Developers called to enter MS competition

Developers called to enter MS competition

LOCAL developers have a chance to vie for a share in a grand’s worth of software prizes from Microsoft.

Software to the value of $100,000 is being put up for grabs by Microsoft New Zealand in a competition aimed at encouraging local partners and customers to have a play with beta versions of Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio Team System.

The suites are set for release on November 7, along with SQL Server 2005, and will be Microsoft’s biggest release since .Net, says Sean McBreen, director of the developer and platform group at Microsoft New Zealand.

“The best way to get people to realise how good the product is, is to get them to use it,” says McBreen.

“We want to get people excited to use the tools and are giving them the highest levels of the tools as prizes.”

The software prizes for the contest include licences of the Visual Studio suite.

Individuals or teams of developers can enter the competition, which consists of three categories.

The first is for individuals who have developed an application in .Net 2.0 using Visual Studio 2005 Team System and carries a first prize worth about $15,000, as well as a second prize worth $10,000.

“This is to support the single guy out there who loves the technology and wants to work on it by himself,” says McBreen.

The second category is for development teams who are making Visual Studio 2005 Team System part of a team development process.

“This is to see what a small team can do with some of the collaboration features and give them a prize that will support that team moving forward,” says McBreen.

First-prize winners in this category will receive a prize valued at close to $50,000, with runners-up receiving a package worth $35,000. The final category is titled “I’m creative, I think outside the square”.

It is for people who use these new tools to do something they have not found online.

“We want people to feel they can bend our rules a little bit and perhaps teach us a thing or two — so we have a category where we will reward an interesting idea that we did not think of.”

There is a single $8,000 prize for this category. The winners will be announced at the Microsoft Tech Ed 2005 conference in August.

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