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  • Blog Post: Text-Free Interfaces for the Illiterate

    Most computer applications are difficult to understand for those who are unable to read fluently. The heavy use of text in everything from menus to document content means that those who are illiterate are not able to access functions and services implemented on most computer software. According to the...
  • Blog Post: Imagine Cup and the Rural Innovation Award — Michael Rawding

    Those of you that follow Microsoft might be familiar with Imagine Cup – an annual student technology competition that Microsoft sponsors. This year Unlimited Potential has worked with Imagine Cup to add a new category -- the Rural Innovation Award . At its core, Imagine Cup is about capturing...
  • Blog Post: Technology’s Impact to Those in Need—Edward Granger-Happ, CIO, Save the Children; Chairman, NetHope

    I’m pleased to be participating in the judging panel of this year’s Rural Innovation Award at Imagine Cup 2008—evaluating the brilliant work of the young students who have created new technology solutions targeted to the needs of the world’s least fortunate citizens. Technology is a key capacity...
  • Blog Post: Designing for the Other 90%- Paul Polak

    Hello- I’m Paul Polak, one of the judges of this year’s inaugural Rural Innovation Award at the 2008 Imagine Cup. I’m thrilled to be attending this year in Paris to examine the technology innovations that this amazing crop of young minds has created to help address the most pressing solutions of rural...
  • Blog Post: How do people engage with PCs for the first time?

    Given that most of us have encountered PCs from the time we were in school or college, it may be difficult to think of what it was like to discover the PC for the first time! But most adults in countries like India are new to PCs, and usually view it as a rather intimidating device. Inspired by...
  • Blog Post: Think Beyond Technology!

    On my first trip to India, I remember going to visit a rural village near Bhopal, where the Union Carbide chemical disaster happened. The visit was prompted by stories about a large agriculture conglomerate which had placed the first PC in the village in the home of one of the local farmers. I’ll come...
  • Blog Post: VOTE! Imagine Cup People's Choice Award

    The People's Choice Award website for this year's Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in Cairo is up and running! To make it easy for you to vote, we have published videos from all of our software design finalists online. Every single student who entered the competition focused on how they could use technology...
  • Blog Post: Partnerships to Transform Education and Create Opportunity in Latin America—Orlando Ayala

    I’m just now wrapping up the second day of this year’s Government Leaders Forum—Americas (GLF), and I wanted to share some more stories around today’s events. I’ve been busy meeting with a variety of local and regional government and business leaders as well as our partners from a broad range of groups...
  • Blog Post: Steve Ballmer witnesses how young Indonesian innovators are working to prevent the spread of Malaria

    By Bonnie Mamanua, Unlimited Potential Group Business Manager, Microsoft Indonesia Last week we welcomed our CEO, Steve Ballmer, to Indonesia. Steve was here to hold meetings with Microsoft staff as well as political and business leaders, but while he had five minutes spare he was also able to...
  • Blog Post: The Human Impact on Innovation-Kentaro Toyama, Assistant Managing Director, Microsoft Research India

    I do research in an area called ICT4D, short for “information and communication technology for development” – the goal of which is to invent technologies that support socio-economic development of poor communities worldwide ( http://research.microsoft.com/research/tem ). But, the more I understand ICT4D...
  • Blog Post: The Rural Innovation Award Finals--Kentaro Toyama, Assistant Managing Director, Microsoft Research India

    This morning, we heard presentations by the five teams in the finals for the Rural Innovation Award at the Imagine Cup 2008 . All five teams did an amazing job, and the enthusiasm and the quality of the work really made me appreciate what the Imagine Cup is all about. In alphabetical order by country...
  • Blog Post: Imagine Cup US Finals - People’s Choice (that means YOU!)

    Next week some of the brightest – and youngest – minds in America will compete in the US Finals of the Imagine Cup , Microsoft’s worldwide student technology competition. Fifteen student teams were chosen out of thousands to showcase the technology applications they designed to help “solve the world...
  • Blog Post: Addressing food shortages in India-- Novices@Work

    The following guest post comes from Novices@Work, a team of finalists for the Imagine Cup Rural Innovation Award from India. They developed a site-specific crop-management system for farmers called Kalpvriksha . The system employs Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) to collect localized data on soil characteristics...
  • Blog Post: Improving Rural Mass Transit Information in South Africa – Team Smile

    The following guest post comes from Team Smile, a team of finalists for the Imagine Cup Rural Innovation Award from South Africa. Team Smile developed WhereIsMyShuttle?, which uses GPS/GPRS tracking devices fitted to buses to provide daily schedules of bus activities via SMS. The system also provides...
  • Blog Post: Imagine Cup Design for Development Award - Tonight's the Night!

    The Imagine Cup finalists for the Unlimited Potential Design for Development Award competed in Cairo yesterday. Early feedback suggests that the judges were deeply impressed by all of the creative thinking and passion that went in to the projects, designed to help solve one of the eight United Nations...
  • Blog Post: Connecting citizens with government in Indonesia – Team Antarmuka

    The following guest post comes from Antarmuka, a team of finalists for the Imagine Cup Rural Innovation Award from Indonesia. Antarmuka developed a reporting system, Butterfly, which allows users to immediately report environmental problems that they discover via voice, SMS, MMS or alternatively, mobile...
  • Blog Post: U.S. Imagine Cup Winners - Team MultiPoint Web

    After three days of intense competition from technology students across the country, the winner of the U.S. software design finalist for this year’s Imagine Cup was announced today. Congratulations to Team MultiPoint Web ! Jimmy, Mark and Luke Dickinson, three brothers from Oregon attending Georgia State...
  • Blog Post: Innovating with Windows MultiPoint—Kablujen Digerati

    The following guest post comes from Kablujen Digerati, a team of finalists representing Malta at last year’s Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals. They developed an innovative system for the classroom, KIKI, built on Windows MultiPoint technology. We got to know about the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition...
  • Blog Post: First Place Imagine Cup Design for Development Award goes to COSMIC!

    This just in from Cairo...a big congratulations to team COSMIC from U niversiti Sains Malaysia ! At tonight’s Imagine Cup closing ceremony staged in front of the Pyramids , Jasy Liew Suet Yan, Loo Wan Koe, Mathew Phiong Yoon Kheong, Ooi Keng Siang were awarded the 1st place Unlimited Potential...
  • Blog Post: Imagine Cup Students Travel to Redmond

    Last week, students participating in the Imagine Cup traveled to Microsoft’s Redmond campus to meet with various Microsoft teams as they prepare for the 2009 Worldwide Finals in Cairo, Egypt. Team SKAN from India and Team MultiPoint WEB from the U.S. used the opportunity to network with developers and...
  • Blog Post: Social Entrepreneurs in the Making

    It is Imagine Cup season! Known as the “Olympics of Technology,” Microsoft Imagine Cup is the preeminent student technology competition in the world. This year, over 300,000 students from 100 countries are vying for a chance to compete in the Worldwide Finals in Cairo and all trying to solve the world...
  • Blog Post: Mission Moscow

    All eyes are on Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) this week as Michael Rawding and a handful of his Unlimited Potential team members tour the region. We’re heading out this morning to check in on Moscow-based iCafe partner Cafémax and will also catch up with the Russian Imagine Cup teams later today....
  • Blog Post: Design for Development Finalists Announced!

    Only two weeks to go until the Imagine Cup 2009 Worldwide Finals in Cairo, Egypt! Our judges have narrowed the field of entrants for the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Design for Development Award and selected five finalist teams. I would like to thank each of the teams that submitted an entry for...