Microsoft Imagine Cup 2011 Winners Tap Windows Phone, Cloud and Bing
title=Ballmer Kicks Off Imagine Cup Finals} Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer kicked off the Imagine Cup finals July 8 with an opening speech and a rousing welcome from the students. While some people in a different part of New York may have had reservations about Ballmer continuing to hold the reins at Microsoft, one would not have known it based on the standing ovations and enthusiasm from the student developers present at the Imagine Cup finals opening ceremony in Times Square. Ballmer said this year marked his first time attending the Imagine Cup, and he apologized for that.Ballmer then gave students a tour of the key Microsoft technologies the company is focusing on, including the cloud, Windows Phone, Bing and more. He also noted that Windows Azure, Bing Maps and Windows Phone 7 were used heavily in many of the projects. Yet, "The one that I thought was most interesting was about 10 of the projects actually used Kinect hooked together with the PC, and a lot of the interesting projects in health care, rehab [and] education particularly saw a lot of value in the technologies we've built in Kinect that help recognize the voice, motion, skeletal tracking and the like," Ballmer said. "So, the kinds of interesting things you're doing, coupled with the kinds of interesting things that we're doing at Microsoft, I think, are really quite remarkable." Finally, Ballmer encouraged the students to come up with good ideas, be passionate about their work and be tenacious in their execution.
"This is actually for me my first Imagine Cup final. I feel terrible and guilty about that," Ballmer said. "But, even more important, I feel like I've missed so much. As I was preparing to come on out, flying out yesterday ... I found myself getting real fired up and excited. I get to actually go see people who love technology and are doing amazing work with it. And then [when] I arrive, I meet some of the finalists, I look at some of the projects, and in a sense, I'll tell you, it more than anything brings alive to me why I love what I do and I love what Microsoft does."