Google's got the Summer of Code, Microsoft has the Imagine Cup. What's more, Imagine Cup has been around for two years longer than GSoC. The tenth edition is soon getting underway and registrations are now open.
Students with a passion for coding are more welcomed to join and the $300,000 in prizes, double last year's sum, should be more than enticing.
Granted, it's going to be a long way until the Imagine Cup finals in St. Petersburg next year, but that only gives students more time to work on their ideas.
The national events come first and this is what students can now register for. If you're a computer science student, you're going to start seeing the posters at your school any time now, but you don't have to go to college to apply, anyone 16 and up is welcomed.
This year, Microsoft is bundling three competitions inside the Imagine Cup, the World Citizenship, Games and Innovation. The winner in each category will get $50,000 with second and third place getting $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.
"When we look at the world of software today and where it's come in the ten years since we created the Imagine Cup, what we see is a whole new generation of people using apps to do great things on all kinds of devices," Microsoft's John Scott Tynes, Imagine Cups competition manager, wrote.
"We see terrific software made by young people, like Facebook and Twitter, getting used not just for recreation but for politics, protest movements, and global issue awareness. We see people playing Angry Birds at bus stops who would never have played a game on their phone two years ago. And we realized that Imagine Cup needed to change, too," he explained the need for the three new competitions.
Beside those three, Microsoft is also hosting three "great challenges," a Windows 8 App challenge, a Windows Phone challenge and a Windows Azure one. The prizes for these are $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000 for the first three places, respectively.