Microsoft announces Code2Fame Challenge winners

With Windows Home Server just about ready to be released to the masses, this week Microsoft revealed the winners of the first Code2Fame Challenge—a contest dedicated to finding the most innovative Windows Home Server add-ins. HangZhou Night Net

With the release of Windows Home Server, Microsoft has been doing all it can to promote the operating system as a fantastic development platform. The Software Development Kit has been geared to appeal to both hobbyists and professional developers with its simple but powerful APIs. With that in mind, the Redmond giant has been doing all it can to build up the small Windows Home Server development community. This past week, that community received a little more attention as the Microsoft-sponsored Code2Fame Challenge came to an end.

From June to August of this year, the Code2Fame Challenge was a contest open to developers in the United States and Canada. The goal was to see who could create the most interesting, useful, and innovative add-in for Windows Home Server. Besides notoriety, the winner of the contest would also receive $10,000. Second and third place finishers would get $5,000 and $1,000, respectively. The results of the contest, which were released Wednesday, were decided by a panel of "Home Server" experts including Ed Bott, Paul Thurrott, and Rob Enderle.

After receiving a variety of submissions, the judges awarded Andrew Grant the grand prize for Whiist, an add-in that allows users to easily create web pages on their Home Server *.com site simply through drag-and-drop actions. Once Whiist is installed, a "Website Management" tab is created on the Home Server Console. From there, a user can upload HTML documents (including ones from Word), edit pages, create photo albums, create new web sites, and set access restrictions. Grant's web site has a comprehensive overview of Whiist, including screenshots and tutorials.

The second and third place applications, while not nearly as impressive as Whiist, should still be useful for Home Server users. Finishing in second place, Jungle Disk uses's Simple Storage Service to backup Windows Home Server data remotely. Third place winner Community Feeds for Windows Home Server does just what its name implies: it uses RSS to deliver text, audio, and video content to Windows Home Server. Any Windows Media Connect-compatible device can then view the content, which opens up possibilities for creating custom feeds for your Xbox 360 or any other digital media receiver in your home.

Creating a Windows Home Server add-in is not overly difficult for those with a small amount of development experience. As long as the operating system is reasonably popular—and it should be, based on the feedback I've heard—the development community that focuses on it will continue to grow.

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