Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure in Seattle launched today.
"Ten startups have been selected to participate in the three-month intense hands-on mentor program powered by our partners at TechStars and Microsoft BizSpark program, where they will develop new products and businesses using Windows Azure," Microsoft stated.
Microsoft and StackOverflow announced a new Windows 8 app contest dubbed "Apptivate" aims to promote developers to develop apps up until and after Windows 8 launches in a month.
"Apptivate actually rewards participants even if they don't write a single line of code or actually develop an application."
The total prize pool worth $15,000 is made up of a $5,000 grand cash prize to the two best judged apps, $500 runner up cash prizes, Windows RT tablets, copies of Windows 8 and shirts (who doesn't love free clothing).
The contest ends December 19, 2012 but app submissions close December 6, 2012.
People can enter the contest just by voting on apps, commenting on apps, asking and answering questions about Windows 8 and participate in the chat room (first one in a few hours). You can register here to get started and start voting, commenting or writing code.
Earlier today at IAB MIXX, Qi Lu, president of the Online Services Division at Microsoft, introduced Windows 8 Ads in Apps concepts with Agency Partners at Advertising Week 2012.
"For in-app ad concepts, we are considering Windows 8 a brand new advertising canvas that offers endless opportunities. The connected user interface and unique, fluid design of Windows 8 will encourage people to explore and discover ads without disrupting their experience. Based on that, we set out not to just create new ad formats - our goal was to rethink the entire experience," Microsoft Advertising wrote.
"The results of our co-ideation sessions and work are the first five unique, custom advertising scenarios that feature major brand campaign concepts within marquee publisher apps - including Delta Airlines in an NBC News app, Finish Line in an LA Times app, Ford Fusion in a Chicago Tribune app, Jeep in an AccuWeather app and Goldfish Crackers in a Slacker Radio app."
In the video, you can see creative examples of relevant, connected experiences take flight on this powerful and broad-reaching consumer platform with the potential to transform the way consumers perceive and interact with advertising.