Microsoft recently announced new CloudApp(), a developer challenge for both .NET & PHP developers creating cloud applications or services on the Azure Services Platform.  Follow on twitter (#newCloudApp).

There are categories for both US and International entries and you can register and submit your application here.   The submission deadline for international entries is July 9th (US) so you need to get started ASAP.   The competition FAQ and official fineprint.

But wait, if you’re an Australian resident, there’s more…

The Australian ‘side-bet’

In typical Australian fashion for any good competition, we thought it would be interesting to have a little side-bet on the action to showcase to the world some great Australian cloud developer talent.

How it works

From all of the entries from Australia submitted into the International category of new CloudApp() we’ll locally judge the best application from the Australian entrants as at July 21st.    Make sure you indicate Australia when you register for the competition.

The local winner, as decided by our judges, will receive:

  • One (1) Full Conference Registration for Tech.Ed 2009 Australia (valued at AUD $1999) 
  • Be featured on www.azure.com and/or at a major Australian Microsoft event
  • Be announced and featured in the Australian Edition of MSDN Flash newsletter in August 2009

All Australian entrants will still be in the running for the main International Category prize in the competition as voted for by the community.

Our local judges for the best Australian new CloudApp() will be:

Gianpaolo Carraro – Director, Microsoft Australia

Gianpaolo recently joined Microsoft Australia to run the developer and platform evangelism group. Prior to that, Gianpaolo spent several years at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, with his head in the clouds, thinking, writing, developing cloud solutions.

Before Microsoft, Gianpaolo helped inflate and maybe even more so, burst the .com bubble as co-founder and CEO of a SaaS startup. Gianpaolo started his career in Research where he was looking for random ideas that could be patented or discussed in academic circles as a member of technical staff at Bell Laboratories.

You can learn more about him through his blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/gianpaolo

Dr Anna Liu – Associate Professor in Services Engineering, University of New South Wales

Anna Liu holds an Associate Professorship in Services Engineering at the School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of NSW, and is a Research Leader at the Smart Services CRC. Her current research interest is in Cloud Computing and evaluating Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Prior to returning to academia, she held Principal Architect and Group Management roles at Microsoft Australia, leading efforts on SOA, EAI and Emerging Web innovations. Before joining Microsoft, she was a research leader at the CSIRO, working with Middleware technologies. She views the world through her software architect's lenses...

Greg Willis  - Architect Evangelist, Microsoft Australia

Greg Willis is an Architect Evangelist with Microsoft in Sydney with over 17 years commercial experience in the media, telecoms and finance industries.

Greg's previous experience includes architecting high-traffic (and in other cases high-hype) web sites in the halcyon days of Web 1.0 before the web world generally worried about such trivial matters as business models, revenue etc. He now focuses on the challenges of Software + Services, particularly distributing applications to the cloud in the context of enterprise architecture.

Getting Started

  1. Sign up for the Azure Services
  2. Develop using Microsoft's Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition or Visual Web Developer Express Edition.
  3. Download the SDKs and Tools
  4. Learn more about the Azure Services
  5. Tutorial videos are also available here
  6. More info on deploying PHP applications on Windows Azure  

Any questions or comments please let me know!   Good luck in the clouds.

Please see below for the official terms and conditions for the Australian competition:

Best Australian new CloudApp() – Official Terms and Conditions

1. Instructions on how to enter form part of the conditions of entry. By participating entrants agree to be bound by these conditions.

2. The promoter is Microsoft Pty Limited, ACN 002 589 460 of 1 Epping Road, North Ryde, New South Wales, 2113.

3. Entry is open to Australian residents aged 18 years and over. Employees and their immediate families of the promoter, its retailers, suppliers and associated companies and agencies are not eligible to enter.

4. The promoter reserves the right to verify the validity of entries and to disqualify any entrant who the promoter believes either has tampered with the entry process or has submitted an entry that is not in accordance with these conditions of entry.

5. Entry to the competition commences at 5.00pm (Sydney time) on June 12th 2009 and closes at 5.00am (Sydney time) on July 10th 2009 – the deadline for entry of submissions at http://www.newcloudapp.net

6. Only one entry per person is allowed and all entries to newCloudApp() are subject to the official rules at http://www.newcloudapp.com/official-rules.html.

7. The Australian winner will be judged from all valid entrants in the new CloudApp() competition International category who indicate in their entry that they are Australian. Details of how to enter the new CloudApp() competition and its full terms and conditions can be found at http://www.newcloudapp.com. The official rules are at http://www.newcloudapp.com/official-rules.html

8. All valid entries submitted by the closing date will be reviewed by the judging panel. This is a game of skill and chance plays no part in determining the winners. Each entry will be individually judged based on the most innovative and original use of the Azure Services Platform. The local Australian winner will be judged from the registered entries on July 22nd 2009 Sydney time (after the community voting period has ended in the main competition).

9. The best entry will win One (1) Full Conference Registration for Tech.Ed Australia 2009 to be held on September 8th – 11th 2009 at the Gold Coast, QLD. Total number prizes = 1. Total prize value = AUD $1999. Prizes are not exchangeable, transferable or redeemable for cash.

10. Travel and accommodation costs to the Gold Coast, QLD are not included in the prize. If the promoter is unable to supply the nominated prize, the promoter reserves the right to supply another prize of greater or equal value.

11. All entries become the property of the promoter. The promoter’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. No responsibility is accepted for entries not received by the promoter. Entries will be deemed void if stolen, forged, mutilated or tampered with in any way.

12. All entries are deemed to be received at the time of receipt into the promotion database and not at the time of transmission by the entrant. Any form of automated entry using other devices or software is invalid.

13. The stated prize value is the recommended retail value (including GST) in Australia as provided by the supplier and is correct at the time of printing. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any variation in the value of the prize. The Promoter and its associated agencies and companies accept no responsibility for prizes damaged or lost in transit.

14. Winners of all prizes will be notified via email and the winner of the competition will be announced in the first edition of the Australian MSDN Flash newsletter published after the prize is claimed.

15. In the event that a prize is not claimed by 1st August 2009 the judges will select an alternate winner to receive the prize.

16. Any costs associated with entering the competition and accessing the website are the responsibility of the entrant.

17. The promoter assumes no responsibility for, and the entrant releases the promoter from responsibility for, any failure to receive an entry or for inaccurate information or for any loss, claim, damage or injury to person or property (including computer systems and servers) as a result of the entrant’s participation in this promotion or the conduct of the promotion generally or as a direct or indirect result of an entrant’s error, any technical problem of any kind including communications or network failure, unauthorised access to, transferring or theft of data, whether caused by the entrant or associated with the equipment or programming used in the conduct of this promotion. If, because of any such problem, this promotion is not able to be conducted as planned and/or the promotion’s administration, security, fairness or integrity are compromised or affected, the promoter may cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the promotion and/or disqualify any entrant involved in interfering or tampering with the conduct of this promotion in any way.

18. Details from all entries will be collected and used for the purposes of conducting this promotion (which may include disclosure to third parties for the purpose of processing and conducting the promotion) and for publicity purposes surrounding this promotion. By entering this promotion entrants consent to the use of their information as described. Entrants may access and/or change their data by following the procedures in the promoter’s privacy policy which is available at www.microsoft.com/australia/privacy. The promoter will only use your personal details for marketing purposes outside those described above if you “opt in” to join the mailing list when prompted.