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Project of the Week: Microsoft Federal Apps Contest

GovLoop is proud to have Microsoft as one of its 2010 Premiere Partners. This week, we’re highlighting their new Federal Apps Contest. You can learn more below from our interview with Michael Meldeau, Microsoft’s Federal Marketing Manager.

1. Can you provide a brief overview of the project?

Meldeau: Microsoft Federal has created an exciting new
application contest to support the launch of Windows Phone! Beginning October 1, partners, developers and developer hobbyists can enter to win an Xbox 360 4GB console with KINECT if their Federal Department of Defense or Federal Civilian Windows Phone 7 application is chosen as one of TEN winning applications selected by our judges! It all kicked off with the release of the FREE Windows Phone 7 Developer Kit, and ends December 15th at 12:00 midnight P.M. (PST). Winners will be announced on Friday, December 17th.

2. What was the impetus for its creation?

Meldeau: Windows Phone is arriving at a unique time for mobile users. In recent years, there have been major shifts in technology; social media has gone main stream, there is a soaring demand for smartphones and we have experienced the “consumerization” of IT. This shift in technology has allowed Federal Agencies to embrace Gov 2.0 ideologies and find ways to harness the power of this technology to address some of America’s thorniest problems. Mobile application technology has driven significant increases in interagency transparency, connectivity with many politicians’ constituents and has provided ordinary citizens with information that was previously not available to the masses. By leveraging its sizeable Developer Community, Microsoft has created a contest to help stimulate awareness of the many benefits of citizen facing applications for the Federal Government and have provided them free tools to help them create these applications. Oh yes, and we threw in a few XBOX 360’s as prizes to help drive some out-of-the-box creative thinking.

3. Who are your target communities?

Meldeau: For this contest we are targeting the sizeable developer community and
individuals who are application development enthusiasts. Unfortunately, government employees are not eligible to enter this contest.

4. How do you compare to similar projects?

Meldeau: This contest is actually the first of its kind for Microsoft’s U.S. Public Sector developer community. But given the excitement and the volume of Federal Apps nominated to date, I might keep my eyes open for similar announcements that could be coming soon!

5. Got any early examples of success?

Meldeau: In fairness to the teams that have created these apps to date, we will hold off on sharing their creative ideas until the contest is over. However, here is a list we pulled together of what we think are GREAT application ideas to be developed for Windows Phone!

– Apps that provide the address and/or phone number to the closest MWR Lodge based on user GPS location
– Physical Training (PT)/Physical Readiness Training (PRT) qualifications and criteria for Federal Law Enforcement
– Search feature to check per diem rates for government employees in all U.S. cities
– Lawmaker bios app

6. What’s your ultimate vision for the project?

Meldeau: Our vision is to foster application development that allow for increased knowledge exchanges between Federal leadership and their constituents.

7. Anything we missed that you’d like to share?

Meldeau: The
Federal Apps Contest – Dream it, Build it, Win it!

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