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You probably wouldn’t be surprised that Microsoft is holding a development contest that pits professional developers against student developers. You might be surprised that Microsoft is holding a development contest where the challenge is to build a PHP application.
You read that right: PHP. Microsoft’s web server, IIS (Internet Information Services) can run PHP as well as ASP.NET; in fact, it can even run both on the same site at the same time, so you can have apps like Wordpress along with your ASP.NET-based apps.
Even more unexpected is that the beta for the 2.0 version of the Microsoft Web Platform Installer doesn’t do a “couple-of-clicks” installation of the expected stuff like IIS and SQL Server 2008 Express, it also provides a “couple-of-clicks” installation of PHP and Wordpress.
That’s “FTW!” as in “For the Win” or “For the Web”, by the way.
The contest is pretty simple: the idea is to show the best application written in PHP and deployed on Windows. The app can be either:
That’s right: if you’re pressed for ideas or time to make a new application, it’s all right – you can take a PHP application that already exists, make the necessary changes so that it’ll run on IIS (and hey, for bonus points, make it tie into SQL Server instead of MySQL), and submit that as your contest entry!
Another twist to the FTW! Throwdown is that we’re getting student developers and professional developers to challenge each other. The pros have experience and resources on their side; students have youthful energy and fewer distractions going for them. Not since “Pirates vs. Ninjas” has there been a challenge like this!
One application developed or ported by students and one application developed or ported by professionals will be chosen from the submissions for the Ultimate Challenge, which will be a final bout at Microsoft’s Make Web, Not War conference. In that last match, it “Two apps enter! One app leaves!”. Simply put, one of the apps – either the student one or the professional one – will be declared the Ultimate Champion.
As they said in Highlander: “There can be…only one!”
We want to reward the best contestants for their efforts in the FTW! Throwdown, and we plan to do so with some pretty nice prizes, which include:
Naturally, the apps that you submit for the FTW! Throwdown need a place to live. If you don’t already have IIS hosting, our partners at myhosting and RackForce are offering a 60-day free hosting promotion.
The deadline for entering the FTW! Throwdown is Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009. Finalists will be announced on Friday, June 5th, 2009, and the main event where the student finalist faces off against the professional finalist happens on Wednesday June 10th, 2009.
If you’d like to know more about the FTW! Throwdown, visit the FTW! Throwdown site. I’ll be posting regular bulletins about the FTW! Throwdown on this blog, and you can follow the FTW! team on Twitter as the user @PHPOnWindows and the hashtag #FTW09.
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