Take a look around you. We all know smart people. Now imagine if you could harness the talent, skill, vision, and drive of all the smart people you know to create massive change for good.

That's what we're talking about. We're talking about coming together to create and ideate for a better future using apps. Will you rise to the challenge?

To celebrate the launch of the highly anticipated Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 products, we're partnering with Microsoft to empower app creators to take their ideas to the streets. 

Whether you are a hacker at heart, a social do-gooder, a youth activist, or a developer with an innovative mind and skills to implement, we want your creativity entering the Microsoft marketplace.

If you have a good idea, the potential to change lives and the ability to create your app, starting today, November 5, 2012 through February 28, 2013, your app has the opportunity to make it to the top for up to US$15,000 in prizes.

Just remember, Microsoft Citizenship defines a social good application 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."

Some examples of social issues that you may want to explore include clean water, literacy, food security, and the environment. These are all, but not limited to issues that can be aided through the creative use of technology through apps.

Contest Information

What Are the Prizes?

There are three categories of prizes:

  • Best Overall Windows 8 App: $15,000
  • Best Overall Windows 8 Phone App: $15,000
  • People's Choice App: $10,000

Important Dates

Project submissions: November 5 – February 28
Public voting: March 1 – March 15
Winners Announced: March 25

Ready to Get Started? Here's How to Proceed

  • Create a Windows 8 app focused on social good (collaborations encouraged!)
  • Publish the app on the Windows Store
  • Register the application project on the contest website
  • Check out the other apps, then vote on your favorites in March!

For the purposes of this contest, Microsoft Citizenship recommends 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. And of course, you can find more information, including participant criteria and other "fine print" details here.

Show the world how a great idea, a few lines of code, and Windows 8 can change lives for the better. Good luck and happy coding!

Top Image: Windows 8, comedynose
Bottom Image: Microsoft Corp.

Alexandra Bezdikian
Interactive Events and Video Producer
TechSoup Global