In case you missed it, the Great Canadian Apportunity (http://www.greatcanadianapportunity.ca) is now over and the winner has been announced! The Grand Prize winner will receive a whopping $10,000. The first runner up will enjoy a Mesh 2011 Conference Pack worth $3,000 along with a Windows Phone 7 device, while the second runner up will receive a Dell Alienware Laptop Bundle and a Windows Phone 7 device as well.

Want to win big too? You still have a chance!

Battle of the Apps (http://www.battleoftheapps.ca/) is a student-only competition currently in its 3rd and final round. You have until June 15th to make a Windows Phone 7 app and publish it on the marketplace for the entire world to download and use. With only one round remaining, you still have a shot at one of three Windows Phone 7 devices and career opportunities with Microsoft, Polar Mobile, Habañero and Yellow Pages. The three semi-finalists also get a shot at the grand prize ­- a trip to Australia to attend TechEd 2011!

Excited but not sure if you can score a winning app? No worries. Have a look at past submissions (http://www.battleoftheapps.ca/Submissions) to get an idea of what the expectations are. Don’t worry if some of the apps look far too fancy. You’ll be surprised just how impressed the judges can be by even the simplest-looking apps.

Convinced and ready to go? Head over to http://create.msdn.com/ and grab the Windows Phone Developer Tools to get started. If you’re unsure of what to do or how to start building an app, just flip through the education catalog and grab any complete sample to start learning. In fact, you can use the samples as the foundation for your own apps. They are there for you, so use them!

As you’re developing your app, be sure to commence the marketplace registration by signing up on http://create.msdn.com/. As a student, you do not have to worry about any marketplace developer fees thanks to DreamSpark (http://www.dreamspark.com/). Simply use your university email address to register, and the marketplace fee is on us. And while you’re on DreamSpark, be sure to grab Visual Studio 2010 Professional to get even more power for building your app. If your school is not on the list, shoot an email to godevmental@microsoft.com to receive a coupon.

The final round of Battle of the Apps ends on June 15th, 2011. Plenty of time to create an app that might win you a trip to Australia.