It was a weekend (November 9-11) that brought together thousands of youths with creative and technical skills. Students interested in developing applications for use on a mobile phone, tablet, or personal computer had a chance to exhibit their capabilities at Wowzapp 2012 (Worldwide Hackathon for Windows) organised by Microsoft Corp.

About 16,500 students worldwide, including 3,500 students from 14 Indian cities, registered themselves for Wowzapp 2012 that was held in more than 100 locations in different countries. The participants used languages such as C++, C, and JavaScript to develop applications on Windows 8. Those approved will be available on the Windows Store apps.

Microsoft provided the participants with free software to create applications, Windows Store registration code, and expert and trainer assistance at each hackathon location.

According to Pratima Amonkar, Strategic Audience Marketing for Microsoft India, 80-90 applications were expected from each Indian centre, including games and public utility applications.

The students received assistance in terms of explanation of basic concepts, online sources for ideas, mentoring and tools. Ms. Amonkar said students in India were the largest users of Microsoft DreamSpark (designer and developer tools), with more than five million downloads done last year.

The applications the participants developed and uploaded during the event will go through an internal review. Those approved will make it to the Windows Store apps. If the participants opted for paid applications, they would also earn from what they created.

Many students continue with development works even after the event, and Microsoft will continue to engage with them through training programmes and inputs and posts through the social media.

In September, Microsoft conducted an appfest in Bangalore, in which 800 students participated. It also plans training programmes and events to encourage students in design aspects.

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