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Microsoft's annual student compo

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Students – do you want to be rich, famous, and get a proper curry? If so, then the fourth appearance of Microsoft’s annual competition, the Imagine Cup, may be for you.

For those who haven’t heard of the event before, this is an annual competition offering students from across the world the chance to vie for a whole bunch of goodies, such as xBoxes, and get the chance to take a share in a $125,000 prize fund. There are six competitions, or "Challenges", running as part of the competition. These include making a short film, designing a user interface, coming up with an algorithm, writing a simulation program, and demonstrating proficiency in the science of networks, databases and servers. All of these Challenges have a top prize of $15,000.

Top of the pile however, and a Challenge that could well interest student readers of Reg Developer, is the $25,000 prize pot that will go to the team winning the Software Design Challenge. The objective here is to create some software technology that "facilitates a healthier lifestyle".........perhaps a Supermarket Health Card that checks what you should buy with what you have bought and loudly calls you names at the checkout when you get it wrong?

Student entrants – in teams of two to four with an academic mentor – have to use Microsoft’s .NET Framework and Windows platform and are "expected to demonstrate how their technology will make a real difference in the lives of people everywhere".

That covers the fame and fortune aspect, but the curry? Well, stage one of the event is a series of national finals around the world, with a clutch of prizes for those winners. The world finals, however, are being held in Delhi, India, during August next year. The UK winners will be mentored by Microsoft on the run up to those finals.

Students looking to enter the UK leg of the Cup should have a look at the event's website. Submissions have to be in by March 1, next year.®

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