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The Microsoft Imagine Cup brings together student developers from all over the world and asks them to use their creativity and passion for technology to help solve the world’s toughest problems. This year, more than 350,000 students from 183 countries and regions registered to compete and, from July 8-13, the finalists (more than 400 students from 70 countries) will meet for the Worldwide Finals in New York City.

Head over to the Imagine Cup site, check out the projects, and see how student developers are using Microsoft technologies to truly change the world (perhaps you may even be inspired to go write an app or two of your own as a result!).

Beginning today, people around the world will have the opportunity to get involved in the excitement through the Imagine Cup People’s Choice Award. Cast your vote on the People’s Choice Award site! Your colleagues, friends, and family can vote as well, so spread the word.

Here are just a few examples of how the teams are using Microsoft technologies at Imagine Cup: 

  • Windows Phone 7 is the most commonly used technology creating solutions ranging from finding the nearest recycling center to helping disaster victims broadcast their location.
  • Head in the clouds: Teams in the Software Design track are using Windows Azure in their projects – whether it’s aggregating crowd-sourced data, overcoming geographical boundaries or integrating satellite data.
  • Students take the lead on new technologies: There are a few projects that feature Microsoft Kinect technology ranging from physical rehabilitation to educational engagement.
  • No need to ask for directions: Some teams have integrated Bing Maps into their solutions – ranging from showing malaria outbreak locations to helping with traffic management to helping cities become more accessible.

To top that, there were quite a few teams that brought all of the above together, using Windows Azure, Windows Phone 7, AND Bing Maps with solutions ranging from finding carpools to predicting disasters due to water flow. 

The People’s Choice Award is just one component of several competitions and prizes at the Imagine Cup. From creating apps and videos to building Web sites and embedded solutions, students are truly helping to change the world with Microsoft technologies.

Vote for your favourite projects and support student developers as they grow and start companies that thrive to have an impact in their communities and around the globe.