Anyone who knows me understands how passionate I am about encouraging student interest in science and technology, especially, of course, in the Computer Sciences.  Students represent the next generation of technology leaders, and it is the responsibility of the industry to help create venues for them to share their innovative ideas and explore their creativity.

To that end… today and tomorrow, Microsoft will host the Imagine Cup 2005 US Software Design Invitational Nationals on Microsoft’s main campus here in Redmond.  The winner of this event will represent the US at the worldwide finals in Yokohama, Japan and go head to head with representatives from over 40 countries for the title of worldwide Software Design champion.  

I can’t wait to see what this year’s competitors have designed.  Last year I had the pleasure of announcing the winners at the worldwide finals in Sao Paolo, Brazil and got to witness first hand the excitement and innovation these students have to offer.  I truly believe it’s the dreams and aspirations of these amazing students that will guide each to great success in the near future, and the rest of us confidently into the next phase of technology.  You just can’t help but come away from Imagine Cup feeling incredibly optimistic about the future of software development.

They say, “winning isn’t everything” and that’s absolutely true at this event.  Whatever the outcome, I guarantee the students will never forget their experience.  Students get the opportunity to meet peers from all over the world, share ideas and gain a greater understanding of their role in the world outside of their home country.  Who knows, they could even walk away with some new life-long friendships.

Namaste!