Student software

American University of Dubai students develop Microsoft’s first UAE software package.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  October 25, 2005

A team of graduates and students from the American University in Dubai (AUD) have developed the first UAE Windows XP theme pack for Microsoft. The package offers new Arabised solutions and is part of one of the first development projects between Microsoft and a university in the region. The work on the project commenced in January last year, and took 15 months to complete, with team members working both on the AUD campus and at Microsoft’s offices to develop the software. The team members included current and former students from the university’s Information Technology and Visual Communication departments. “Microsoft’s official launch of this package will cater to the entire region, and stands as an evidence of our students’ performance, hard work and dedication,” says Dania Bazzy, AUD’s director of external affairs. “It also reinforces the university’s commitment to provide a collaborative, career oriented, and technology driven education.” The AUD team was involved in both the creative process of designing the icons and backgrounds, and in the technical development process of the first localised XP theme pack. The software package included backgrounds, music, icons and a screen saver inspired from the UAE culture. The AUD students worked on various elements of the pack and tested the finished package to Microsoft’s professional standards, to qualify it as an official Windows XP pack. A new Windows Media Player skin, which changes the appearance of the Media Player console, was also included. “We are very pleased with the exceptionally high standard of the work carried out by the AUD students, and we look forward to future projects with them,” says Assem Hijazi, localisation programme manager for Microsoft Middle East & North Africa.

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