Microsoft YouthSpark to Create Opportunities for 300M Youths; Windows Azure Mobile Services SDK Open Sourced; Partnership with Xamarin;

Microsoft YouthSpark, a new Micorosoft global initiative that is designed to help create new opportunities for 300 million young people in 100 countries over the next three years.Through Microsoft YouthSpark, "the company will dedicate the majority of its cash contributions to nonprofits that serve the youth population around the world."In addition, "Microsoft YouthSpark will include […]

Microsoft YouthSpark, a new Micorosoft global initiative that is designed to help create new opportunities for 300 million young people in 100 countries over the next three years.

Through Microsoft YouthSpark, "the company will dedicate the majority of its cash contributions to nonprofits that serve the youth population around the world."

In addition, "Microsoft YouthSpark will include Office 365 for education, free technology tools for all teachers and students to power learning and collaboration, and Skype in the classroom, a free global community for teachers to connect their students with others around the world.," Microsoft stated.

In addition, Microsoft also launching a range of new citizenship programs:

  • Give for Youth, a global microgiving marketplace focused on raising funds for nonprofits that support youth causes around the world.
  • Microsoft YouthSpark Hub, an online space where people can explore and access all the youth services, programs and resources provided by Microsoft and its nonprofit partners.
  • Microsoft Innovate for Good, a global online community enabling youth to collaborate, inspire and support one another while using technology to make a difference in their communities.

Please find out more about Microsoft YouthSpark here.

Windows Azure Mobile Services--a turnkey backend solution for Windows Store app-- is now open sourced.

"We will continue to develop the Mobile Services SDK openly and transparently in this repository. All code in this repository will be fully supported by Microsoft, and community contributions are welcome!," Microsoft stated.

You can find Windows Azure SDK contribution guidelines here. The Windows Azure Mobile Services Repository contains the Mobile Services SDK.

Microsoft partnering with Xamarin now deliver the ability to write iOS and Android apps in C# and then tie them to a scalable and secure Mobile Services backend.

"Xamarin products empower more than 175,000 developers to write native apps for iOS and Android--all in C#."

"Subsequent Mobile Services preview releases will add full support for native iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps through the Windows Azure portal," Microsoft adds.

For more information, please visit the Mobile Services developer center.

Microsoft also announced today "Windows AppFest,"--Starting at September 21st, "an 18-hour coding marathon called Windows AppFest begins in what is known as the "Silicon Valley of India" - Bangalore," Microsoft posted.

"This event represents an opportunity for developers to come together to learn how to build great apps and network with Microsoft programmers and design specialists. Developers will get help and guidance on preparing their apps for certification and ultimately submission into the Windows Store," the company adds.

And developers who attend "might wind up contributing to a new entry in the Guinness World Records for the world's largest coding marathon!"

Developers from other contries can also participate--they need to just hit up the Windows Dev Center for all the tools and resources needed to build an app for Windows 8.

Developers can go to the Windows Store Dashboard on the Windows Dev Center and sign up today!