REDMOND, Wash., June 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Students from around the world will gather in Warsaw, Poland, next month to showcase innovative ideas that could change the world. They are competing in the eighth annual Imagine Cup, the world's premier student technology competition sponsored by Microsoft Corp. Starting today and running through July 7, the public is invited to view videos created by the students and vote for their favorite projects at http://www.imaginecup.com. The team with the most votes will be crowned the People's Choice champion and will be recognized July 8 at an awards ceremony at the Imagine Cup World Festival at the Warsaw opera house.
"We believe that, now more than ever, young people have the ability to make a positive impact on the world," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. "These students will be the global leaders of tomorrow, and we want to provide opportunities to demonstrate their creativity and innovation on the world stage. I'm in awe of the quality and sophistication of the Imagine Cup projects. It illustrates the promise of technology to positively transform education and change the way people live, think, work and communicate."
This year's competition started with more than 325,000 high school and university students registering from more than 100 countries and regions, and it will culminate at the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals from July 3–8. Only the top 400 students have made it to the Worldwide Finals for their original solutions, which range from a multitouch tutoring system for physically challenged students to a mobile phone application that can test for hearing loss. The quality of this year's projects proves that students truly are capable of doing anything to which they set their minds.
During the past three months, local Imagine Cup competitions have taken place around the world to determine the finalists for the Software Design competition. The People's Choice award celebrates the entries in the Software Design competition by providing an opportunity for fans to see all of the projects in a fun and interactive way. By voting for their favorite projects, the public can help raise awareness for critical social issues in education, healthcare and environmental sustainability.
Along with the Software Design competition, finalists have been selected for the Embedded Development, Game Design, Digital Media and IT Challenge competitions. The winners of three worldwide online awards also will be announced today. These awards and winners are the following:
- Windows® Phone 7 "Rockstar" Award. Students submitted a Windows Phone 7 application created in Silverlight or XNA Framework that was original, visually compelling, appealing to the average consumer and used mobile-oriented features.
- Team Beastware from the Advanced Technology Academy in the United States was selected as the winner. This team of two built a "droid" XNA game that leveraged the use of the accelerometer on the device unlike any other app. Through the Microsoft DreamSpark student program, which provides professional-level developer and design tools to students and educators around the world at no charge, Team Beastware will head to Poland to showcase its application during the Worldwide Finals and will have the opportunity to register its app for free on the Windows Phone Marketplace.*
- Windows Internet Explorer 8 Award. The Windows Internet Explorer 8 Award competition is designed to recognize software applications that create enhanced user experience by leveraging Web Slices, Accelerators and search providers in Internet Explorer.
- Team Rhea from Poland was chosen as the winner for its project, Kite Surfer. This project helps advance education by improving search and providing improved access to information sources. It is a visual search, which breaks the standards of typical Web searches. It seeks information using Microsoft Bing and visualizes it in Silverlight using 3-D space. It allows a person to browse through text data, graphics and videos in a new, innovative way.
- Next Generation Web Award. Teams wrote open source Web applications using modern technologies such as Silverlight or ASP.NET on the Microsoft Web Platform.
- Team Wanna Be Alice from Inha University, Incheon, South Korea, will head to Poland to showcase its original Web page that connects people seeking to spread kindness to others as a method of "paying it forward."
More information about the Imagine Cup and the full list of worldwide finalist teams are available at http://www.imaginecup.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
* More information on Windows Phone Marketplace policies and supported countries can be found at http://developer.windowsphone.com.
SOURCE Microsoft Corp.