To celebrate DDD9 in Reading today we're issuing a developer challenge. Paul Foster, one our favourite Microsoft technical evangelists, has put together both a Windows Phone 7 app and a game and is asking developers to download either one, play with it for a week and then send us your new and improved version by Saturday 12 February at 9:30am.

Helping Paul to pick the winning entries is Matt Lacey from WPUG. They’ll pick their favourite game and their favourite app and give each lucky winner a brand spanking new Windows Phone 7.

Interested in entering? Check out the terms and conditions below and follow these instructions:

1. First of all, make sure you are following @ukmsdn on Twitter.

2. Head to or to download the source files for each of these products.

3. Make your improvements to the app or game.

4. Bundle up your app or game into a zip file and upload online to your blog or any file sharing service (like Skydrive)

5. Tweet your link to @ukmsdn with the hashtag #DDDhack before 9:30 am GMT on 12 February, 2011.

Want some inspiration? Paul’s put together a few improvement suggestions for both of these apps, which you can find below.

Good luck!

RSSReader template list of possible feature projects

· Offline cache of RSS feed including cached and index images and refresh strategy (on start, user selected)

· Quality browser control rendering of article correcting escaped or inappropriate characters to avoid display corruption

· Panorama ‘magazine’ cover presenting panels for latest news, advertising and list of RSS feed categories as defined in RSS feed

· Push notifications service. Azure deployable device registration and notification sending services accessible from web page front end.

· XAP customiser. Enables RSS feed config, graphics config to be selected and previewed before being applied to the default compiled XAP. Enabling app factory production of RSSReader app without the requirement for a ‘publisher’ to code.

Xna game feature ideas

· Custom game with different media enhanced with Game State Management example to give menus and Tombstoning support.

· Azure based Scoreboarding service, updated by game, reviewed in game and hosted in the cloud.

· Intelligent enemy players. Add AI players to chase the player using the aiming and path finding samples in the Games Hub education sample projects (or alternative solutions).

· Skydome implementation for the game.

· Enhanced controls utilising left and right thumb sticks for different control aspects (altitude, side moving/looking etc)

Competition Terms and Conditions

#DDDHack Challenge

1. ELIGIBILITY: This competition is open to any person resident in the United Kingdom who is 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and who is (i) a registered user of the website (the “Website”) and (ii) ‘following’ @ukmsdn on Twitter on the closing date. If you are not a registered member of the Website your entry will not be valid and you will not be able to win a prize. Employees of Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising or promotion agencies are not eligible, nor are members of these employees’ families (defined as parents, children, siblings, spouse and life partners).

2. TO ENTER: You will need to be a registered member of the Website.  In order to register with the Website go to: and follow the instructions. Follow @ukmsdn via You must download and adapt either the XNA game (at or RSSReader (at You must upload your adapted version to a website of your choosing and tweet a link to your adapated version, within the time period set out in paragraph 3 below. Your reply must include the words ‘@ukmsdn’ and ‘#DDDHack’.

Any entries deemed by Microsoft to be offensive, abusive (including the use of profanity), to violate the privacy, intellectual property rights or other rights of any other person or entity or to contravene UK law may not be included in the competition. Users submitting such entries may be reported to Twitter or the relevant legal authority.

Waiver of Moral Rights: by entering this competition you hereby irrevocably and unconditionally waive in perpetuity the benefit of any provision of law known as moral rights, the benefits of any provison of law known as “droit moral” or any similar law in any country of the universe in respect of your entry.

Only one (1) entry per person will be accepted. If you enter the competition using multiple Twitter accounts or multiple times from one account then only your first submission will count. No purchase is necessary to enter the promotion. Entry constitutes full and unconditional acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. Microsoft is not responsible for lost, corrupted or delayed entries. Microsoft reserves the right to disqualify anyone in breach of these Terms and Conditions.

3. TIMING: This competition runs from 09:30:00 GMT on 29th January, 2011.  The closing date of this competition is 09:30:00 GMT on 12th February 2011.  Completed entries must reach Microsoft no later than the closing date.

4. SELECTION OF WINNERS: All valid entries will be eligible for the selection of finalists. One winner will be chosen by Paul Foster and Matt Lacey before 18th February 2011 using the following criteria: creativity of entry; relevance; and originality. The winner will be contacted by 33 Digital by 21st February 2011. If the winner cannot be contacted within twenty four (24) hours of 33 Digital’s first attempt to do so, another winner may be chosen from eligible entries. The winner may be required to supply their name and postal address for the purposes of prize fulfilment and consents to their name being made available and to becoming involved in further publicity or advertising upon request.

5. PRIZE: The prize is one (1) Windows Phone 7 HTC Mozart. Entrance is subject to terms and conditions. Prize as stated and non transferable.  No cash or other alternatives available. Microsoft reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value.

6. GENERAL: If any provision or part of these terms is deemed void or otherwise unenforceable in law then that provision or part shall be deemed excluded and the remainder of these Terms shall remain in force. No correspondence will be entered into regarding either this competition or these Terms and Conditions. In the unlikely event of a dispute Microsoft’s decision shall be final. Microsoft reserve the right to amend or modify these Terms and Conditions or cancel the competition at any time.

7. GOVERNING LAW: These terms, the conduct of this promotion and the interpretation and enforcement of these terms and conditions shall be exclusively governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales, unless you are a Scottish resident, in which case you may choose the law of your own country of residence. Entrants irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales, unless they are a Scottish resident or a resident of Northern Ireland, in which case they may choose the courts of their place of residence.

8. SPIRIT OF THE COMPETITION: If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this promotion by hacking or by cheating or committing fraud in ANY way, we may seek damages from you to the fullest extent permitted by law. Further, we may ban you from participating in any of our future promotions, so please play fairly.


Microsoft Limited, Microsoft Campus, Thames Valley Park, Reading, RG6 1WG, England. Please direct any queries about this competition to: