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Imagine Cup 2006 Calls Student Developers to Represent the UK


USD125,000 of Prizes up for Grabs in 4th Annual Imagine Cup for Students who can “Imagine a World where Technology Enables us to Live Healthier Lives”

Reading - UK - 14 December 2005 - Microsoft has announced the start of its fourth annual international student competition, the Imagine Cup (, the global final for which will take place in Delhi, India, during August 2006. The competition pits teams of students from across the UK and the rest of the world against each other in six invitationals, to win glory, a share of the USD125,000 total prize fund and the chance to kick-start their careers in a wide range of sectors, including software design.

The overarching theme for this year’s competition is “Imagine a world where technology enables us to live healthier lives.” And students entries need to reflect the real-world worth and applicability of their innovations. The competition takes the top young technologists from around the globe and gives them the opportunity and exposure to help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

Kevin McDaniel, Academia Manager, Microsoft Ltd, said “We’re very excited about this year’s competition, given that every year the students have pushed the envelope. The Software Design Challenge gets students working in teams to demonstrate design skills and create innovative software solutions for real world problems. Demonstrating their understanding of the full software development lifecycle is critical to succeeding in this invitational.”

The Software Design Challenge (SDC) is the lead invitational for the competition and unlike other categories is a team event (2-4 students), with each team competing with the support of an academic mentor. UK entrants in the Software Design invitational will first compete in a local qualifying round to determine who will represent the UK at the worldwide finals, the deadline for submissions in this round is March 1st 2006.

Following the UK Final, Microsoft UK will build a Personal Project Development Plan to enable them to work closely with the winning national team ahead of the world-wide event.

UK prizes for Software Design Challenge and local Leader Board student winners include, among other things, Xbox 360, Creative Zens, Digital Cameras, training vouchers and the Academic mentor in the top winning teams receive funding for teaching and research. The global student winners will receive USD25,000 prize money.

Students wanting to represent their country and compete in this year’s Imagine Cup for an all expenses paid trip to the Delhi finals and the chance to be crowned World Wide champions are urged to visit the Imagine Cup website at

Each submitted Software Design Challenge application must:
Be a self created Web service
Be designed on .NET Framework 2.0
Make use of Visual Studio family (Express, Standard or Team System) for development
Demonstrate innovation using the Microsoft .NET platform
Teams need to be of 2 to 4 individuals aged 18 or over, together with a nominated Academic Mentor
Each application must address this year’s theme: “Imagine a world where technology enables us to live healthier lives”
The other five categories in the Imagine Cup 2006 are Short Film, Project Hoshimi programming battle, Algorithm, IT and Interface Designer


About The Imagine Cup
The Imagine Cup, now in its forth year, is a competition sponsored by Microsoft designed to provide an outlet for students to explore technological and artistic interests outside the classroom. More than 15,000 students from over 90 countries competed in last year’s competition. The six different invitationals or categories that comprise this years competition: Software Design, Algorithm, Information Technology (IT), Short Film, Interface Design and Project Hoshimi Programming Battle.

Further details about the competition can be found on the UK Imagine Cup portal at and additional details can be found on the global Imagine Cup portal at


Below are details of each of the invitationals in this years Imagine Cup event. For further details please visit

Software Design
The Software Design Invitational calls on students to create technology that facilitates a healthier lifestyle. Competitors are called on to design and develop new applications that demonstrate innovation on the Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft Windows platform. Entrants are expected to demonstrate how their use of technology will make a real difference in the lives of people everywhere. Theme: Imagine a world where technology enables us to live healthier lives

Total prize: USD25,000 for the software design invitational winner

Short Film
From concept and storyboard to footage and editing, this invitational invites entrants to offer a unique perspective on the Imagine Cup theme. This challenge invites them to explore the art and science of telling a story, use the latest technology, and most importantly move an audience.

Total prize pool: USD15,000
Competition starts: 1 February 2006 (Round closes 1 March 2006)

Interface Design
This challenge invites designers all over the world to create functional, compelling, and imaginative user interfaces. Entrants get a unique opportunity to envision an application, connect it to the theme of the Imagine Cup, and show the world how their applications and creative skills can bring it to life.

Total prize pool: USD15,000
Competition starts: 1 February 2006

The algorithm invitational highlights a pure skill of one’s ability to solve a problem. The Algorithm Invitational takes competitors through a series of brain teasers, coding challenges, and algorithmic puzzles, and seeks to engage the sharpest student minds in technology around interesting problems.

Total prize pool: USD15,000
Competition starts: 1 February 2006

Project Hoshimi Programming Battle
This popular competition uses a background story, comic style graphics, and very real challenges to test the skills of programmers everywhere and allow them to compete, directly online, with people all over their nation and eventually the world to see who has the fastest program to save the day. In Project Hoshimi - Programming Battle, students write the code representing the behaviour and the strategy of a team of characters going through different types of missions.. The results are not only fun to create but also fun to watch as the programs play it out in a virtual 3D environment for all to see.

Total prize pool: USD15,000

The IT invitational challenges students to demonstrate proficiency in the science of networks, databases, and servers, as well as the areas of analysis and decision making in IT environments.

Total prize pool: USD15,000
Competition starts: 30 January 2006

About Microsoft

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

Visit the Microsoft UK homepage for further information on Microsoft products


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