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Microsoft kicks off "Dare to Dream Different" competition for developers

10 October 2008

Microsoft is calling for entries to the Microsoft Dare to Dream Different challenge, a skills-based competition for software developers to design and build innovative devices on the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework.

The Microsoft .NET Micro Framework is Microsoft's smallest embedded platform for resource-constrained devices.

The Microsoft Dare to Dream Different competition is designed to recognise the many unique and creative ways that developers can use the .NET Micro Framework to spur the innovation of small, connected devices.

Developers making a submission must describe their dream device, and explain how they would bring it to life with the .NET Micro Framework platform.

The contest consists of two categories, Hobbyist and Professional, and the top 50 semifinalists in each category will receive a .NET Micro Framework developer kit.

Semifinalists will be required to submit a video demonstration of their prototype, and the top 5 finalists in each category will make presentations on their prototype before a panel of industry experts. Of those finalists, three winners in each category will be announced in May 2009.

"If you can build something as simple as a device to reliably ensure that someone is taking their medications accurately, you can change the lives of millions of people and help them live independently longer," said Colin Miller, product unit manager for the .NET Micro Framework at Microsoft.

"That is one example of the power of devices. The .NET Micro Framework enables a wide range of incredible devices that not only further technology, but offer professional and hobbyist developers greater opportunities to follow their passions and do incredible things. By bringing the familiar Microsoft Visual Studio environment to the embedded world, the .NET Micro Framework makes embedded programming really easy for desktop developers and hobbyists. We expect this contest to generate a lot of interest and momentum for embedded systems in general."

The Grand Prize, First Prize and Second Prize Winners in the Professional category will receive guidance and tools to help start their own business as a .NET Micro Framework Microsoft Partner, with total prizes having an approximate retail value of more than US$73,000, and include cash, free business and development software, consulting time with Microsoft experts, and promotional opportunities.

Total prizes in the Hobbyist Developer category have an approximate retail value of US$23,500 and include cash, an Xbox 360 console, Zune digital media player (subject to availability) and promotional products. The winners in this category also will receive the opportunity to include their winning solution in a Microsoft marketing campaign.

Developers are invited to submit an entry online via the .NET Micro Framework Web site at http://microsoft.com/netmf .

Initial entries will be accepted through to 15 December 2008.

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