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Sparks will Fly 2009 Challenge - win $15,000, plus a trip to TechEd 2009!

Show us your “home of the future” and win $15,000, plus a trip to TechEd 2009!

Take advantage of a comprehensive set of powerful embedded development tools, technologies, and resources. Microsoft’s partnership with several of the world’s premier hardware vendors gives hobbyists access to the same enterprise-class tools used by professionals – at an attractive price. It’s just one of the ways Microsoft is nurturing its vision to grow and support this important developer community.

SPARK Your Imagination offers a kit that combines Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2, Visual Studio 2005 Professional, and an embedded device. Backed by Microsoft and a large, active community of embedded developers, Windows Embedded CE provides you with industry-leading tools to help you build an endless variety of embedded solutions.

Here’s how the contest works:

Round One

Submit a 1-3-page paper that outlines an embedded project that will help realize the home of the future. Maybe you envision a thermostat that sets itself according to the latest weather forecast, or a refrigerator that re-orders groceries. Be creative, but make sure it’s an embedded device that you could actually build.

Deadline: January 7, 2009

On January 9, 2009, we’ll announce the 50 participants who will advance to round two.

Round Two

It’s time to put your skills to the test. All 50 finalists will receive a free SPARK Your Imagination kit, based on the VIA Artigo Pico-ITX board. Build a working prototype of your idea and submit a 4-5-page paper that describes your solution. You’ll also need to create a 3-minute video that summarizes your project.

Deadline: March 11, 2009

Final Round

On March 13, 2009, we’ll reveal the top 3 finalists. Each of the 3 finalists will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a flight to ESC Silicon Valley, where they’ll demonstrate their project during the Microsoft keynote.

The winner will be announced at the end of the keynote, and will receive an additional cash prize of $15,000 and a trip to TechEd 2009 in Los Angeles.

Register now