Nokia and Microsoft Join Forces to Empower Local Talent with The Midnight Developer Challenge

Chance to win US $33,000 worth of cash prizes in the region’s biggest and first ever student app development contest organised jointly by Nokia and Microsoft

Bahrain, 09 December 2012: Nokia and Microsoft are challenging university students in the Middle East and Africa to come up with the next big mobile app idea through ‘The Midnight Developer Challenge’ – its first and the region’s biggest ever student app development competition. Registration for the competition is currently ongoing until December 15th, with hundreds of students from over 25 countries participating. The competition is aimed at providing students with exposure and training in the latest mobile and app development technologies.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for students to get real life experience in designing, developing and distributing a mobile app for consumers in an emerging app economy,” said Joe Devassy, Head of Developer Experience, Nokia IMEA. “We designed this competition to maximise the learning process of this entrepreneurial journey – that is, how to go from an abstract idea to a fully-developed Windows Phone 8 app available to millions of consumers worldwide.”

“This initiative, which empowers young local talent with world-class opportunities to develop and learn about the latest advances in mobile app technology, is testament to our commitment to the region. Windows Phone 8 is a great mobile platform and there is immense opportunity for developers to leverage and utilise the innovative features of the Nokia Lumia range including augmented reality navigation, NFC and imaging,” said Amintas Lopes Neto, Academia and Startups Lead, Microsoft MEA.

Over the next three months, students who have registered for the competition will receive advanced technical training and coding sessions with Nokia and Microsoft software experts through weekly webinars and dedicated online support to help them conceptualize their ideas. Both Nokia and Microsoft will also be working closely with the universities to ensure faculty support is provided for students who enter the competition.

The contest is divided into two categories – Apps and Games. Each category will have a winner and a runners-up prize. The winning team will walk away with US $10,000, a trip to a Nokia Global event, plus an XBOX and Lumia 920 for each team member. The runner-up team will receive US $5,000, an XBOX and a Lumia 920 for each team member.

Additionally there will be a People’s Choice category, whereby the winner will receive US $3,000 plus an XBOX and a Lumia 920 for each team member. Participants of The Midnight Developer Challenge also have the opportunity to be eligible to participate in the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013 Windows Phone Challenge – a high level global Window Phone app development contest organised by Microsoft.

Teams of up to three members can register online for The Midnight Developer Challenge. The apps and games must be developed using the newly released Windows Phone 8 SDK (Software Development Kit)

For more information about the contest – please visit http://apps.facebook.com/midnightdeveloper/

About Nokia

At Nokia, we are committed to connecting people. We combine advanced technology with personalized services that enable people to stay close to what matters to them. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people connect to one another with a Nokia device – from mobile phones to advanced smartphones and high-performance mobile computers. Nokia’s NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, while Nokia Siemens Networks provides equipment, services and solutions for communications networks globally. This Nokia press release and other news are available at http://press.nokia.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center athttp://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed athttp://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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