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Microsoft Announces WOWZAPP 2012, Worldwide Hackathon for Windows

Registration has launched for Microsoft Corp.'s WOWZAPP 2012, Worldwide Hackathon for Windows, which will take place Nov. 9–11 in more than 30 locations worldwide. Students and other types of developers across countries such as India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Chile and Greece will work in teams to develop apps that will be published and available for download in the Windows Store.

At the events, students will be provided with the resources they need to build their apps, such as Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 and a free Windows Store registration code, both available through DreamSpark. In addition, students will be able to test their apps, and developer experts and trainers will be available to answer questions and help participants submit their apps to the Windows Store.

Microsoft Offers Software to College Students for Free via DreamSpark Program

Microsoft DreamSpark will provide, free of charge, professional level development programs for students in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. Within the next six months the program will be expanded to students in Australia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Japan, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia and many more countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe. Microsoft plans to include High School students in the program around third quarter 2008. Why is Microsoft doing this? Joe Wilson, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Academic Initiatives, had this to say.

"We believe students can do amazing things with technology if given access to the right tools. This is a way to make sure that they have what they need to test the boundaries of what today’s technology can do and also prepare for a great career at the same time. The added benefit to industry is that we’re addressing one of the toughest challenges confronting employers today: attracting and developing qualified IT professionals. We’re trying to help close this gap by giving students globally the opportunity to get the tools they’ll need after they graduate and jump-start their careers to land that first job."

While Microsoft may initially have nothing to gain from the program, over the long-term it may have a significant effect. Students who use Microsoft's programs while in school will inevitably become more familiar with Microsoft's programs than with software from competitors. When students eventually enter the workforce they will most likely wish to continue using the software they are most familiar with and will have their companies purchase Microsoft software for them.
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