios will increase significantly.
    4. Marketing information will be provided to the companies who participate within the mall, allowing each corporation to change their direct and indirect marketing strategies on a day-to-day basis.
    5. Service-based companies such as Domino's, Pizza Hut, takeout taxi service and any other restaurant participating within the mall, would receive orders via Internet rather than over the telephone. (Described in depth later throughout this document)

    This program will ultimately create a new paradigm for the way people shop and receive their products throughout our society.

    The 3-D virtual architecture of the mall will allow users the benefit of having thousands of stores available to them. Developing this mall utilizing a familiar floor plan such as the Mall of America will make give the game a more comfortable feel. Additional DVD's could be created to emulate other local or regional malls. It should also be possible for the consumer to actually build their own mall with only the stores that they want to have in their mall. Utilizing local or regional mall DVDs will provide customers with a familiarity both of the layout and of the products available locally. With the familiarity of the layout, the ease of navigation throughout the mall and the peer interaction described later, consumer use should increase exponentially as new users bring in more new users. There would be no limit to the number of stores the mall could include. This capability will allow the corporation to easily expand into the global marketplace.

    The NMM shopping experience begins with an avatar, selected and customized by the consumer, walking into the virtual mall. Because of the gaming technology, the avatar will be well defined as will the mall, the stores and the products displayed in the stores. The avatar will move gracefully throughout the mall viewing the stores as they are laid out in the mall configuration being used. As the avatar passes a store, there may be sales that are displayed in the store windows or possibly in sandwich boards in front of the stores. If a consumer wants to shop in a particular store they can walk into the store or select the store from a drop down menu which will always be available. Each store will have its own unique layout which will vary based on the type of store and the style the retailer desires. The layouts can mimic the real layout of the store in the mall being emulated.
    Each store will have easily identifiable departments that can be selected from a drop down menu or by “walking” to it. The actual display of products will vary based on the type of store and the type of product. In general, the presentation will be exactly like it is in the real store. Big box stores will have high shelves. Jewelry stores will have display cases. Clothing stores will have racks of clothes. Toy departments will have shelves of toys. As you enter a department, the data for that department will start downloading in anticipation of what the consumer will be looking for. As a consumer’s shopping habit is recorded from actual use, the downloading algorithm will become more sophisticated which will allow for greater speed for the consumer and less internet processing time for the database provider.

    The cost to a retailer would be based on several things. First would be the size of the database required for each corporation’s products. This may be determined by the number of products or the actual space required saving all of the data including pictures of product. The second fee could be for the number of consumers with the retailer’s store in their mall(s). And finally, the NNM would get a percentage of all sales initiated throughout the mall.

    Another use of the NMM and a potentially significant revenue source would be online gaming. Online gaming has increased substantially over the past seven years. It has become a multi-billion dollar industry. It has become so prevalent throughout many individual’s lives that there are movies, TV gaming shows, conventions, competitions and specialized computers made for the sole purpose of playing games. The avatars in today’s computer games have lifelike characteristics allowing each avatar to give the consumers a realistic representation of individual body styles, facial features and personal characteristics.

    "September 25, 2007 2:39 PM PDT
    Microsoft demos in-game advertising
    Posted by Marguerite Reardon
    Microsoft showed off its Massive advertising platform in Times Square in New York on Tuesday.
    The tech giant wanted to show the advertising world, which is gathered in New York for the annual Advertising Week conference, exactly how the dynamic in-game advertisements work.
    (Credit: Warner Bros.)
    Flashing high above 43rd Street were clips from a series of games that showed avatars stopping to view a movie trailer for the Hollywood blockbuster 300. A Toyota advertisement also lined the outfield wall in a baseball game that's played on Microsoft's Xbox game console.
    "The idea is to have advertisements appear and fit in naturally to the games just as they would in real life," said Jay Sampson, vice president of North American and Asia Pacific sales for Massive, Microsoft's in-game advertising marketplace. "But these advertisements are also dynamic. So the ads can be updated or changed by the advertiser at any time."
    Microsoft, which bought Massive in May 2006, is a leader in placing dynamic advertising in games. The market is filled with many smaller players, such as a company called Double Fusion. But it's also attracting other big technology names, including Google, which bought AdScape Media for $23 million earlier this year.
    Analysts say the in-game advertising market is worth about $514 million today. And dynamic in-game dynamic advertising, which allows advertisers to change the advertisements at will, is expected to reach $675 million by 2012 in the United States, according to consumer research group Parks Associates.
    Microsoft sees its early lead in the in-game advertising market as a strategic opportunity that fits well into the company's overall advertising strategy.
    "Emerging media, like in-game advertising, is a huge component of our overall strategy," said Matthew Carr, senior director of Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions. "We're already in a leadership position here. And we see this as being where the future growth will be.""

