The Microsoft Imagine Cup brings together students from all over the world and asks them to use their creativity and passion for technology to help solve the world’s toughest problems. This year is the 10th anniversary of Imagine Cup and over this period, we have more than 1.65M students from 194 countries who have participated. The 10th Worldwide Finals will be held in Sydney, Australia from July 6-10 and more than 350 finalists from 75 countries will be competing for the top prizes.

Students are at the forefront of technology adoption and Imagine Cup is an example of how students are building apps as a means to solving problems, connecting with people, and experimenting with new business models and ideas. This is the 10th year anniversary of Imagine Cup and we’ve just launched the People’s Choice Awards so that you can vote for your favorite Imagine Cup Worldwide Finalist team. Over 60 teams submitted videos that are packed with innovative ideas – from creating a mobile phone app for early detection of throat disease, to turning a mobile phone into a metal detector so anyone can steer clear of un-exploded landmines, or using a Kinect sensor to engage autistic children into educational and social experiences.

Jessica Watson, Young Australian of the Year 2011 and the youngest person to sail non-stop and unassisted around the world, asks you to celebrate the amazing work of student innovators by voting in the Imagine Cup 2012 People's Choice Award. Check out her video here.

Please go to the People’s Choice Award site and vote – and then ask your friends, family and network to vote. The more people learn about this, meet the students, and see the projects, the more they see how innovative our technologies are and how they can be used to truly change the world. 

Here are some interesting facts about how these students are using technology and new software to imagine solutions for the world: 

  • Metro is in: 20% of all student projects are using Windows 8 in their ideas
  • Head in the clouds: Nearly half of all finalist projects are using Windows Azure in their projects – from tracking pollutions levels in the environment to diagnosing diseases.
  • Natural User Interface rules: 66% of education focused projects made education more interactive with Kinect.
  • It’s not just the phone that’s smart: Windows Phone7 is the most commonly used technology with 62% of all finalist teams (54 total) creating WP7-based solutions to address challenges from healthcare to education
  • Technology is for everyone:  20% of the worldwide finalists are women with three all-women teams competing in the Software Design category.