Microsoft and BT have announced a joint telecoms and networking mash-up competition for developers, with cash prizes on offer.
The Connected Services Sandbox competition will help promote the development of customer solutions that merge traditional telecoms offerings, such as voice or text messaging, with Web 2.0 applications such as mapping or search.
The competition will be managed by TopCoder, a leader in online programming competitions, skills assessment and competitive software development.
Entrants will be given the task of developing managed network mash-ups that address the specific service requirements of multiple usage scenarios.
The winners of each competition will receive prizes ranging from £1,300 to £13,100.
The competition series follows the December 2006 launch of the Microsoft Connected Services Sandbox.
The Sandbox was developed to unite independent software vendors (ISVs), developers, system integrators, network equipment providers and telecommunications service providers in an environment that allows each participant to leverage the assets of the others.
Participants in the mash-up competition series will be able to use the assets available within the Connected Services Sandbox.
The Connected Services Sandbox competition series will be open to freelance developers and member organisations of the Sandbox.
By registering directly through the Sandbox, developers can review the competition rules, choose from the competitions available, and begin designing applications appropriate for individual competitions within the series.
The competitions are divided into multiple usage scenarios, as defined by Microsoft and BT. Usage scenarios can include a combination of communications services, such as e-mail, instant messaging and document collaboration, with web services such as Windows Live, Microsoft MapPoint, Amazon, eBay, Google and Yahoo.
Bill Murphy, managing director at BT Business, said, “We anticipate that the Sandbox competitions will provide us with compelling business opportunities that we can ultimately deliver to our customers.
“For example, we will be looking at services targeted at the small-to-midsize business market, where a unified communications solution can benefit a company with one to 10 employees.”
The first round of winners will be announced at the NXTcomm show in Chicago in June.
Developers can find more information about the Sandbox competitions at http://www.networkmashups.com
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