    http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9784685-7.html

    Our target market will be multifaceted, including: 1) Corporations/Retailers, 2) Individual consumers' shopping and socializing via Internet protocol and 3) Gamers.
    Implementing a marketing method similar to that of Bright Horizons; a day care facility, which marketed primarily to employers (i.e. Procter & Gamble and many others); Retailers will be our primary marketing focus as the largest percentage of the NMM marketing strategy. Major retailers and/or service oriented corporations working within today's marketplace need this kind of exposure in our new Gaming/Internet based economy. Individuals are optimizing their time by making use of the Internet for shopping, fast food delivery (i.e., Pizza Hut, Domino's) and entertainment. This program would ultimately increase revenues throughout local, national and potentially global communities from the local Chinese food restaurant (which receives minimal delivery requests), to all of the major retailers. Major retailers willing to participate will be able to reduce their total operating costs throughout their entire corporations. Department stores would be able to reduce staffing within sales departments due to the fact that many individuals would be purchasing items utilizing this game. Food retailers have been vying for consumers to utilize the Internet to place orders for years. This enables them to reduce payroll expenses by accepting more orders online, rather than an employee taking the order via phone conversations. Corporations would be able restructure their organization to optimize their largest controllable expense, which is payroll. Corporations could utilize their brick and mortar stores as distribution channels (i.e. consumers picking up their local purchases, and/or saving delivery costs by shipping locally rather than regionally and/or nationally). Additionally, this new paradigm of shopping would provide all participating corporations with specific personal information regarding sales for direct and indirect marketing.

    A virtual food court will be implemented using pre-existing technology such as Microsoft’s Streets and Trips 2007, and/or yellow books.com. Consumers would be able to purchase food, which could be delivered directly to their home and/or desired location (i.e. such as employees, utilizing this program on their lunch break). Ideally the consumer would enter the desired address, enabling the program to place the order for the consumer at the closest proximity from their location. This would require the NMM to prepare contracts with local, national, and global food distributors (i.e. Domino's pizza, Pizza Hut, local Chinese food restaurants etc.). Restaurants willing to participate in this program would be charged a minimal fee for each purchase. Local restaurants such as Domino's Pizza and Pizza Hut have been determined to influence consumers to change their purchasing habits for many years. The more customers utilize these restaurants’ web pages, the less the operating costs for each business participating. Additionally, many other food retailers that do not currently have delivery service (such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell) may find it necessary to implement a delivery service in order to maintain profitability and remain competitive.

    The NMM's second marketing segmentation would strategically focus on consumers. In today's hectic world individuals have very little time to spend in traffic, in lines and in stores fighting over the last sale item on the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, additionally birthdays and all other holidays, generally necessitate individuals to purchase gifts for loved ones, family or friends. Utilizing this program/game, individuals could complete the majority of their purchasing from home while relaxing, or playing Dungeons & Dragons with their friends in Australia, and eating dinner delivered to their doorstep.

    One of the most important benefits to consumers of this new mall oriented computer program/game is the ability to do one checkout for all of their shopping. This will allow a customer who selects a product in one store and decides as they do further shopping that they prefer a different product (or the same product) in a different store to remove the original product from their shopping cart and add the new item. This will minimize consumer’s efforts in today's e-commerce world. Currently if you shop online at different stores you will need to go through the checkout process every time you leave a store’s website. Not only is this time consuming, it makes it difficult to do comparison shopping with taking a lot of extra steps to get in and out of each store’s unique website.

