Do you have an idea that will help children learn how to read? Are you passionate about keeping our environment clean? Well now you have the opportunity to create an app that can help the world -- and win up to $15,000 in the process.

To celebrate the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Microsoft recently announced the “Apps for Social Good” contest to encourage developers to create apps that positively impact the world. From improving education to providing access to clean water, developers can use technology to positively change lives.

 

For the purposes of the contest, Microsoft Citizenship defines an app for social good as “a good or service that provides some sort of benefit to the general public and doesn’t solely exist to provide the maximum possible return to shareholders.” Examples of social issues include clean water, literacy, food security and a healthy environment, all of which can be aided through the innovative use of technology, including simple apps.

There are 3 steps you must take to enter the Windows 8 Apps for Good contest:

  1. Create a Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 app focused on social good (see definition above)
  2. Publish the app on the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store
  3. Register the application project on the contest website

All contest entries are due by Feb. 28, 2013, and after the contest ends, Microsoft will open up the entries for public voting, which will end March 15, 2013. The contest winners will be announced March 25, 2013.

Not sure where to start? Microsoft Citizenship suggests the TechSoup Hacker Help Wiki as a reference. You can also find Windows 8 developer tools on MSDN and be sure to check out the Microsoft YouthSpark Hub for additional resources.

Good Luck and Happy Coding!