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Y-Nots win Windows Azure Challenge at the Microsoft Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals
IT News Online Staff

Microsoft Corp. awarded Y-Nots from India the First Prize in the Windows Azure Challenge at the 11th annual Microsoft Imagine Cup. The team also won the Mail.Ru Group Connected Planet Award, taking home a combined cash prize of $20,000 with additional Boost awards.

The Imagine Cup as the world's premier competition for student technologists brings developers and aspiring entrepreneurs together to create innovative projects and ultimately bring those ideas to market. The competition featured three major categories - Innovation, Games and World Citizenship - as well as three product-specific Challenges - for Windows Azure, Windows Phone and Windows 8 - and eight special awards from Imagine Cup sponsors.

The winners were announced at the Imagine Cup Awards Ceremony, held at the historic Alexandrinsky Theater in St. Petersburg and attended by more than 800 students, judges, awards Partners, Russian dignitaries and members of the media from around the world. The ceremony was the culmination of a four-day competition and celebration of bringing ideas to life through technology and teamwork.

Y-Nots competed among 87 student teams from 71 countries in the Worldwide Finals. Microsoft has awarded cash and other prizes valued at more than $1 million throughout the yearlong Imagine Cup competition, including awards for the winning teams at the Worldwide Finals event this week.

"For the past 11 years, Imagine Cup has been a place of inspiration and innovation for students around the world," said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist at Microsoft. "The students participating in this competition demonstrate the very best in innovation from their home countries and together are creating new apps, innovations and services that will change the way the world works, interacts and learns. We are incredibly proud of the finalists who competed in Imagine Cup this year and stand in awe of the projects and technology they brought forth during this exciting week."

The Indian team won in the Windows Azure Challenge for their project Zoik It!, a dynamic and intelligent social networking tool that allows users to connect with people and activities around them in real-time.

In 2014, Imagine Cup is headed to Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash. As part of this year's awards ceremony, Steve Ballmer addressed the audience via a prerecorded video announcing next year's competition.

Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world's premier technology program and competition for students to learn, build and compete with innovative tools, platform and services. This is the 11th year of Imagine Cup, which was celebrated at the Worldwide Finals in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 8-11. Students are eligible to register and compete in Imagine Cup by visiting A full list of competition categories is available at

In addition to providing a platform for students to demonstrate and share their next great technologies, Imagine Cup has taken on an increased focus in preparing these students to be young entrepreneurs in the global marketplace. All Imagine Cup Worldwide Finalist teams whose projects focus on social good are eligible to apply for Imagine Cup Grants. All Worldwide Finalists teams received grant applications at the finals event in St. Petersburg, and the process will officially close Aug. 16, 2013. In addition, through the Microsoft BizSpark program, Imagine Cup participants can launch startup businesses in their communities and across the Web.