Microsoft and IEEE Computer Society Announce Winners Of Windows ChallengE Competition

REDMOND, Wash., March 21, 2004 — Microsoft Corp., in collaboration with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) Computer Society International Design Competition (CSIDC), today announced the winners of the first Microsoft® Windows®
ChallengE competition. Teams of students from universities across the United States were challenged to design and implement a working prototype device that enhances human safety to correspond with the theme “Make the World a Safer Place.” The first-place team is James Madison University, of Harrisonburg, Va. Second place was awarded to Boston College, of Massachusetts; third place to University of Wisconsin, Madison; fourth place to Santa Clara University, Calif.; and fifth place to San Diego State University, Calif. The winners, and 15 of the Windows ChallengE teams, will go on to compete in the IEEE CSIDC design competition.

During the finals competition held at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., judges reviewed projects from 29 teams, each consisting of four students and a faculty mentor, and narrowed the list to nine finalists. Teams were judged on the originality and design of their prototype, their documentation of the working device, and the device’s potential for use in a real-world application.

“Windows ChallengE is about empowering students to be innovative, think creatively and gain practical skills that they can apply in the real world,” said Scott Horn, director of the Embedded Devices Group at Microsoft. “The projects submitted to the Windows ChallengE are a testament to the smart thinking and innovation that is thriving among students who will someday be a part of the technology work force.”

The winning project, from James Madison University, is an airport security checkpoint device designed to help protect the millions of people who fly every day. The device collects information from a passenger’s boarding pass and uses a chemical sniffer to sense and identify potential high-security risks posed by baggage or passengers. The solution, a combination of a mobile handheld device based on Windows CE .NET 4.2 and a chemical sniffer, would alert security staff if a passenger is on the government’s suspicious persons list, or is carrying dangerous substances. The device uses an adaptive algorithm that enables it to become smarter and more accurate over time, for example, determining the difference between normal items such as soap for personal use and dangerous items such as soap-based explosives. The creative team included Joshua Blake, Justin Creasy, Kevin Ferrell, Marcus O’Malley and Prof. Ramon A. Mata-Toledo.

The Microsoft Windows ChallengE competition, which is a component of the larger CSIDC, is the latest in a series of academic programs that Microsoft is supporting worldwide to better enable excellence and innovation in the next generation of computer science and computer engineering students. The spirit of the competition was to create a working design that showed ingenuity and originality in using Windows CE .NET as the foundation for a device that enhances human safety.

“The Windows ChallengE competition exemplifies Microsoft’s commitment to the next generation of engineers,” said Alan Clements, a member of the IEEE Computer Society’s board of governors. “Our work with Microsoft on this award pays tribute to students whose exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions will have a lasting impact on technology, society and the engineering profession.”

The Windows ChallengE competition is a project of the Windows Embedded Academic Program, which equips educators and researchers with complete embedded software and hardware toolkits that enable cutting-edge research and technology innovation. The free program offers access to source code, development tools and project-development support. More information about the Windows ChallengE and the Windows Embedded Academic Program can be found at . More information about the IEEE Computer Society can be found at .

About Windows CE .NET 4.2

The Windows CE .NET embedded operating system combines an advanced, real-time operating system with the most powerful tools for rapidly creating the next generation of smart, connected, small-footprint devices. The latest version, Windows CE .NET 4.2, expands on the solid foundation developed in previous Windows CE versions by providing more secure and scalable networking, faster performance, richer multimedia and Web-browsing capabilities, and greater application compatibility across Windows CE-based devices. Windows CE .NET 4.2 includes features that create innovative solutions and deliver differentiated user experiences such as performance-based kernel enhancements and two additional preconfigured design templates for voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phones and gateways. In addition, Windows CE .NET 4.2 includes the latest Windows technologies, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, Windows Media®
9 Series codecs and controls, the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 1.0, and a number of other newly supported protocols and services that provide even greater interoperability between PCs, servers, Web services and devices.

About The IEEE Computer Society

The IEEE Computer Society is the leading provider of technical information to the computing industry. The largest of the IEEE’s 37 societies, the Computer Society is also the world’s oldest and largest association of computer professionals. Established in 1946, the society has provided opportunities for professionals to exchange ideas, to solve problems, and to learn what the future of the industry may hold. More information about the Computer Society is available at .

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.

Microsoft, Windows and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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