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IT Students Invited to Showcase Innovation

IT Students Around the Country Invited to Showcase Their Innovation and Programming Skills Microsoft launches the first Student XML Web Services Competition in New Zealand.

AUCKLAND - New Zealand tertiary IT students from around the country have the opportunity to showcase their innovations and programming skills with the launch of the country's first Microsoft Student XML Web Services Competition. Students are invited to develop new and innovative XML Web Services - the future platform for Internet programming - using the Microsoft .NET platform. The New Zealand winner will participate in the regional final of the Microsoft Asia Student .NET competition, held in Asia in February next year. At the event, they will also have the opportunity to showcase their application to Bill Gates, Chairman and Chief Software Architect of Microsoft Corp.

New Zealand is now one of 16 countries in the Asia Pacific region participating in the annual competition, which was launched in October last year, and attracted more than 300 tertiary institutions across Hong Kong, China, India, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea. The 2001 winning team developed a Web Service, which enabled consumers to obtain all travel-related information on a single Web page.

Garth Sutherland, Microsoft New Zealand .NET Advisor, says the competition is just one of Microsoft's initiatives aimed at bringing Microsoft .NET, the next generation software platform based on XML Web Services, directly to students.

"XML Web Services holds tremendous opportunity for the IT industry and we want to provide students with effective learning tools to help them develop innovative applications on the next generation Internet platform," says Sutherland. "The competition is a great way for young New Zealand developers to further develop their IT skills and demonstrate to prospective employers that they are capable of building cutting edge applications even before they enter the workforce."

Professor John Hosking, HOD Computer Science at the University of Auckland, which also offers a Microsoft Visual Studio .NET course, says the competition is a great way for students to gain valuable experience in developing applications using the latest Microsoft technologies.

"The competition offers students the opportunity to develop practical applications that solve real business problems and be rewarded for their efforts at the same time."

How to Enter

Students can enter the competition individually or in a group of up to three and need to register online first at by November 7, 2002. Submissions close on January 10, 2003, and will be judged by a panel including representatives from Microsoft New Zealand and several other leading technology companies. The winning entries will be formally announced on January 17, 2002, with the second prize entries receiving a Microsoft Xbox and a Microsoft PC Games bundle as the third prize.

Entry Requirements

Applications must be developed using either Microsoft Visual Studio .NET or the ASP.NET Web Matrix and built for running on the .NET framework. Students can download the ASP.NET Web Matrix for free from the Microsoft website at Students who study out of a department in one of eight tertiary institutions across New Zealand belonging to the Microsoft Developer Networks (MSDN) Academic Alliance Program can get free access to Visual Studio .NET and other leading Microsoft developer tools.

Microsoft also has a wide range of resources available to students who want to find out more about XML and enhance their skills in XML Web Services development at

For more information on the Student .NET competition, please visit

About Microsoft Visual Studio .NET

Microsoft Visual Studio .NET is the rapid application development (RAD) tool for building next-generation Web applications and XML Web services. Visual Studio .NET empowers developers to design broad-reach Web applications for any device and any platform. In addition, Visual Studio .NET is fully integrated with the .NET Framework, which provides support for multiple programming languages and automatically handles many common programming tasks, freeing developers to rapidly create Web applications using their language of choice. Visual Studio .NET includes a single integrated development environment (IDE) with RAD features for building Web applications and middle-tier business logic, and RAD XML designers for working with data. More information about Visual Studio .NET can be found at

About ASP.NET Web Matrix

The Microsoft ASP.NET Web Matrix Project is a free, easy to use, community-supported web development tool for quickly building ASP.NET Web applications. Web Matrix is written completely using C# and the .NET Framework. For more information on ASP.NET Web Matrix, visit

About MSDN

Microsoft Developer Networks (MSDN) is the resource for developers. Much more than just a website and newsletter, MSDN is an extensive and comprehensive modular programme that includes access to the free fortnightly Flash electronic newsletter, Microsoft software, events, user groups and helping members to ensure timely, convenient access to the essential technical programming information, developer products and tools developers need to be successful. For more information on MSDN New Zealand, visit

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

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