Microsoft Corp. yesterday 13th July, 2011 announced the winners of the 9th annual Microsoft Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition, honoring student innovations that address global problems such as improving road and fire safety, eradicating poverty, and creating a more sustainable environment. The company also unveiled plans to launch a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program to help recipients realize their vision of solving the world’s toughest problems.

Creators of winning student projects hail from Bangladesh, Brazil, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Korea, Poland, Romania and Taiwan

The following is a list of the top three winners in each of the five competition categories:

Software Design. Students create innovative software, service solutions and applications that unleash the power of technology to benefit society.

First Place: Team Hermes (Ireland)
Second Place: Team Note-Taker (United States)
Third Place: OaSys (Jordan)

Embedded Development. Students develop embedded devices, working with hardware and software to build solutions that use Windows Embedded Compact 7.

First Place: NTHUCS (Taiwan)
Second Place: Harmonicare (China)
Third Place: Endeavour_Design (Romania)

Game Design. Students select one of three tracks (Mobile, Web or Windows/Xbox) to create games that are not only fun but also help to improve the global community at the same time.

Mobile

First Place: Geekologic (France)
Second Place: Close World Mobile (France)
Third Place: Team Dragon (United States)

Web

First Place: Cellardoor (Poland)
Second Place: Signum Fidei (Philippines)
Third Place: Quegee Team (Slovakia)

Windows/Xbox

First Place: Signum Games (Brazil)
Second Place: JubJub (Thailand)
Third Place: WickedTeam (Czech Republic)

Digital Media. Students create Web videos to share their points of view and generate awareness of critical global issues.

First Place: M.N.A. (Romania)
Second Place: Brothers Forever (Oman)
Third Place: CottonCandy (Taiwan)

Windows Phone 7. Students develop XAP applications for Windows Phone 7 that help solve the world’s toughest problems.

First Place: HOMERUN (Korea)
Second Place: Zipi Zigi (Korea)
Third Place: The LifeLens Project (United States)

In addition to the competition categories above, Imagine Cup includes four challenges. These four challenges provided more opportunities for students to win their share of the total $215,000 (U.S.) cash, as well as other prizes. The following is a list of these winners:

Interoperability Challenge. Students are challenged to pair free and open source software with technology from Microsoft and other companies to create groundbreaking applications.

First Place: alaniarides (Greece)
Second Place: Bells Team (Brazil)
Third Place: DemosceneSpirit (Poland)

IT Challenge. Students are tested on their knowledge of IT systems and faced with unique scenarios and diverse needs to solve, competing for the title of best of the best in the industry.

First Place: Jean-Sébastien Duchene (France)
Second Place: Błażej Matuszyk (Poland)
Third Place: Yunheng Mong (Singapore)

Orchard Challenge. Students use a new CMS platform to create useful, common modules, such as shopping carts, checkout systems, maps and geolocation services, and social interactivity.

First Place: MP Brun (Denmark)
Second Place: Virtual Dreams – Orchard (Brazil)
Third Place: Zveen Zveen Team (Serbia)

Windows 7 Touch Challenge. Students are tasked to develop solutions that use Windows Touch technology while expanding the possibilities of how a user can interact with a computer.

First Place: India Rose (France)
Second Place: _dreambender_ (Indonesia)
Third Place: IUVO (Japan)

Read more on the imaginecup website