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Microsoft Accepting Applicants for Next-Gen PC Design Competition


Microsoft Corp.’s annual Next-Gen PC Design Competition is open for online entry submission until 11:59 p.m. EST Dec. 14. The competition aims to encourage ongoing enthusiasm for Windows-based PCs by engaging the imagination and creativity of the industrial design (ID) community and delivering a resource for the PC industry at large.

With this competition, Microsoft hopes to identify great talent and spur a dialogue between the ID field, the PC industry and their shared customers regarding what makes a great PC fit their customers’ digital lifestyle.

This year’s competition theme focuses on designs that help people fuel their passion, whether it’s music, traveling or photography. This year’s next-generation PC designs must contain scenarios and features that address ways to help people pursue their passions more easily, more powerfully and more enjoyably — and even how to help users obtain results they had never thought possible. This is also the first year the competition will look at software and hardware as part of the PC design. Applicants will need to focus not only on exterior design, shape and color, but they must pay attention to programs that will enhance what people feel passionate about. Successful entries will clearly define and thoroughly understand the audiences that the PC is designed for as well as the culture, lifestyle, habits and practices of the user.

All eligible entries will be reviewed January through April 2008 by a distinguished panel of Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)-member judges from the international PC and industrial design community in addition to representatives from leading hardware manufacturers. The entries will be scored by the following criteria:

Innovation. Is the design new and unique?

User experience and interaction. In what ways does the design make the PC easier to use?

Aesthetics. How does the appearance enhance the emotional appeal of the product?

Technology integration. How is the design enhanced by new technologies?

Windows software. How does this design enhance or expand the users’ experience with Windows?

Market viability and manufacturability. Who does this design appeal to, and what are the viable markets?

Ecology. How is the design environmentally responsible?

Five winners will be selected, and up to five honorable mentions may be chosen by the judges. From Feb. 15 through March 15 the selected finalists will be posted on the Next-Gen PC Design Competition Web site,, where the public will be invited to vote for its favorite entry to determine the Public’s Choice Award. The winners will be announced in May 2008 and honored at the 2008 Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC). More information about the competition, including how to enter, is available at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.


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