    Probably the most significant aspect of the MNM is the interactive shopping capability. Peer interaction is a major driving force within consumer purchasing behavior. Thousands of individuals consult with coworkers, friends, family, and a multitude of other individuals regarding purchases such as TVs, computers, dishwashers, refrigerators, etc. Peer interaction within shopping malls, creates a dynamic, and enjoyable atmosphere. This interaction enables people to give their opinions of different styles, latest trends, hottest music, best movies, and a multitude of other factors. This aspect of the game changes Internet shopping from being a static environment into a dynamic and ever-changing environment. This NMM concept will provide individuals many different methods of receiving their products. Products could be picked up from the local store. They could be delivered by the local store. Or they could be delivered from larger distribution centers. Optimizing individuals’ spare time is invaluable, (i.e. picking up their purchase at their local mall, or delivered to their desired location).

    Creating local or regional mall DVDs; will provide customers with a familiarity with products available locally, ease of navigation throughout the mall, and countless issues, such as the peer interaction. Enabling individuals to personalize aspects within games empowers the user too feel an actual connection between themselves and the caricature with in this new video game. Users of MNM will have their own personal avatar that moves in the mall. The user can select a generic character or can customize their avatar to physically resemble themselves or an alter ego. This customization would include both looks (size, shape, color) and movement (graceful, hyper, and awkward). Users can come together in the mall in several ways. It would be possible that a user does not want to interface with anyone else and just uses the program to do their own personal shopping. Probably the most common way to get together will be to establish buddy groups. An individual might belong to several different groups and could shop/meet with any of them. A user could also interface (with permission) with anyone in the mall or in a particular store. By “turning on” their avatar’s visibility, they could see and interact with anyone else who has their avatar “turned on”. However, the number of avatars displayed would have to be limited by something such as those in the same zip code.


    The NMM Inc.’s game needs too allow users to utilize a built in application; which would transform a digital photograph of themselves into a very similar representation of their character within the game. The program would then impose the consumers’ characteristics on a character within the game from a database of a multitude of previously produced characters. Thereafter, the customer would then insert this image 1into the game and continue within this new virtual world. Utilizing customized digital characters allows the customer to enjoy the game on a more personal level. Countless individuals frequent shopping centers every day; looking for friends and/or acquaintances, due to the fact that Homo sapiens maintain a social network. Peer pressure, and trends are derived from interaction between individuals throughout the world. Shopping areas within local, regional, national, and worldwide have a multitude of areas where friends gather and socialize. Peer interaction is a major driving force within consumer purchasing behavior.

    After the game has been on the market for a period of time, people will be able to recognize their friends depending on the image they choose, and/or a small bubble above the characters head, could be implemented giving a minor description (John Smith, George Mason University Business 2008). Thereafter, the consumer would enter their address including their zip code. This would enable the program to give the consumers' the choice of which shopping mall they would like to enter. This will enable the program too inform their friends within their buddy list pertaining to their location. Program such as: MSN messenger, Yahoo messenger, ICQ, and many others are very popular throughout the World Wide Web. Many of these programs allow individuals to initiate chat discussions, VIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), and web cams to interact with each other, while both parties are online. Utilizing these pre-existing technologies the NMM -Mall will be able to obtain an intangible aspect of shopping online. Peer interaction within shopping malls, creates a dynamic, and enjoyable atmosphere. This interaction enables people to give their opinions of different: styles, latest trends, hottest music, best movies, and a multitude of other factors. This aspect of the game; changes Internet shopping from being a static environment into a dynamic and ever-changing environment. Groups of teenagers will be able to shop together via Internet collaboration. Local chat rooms (teenagers entering the Mall would provide their ZIP code enabling the program to display online friends, potential boyfriend or girlfriends, or anyone within a local area interested in participating).

    Online music is being downloaded and purchased, legally by consumers throughout the world. Consumers are downloading significant amounts of music legally from various websites offering reasonable prices. Implementing a music store will allow NMM to sell music; downloadable songs would be available at a slightly larger profit margin comparable to other websites such as Wal-Mart at approximately $.88 a song. Our corporation would be able to utilize this strategy due to the fact that a multitude of individuals would rather complete our one-stop shopping, utilizing this game. Semi-comparable pricing still would be necessary; utilizing gift cards and/or prepaid credit cards, the price elasticity of each song or album would not detour consumers from purchasing the music within the mall.

