Microsoft Showcases Malaysian Apps

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KUALA LUMPUR, 29 April 2014 — Microsoft Malaysia (“Microsoft”) continues its drive to put the local app developer community center stage, by having an awards ceremony to celebrate local developers for their innovative ideas and hard work in developing them into apps for the Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 ecosystem. Held at Media Prima Theatrette in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, the celebratory event saw more than 50 local developers receive due recognition and reward for their respectively accomplishment and participation in the various app development initiatives organized by Microsoft, namely the Discover MY Apps 2014 hackathon – a partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in conjunction with Visit Malaysia year 2014; DevSorcerer (Season 2) – a partnership with Cradle Fund’s Ideas2Invest (i2i) and Hack In The Box (HITB); and the Top Partner Awards.

Microsoft has been creating an impact in transforming education and driving innovation in Malaysia for more than 20 years, by inspiring students and software developers to take up the challenge to gear up for success – personally and professionally. According to Dinesh Nair, Director of Developer and Platform Evangelism, Microsoft Malaysia, “As the ICT sector continues to be an important driver of economic growth, youth with ICT skills will find themselves better qualified for new employment and entrepreneurial activities. Microsoft is dedicated not only to helping young Malaysians harness their talents and accelerate their progress, but equally as important is to provide an ecosystem in which they can thrive. Partnerships are key to Microsoft to achieve this; from the technology to the support system, and the infrastructure needed, Microsoft is committed to working with the Government and industry stakeholders to invest in training these talents.”

Discover MY Apps – Microsoft’s annual Windows Hackathon this year – harnessed the creative power of local software developers to create innovative apps that highlight the beauty and wonders of Malaysia. Discover MY Apps is a collaborative effort between Microsoft and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, with the support from partners such as BizClub PKNS, Cradle Fund, MacroKiosk, MDeC, Media Prima Digital, MY Teksi, Netizen Testing, TM and UX Malaysia.

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Team Look, first prize winner of Discover My Apps hackathon.

Rashidi Hasbullah, Deputy Secretary General (Tourism Industry), Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MoTaC)who graced the event, was delighted with how youth and technology are coming together to make a positive change, in this case for the tourism industry. He said, “The world today would be a very different place without technology. As technology is evolving faster than ever before, travelers around the world have also become much more technology-savvy than in the past. As more people are connected to each other, with access to the vast pool of information available online, an increasing number of travelers are seeking information – holiday destinations, flight reservations, hotel reviews – via the Internet prior to making any travel decisions. The biggest challenge therefore is to bridge this gap between the tourism and technology industries.”

He continued, “The Discover MY Apps competition for our local app developers not only supports the Ministry’s tourism efforts by creating globally accessible information about our country and culture for travelers, it also contributes to nation-building by providing a platform for local talents to embrace entrepreneurism and innovation. As Malaysians, we all have a collective responsibility to nurture and train the next leaders of the country, but this role is not exclusively the Government’s. It is also a shared responsibility with the private sector and other key stakeholders. I am glad that Microsoft shares the country’s priorities, in this case supporting the Ministry’s efforts in promoting Malaysia as a top holiday destination in the world, and at the same time empowering youth by providing them with the opportunity to unleash their creativity, hone their skills, and become change-makers.”

Media Prima Digital, Malaysia’s largest digital media group, said that the chance to host the awards ceremony was a great opportunity to show its support for the nation’s digital industry, and also the minds behind the success of it. “We are glad to extend our venue to host the celebrations to recognize our local app developers. These talents thoroughly deserve the acknowledgement for their creative ideas but more importantly, the hard work and detail they have put into it. Initiatives like Discover MY Apps exemplifies what the synergy between technology and innovation can create: an opportunity to create a brighter future for the next generation of Malaysians. Our collaboration with Microsoft and the other partners has been a fruitful experience,” said Lam Swee Kim, Group General Manager, Media Prima Digital.

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Team Social Mapper, the overall winner for DevSorcerer 2.

The event also saw recognition for the winner of DevSorcerer (Season 2) and a special category to acknowledge top partners who have developed apps on the Windows 8 platform.

Abdullah Abbas, from the team that was the overall winner of DevSorcerer 2, was ecstatic with the achievement, saying, “Personally, this is actually the second time I have participated in the DevSorcerer series. This time round it was exciting for me and the team because the format of the competition was slightly different; we were required to solve various challenges prepared by the judges. It is not only a way for us to understand more about Microsoft technology, but it also allowed us to mingle around with other participants and discuss ideas that we can potentially do together in the future. As a developer, it was a very good opportunity for me to learn how to build better apps, and to share my experience with others.”

Adding to that, Dinesh said, “Experiences like the one Abbas had are the kind that we hope to increasingly see through the many initiatives we have been doing for the local developer community. From the WOWZAPP hackathon and Asian Development Bank’s AppsForAsia program in the past, to the recent Microsoft Imagine Cup – and now the recognition for Discover MY App, DevSorcerer 2 and Top Partner developers – it is clear that our youth have the brilliance and the tenacity to be the world’s best. What is lacking however are opportunities for these developers to showcase their talents, both locally and globally. That is exactly what we have been doing, and will continue to do – providing opportunities.”

With over 140,000 apps now available on the Windows Store, Microsoft is on a constant drumbeat to provide an avenue for the local developer community for all things app. “Developers at today’s event will have the support of Microsoft Malaysia to further their ambition through the Mobile App Acceleration Camp (MAAC), a global Microsoft program that gives participants the technical, business, and financial support to help build a great app for the Windows platform. If selected, teams stand to receive a grant of up to 70,000 Euro (RM316,600) to develop their app. Locally, developers can look forward to //publish/, an event where they can bring existing apps and game projects to code with developers from around the world. Developers will receive onsite support from Microsoft and community experts to remove blockers and add the finishing touches to their projects,” concluded Dinesh.

To view the full list of local apps made by Malaysians, for Malaysians – please visit http://aka.ms/myapps