To help highlight the capabilities of its Windows Azure cloud and the Azure Services Platform, Microsoft has announced a contest inviting developers to create innovative applications to run on Azure.
As part of the Azure Services Platform Developer Challenge, developers can demonstrate their innovation and creativity by authoring an application (or highlighting an existing application) running on Windows Azure and the Azure Services Platform, Microsoft said. The contest starts immediately and will run through June 18. And the challenge will have three categories and winners-.NET applications, PHP apps and an overall community winner chosen by the public via online voting.
Microsoft officials said contestants are encouraged to be creative and write a PHP or .NET application that runs on Windows Azure and integrate additional Azure services such as .NET Services and Live Services, other Microsoft online services, or third-party services and clouds to push the boundaries of interoperability. Winning applications will demonstrate a great user experience and overall creativity, and illustrate the power of the cloud.
In a blog post about the contest, Steven Martin, Microsoft's senior director of developer platform product management, said, "We're looking for innovative apps developed with the user experience in mind that are applicable to the real world and highlight new opportunities cloud computing brings to developers."
Although most Microsoft developers are familiar with what the company would expect from a .NET application, the company has a slightly different set of expectations for applications in the PHP category.
"For the PHP contest category running on Windows Azure, we want to see a PHP application taking interoperability to the next level by integrating with other Azure services, third-party Web services and APIs, and services provided by other cloud providers," Martin said.
One winner from each application category-PHP and .NET applications running on Windows Azure-will be judged by industry observers Om Malik, founder and senior writer for the GigaOM Network, and Michael Cote, IT management lead analyst at RedMonk, and announced at Structure 09 on June 25. A third "community winner" will be chosen by the community via online voting and will be announced on June 30, Microsoft said.
More information on the contest can be found at www.newcloudapp.com.