    Online, rentals of DVD movies, has grown incredibly, due to the popularity of companies such as Netflex, and Blockbuster Inc.. Due to the exponential growth and popularity of these services, additional revenues would be gained by following their business models. Offering consumers the ability to watch movies online, or have them sent to their desired location within one business day, this will allow consumers the same one-stop shop satisfaction. Online radio and a multitude of other products could be played or purchased, while the consumers are in the mall. Additional marketing information will be provided later throughout this document.

    Utilizing high speed servers the NMM will be able to implement to increase revenues by implementing a video arcade within this virtual mall. Games could be played exactly how they would be within the local video arcade and/or interactively within individuals' house's (including gaming groups of friends). Friends who meet at the virtual mall would be able to: compete against each other, compete against people throughout the world, or enjoy a video game that they have never played. Most companies such as Microsoft (X-box, and/or the 360), Sony (PlayStation), and Nintendo (The Game Cube) are already participating in online gaming. Substantial revenue would be gained to all parties involved within this virtual video arcade. Therefore, the video arcade within the mall would provide revenues from people playing different games, purchasing games, or downloading games. Additionally, individuals could play games online for monthly fee: download a demo of game, or purchase it within the video arcades store inside the shopping mall.
    Additionally, I propose that the mall should contain a certain area which would contain a theme park allowing children to enjoy all of the amenities within. This theme park would contain: roller coaster rides (with high-speed Internet connection), games such as: put-put golf, Labyrinth, bowling, bumper cars, etc. These games could potentially be played off line therefore; children would be able to play them any time. This concept could easily be introduced to any of the national theme parks such as: Walt Disney Co., Busch Gardens, Six Flags, and any others willing to program their theme park within the mall. The benefits would be multifaceted. 1. The company willing to invest the largest amount of capital would gain the rights to insert their theme park within the mall. 2. Parent is utilizing the program primarily for shopping purposes; would be given free games for their children to enjoy. 3. The NMN-Mall will retain a certain percentage of any items sold within the theme park, enabling the theme park to be able to market a multitude of products within this area examples such as the, Disney store, Busch Gardens animal kingdom stuffed animals, etc..

    Creating new technology is one of the defining attribute throughout our society. This new gaming program will change the paradigm of shopping; therefore, new products will be made to support this invention (i.e. wireless keyboard with built-in microphone, connectivity to new LCD, plasma and HD TVs. Newer computers are getting closer to become an all in one-family entertainment center. Eventually, I foresee the Nicole Madolyn Mall Corporation, producing: flat screen plasma TV's, HDTV's, and/or LCD televisions with high speed computer essentials built in to the one complete media Center. Individuals between the ages of 5 to 85 enjoy purchasing: games, TVs, computers, mp3 players, cameras, telephones/PDAs' and a multitude of other products.).







    Would rather continue working for Microsoft.
































    Ultimately, prepaid credit cards need to be available in any local retailer; allowing parents to monitor and critique the spending habits of their children. This would serve and protect the Corporation which provides this service (destroys implications that corporations are only attempting to put consumers further in debt). Additionally, this would provide valuable information for future, indirect and direct marketing. Finally, the card would be easily accessible for consumer convenience.
    Major retailers that wish to participate would need to disclose Web addresses for each page within their web site.

    Since

    Multiple levels of this game need to be available to online consumers. High-definition versions will require the user to have high-speed Internet access. The high-definition versions would consist of character very similar to real humans. Lower resolutions would be available to consumers with a dial-up connection. While the lower resolution would provide customers with a smooth real time gaming experience, However, the characters would not appear as real; the characters would resemble an animated character similar to the game (The Sims). Allowing consumers to choose which resolution will provide consumers with an enjoyable shopping experience.







    Abel's Framework



    The Value Chain Model




    Porter’s Five Forces Model




















    Supplier Power

    1. Once the Nicole Madolyn Mall has entered the marketplace and customers become comfortable utilizing the shopping experiences; retailers would be unlikely to enter into negotiations with any competitive innovators.
    2.


    Retailers would be hesitant to re-release all of their database, marketing, locations, floor layouts and time in order to reproduce a similar product/service.




    1.
    2




    Competitive Building Blocks

























    Management Diagram

















    Credit Organization Diagram


    Strategic Planning





    Strategic Alternatives




















    This document was invented, constructed, and produced by David Bryson. 304 East Crestline Drive, Missoula Mt. 59803. 8/10/200
    Any attempts of reproduction or distribution of this idea will be protected under the United States copyright laws.





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