Sunday, September 23, 2012

Microsoft, The biggest thing about India is the scale


 More than 3,000 developers gathered at the KTPO grounds in Whitefield, Bangalore, on Friday to write applications for Windows 8 as the company bid for entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most participants in a single app development event. 

"The work involved in getting the venue ready was substantial," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "The ground was uneven - it had to be levelled. Then the infrastructure - we have 63 generator trucks standing by. We had to put in place 4,000 power connections. I think there's around 60,000 feet of cabling that had to be laid. Then there was Internet access to be provided - 2 GB of bandwidth . We have something like 500 people working as crew." 
The 18 hour event has to follow certain rules to qualify for inclusion in the Guinness Book. Paul O'Neill , vice president for the Guiness Book of World Records , laid these out in his opening speech. "Participants cannot step out of the premises for more than 60 minutes. They need to have a background in computer science or computer engineering or the sciences. The final number will be the number of developers present at the site at 8:00 am on Saturday." 

Steven Sinofsky, the president of Windows and Windows Live at Microsoft, sent a video message wishing the developers luck. For Microsoft, the app fest is a build-up to the launch of Windows 8 on October 26, and a means to create excitement amongst developers to build on that platform. 

Indian IT icon and UID evangelist Nandan Nilekani also made an appearance - wishing he was thirty years younger and able to roll up his sleeves and get into the code with the rest of the participants. 

Participants from all over India huddled over laptops running Windows 8 RTM (release to manufacturing) and Microsoft's Visual Studio 2012. There were a few Macs as well. Sreeju, a 31 year old city based software professional, came to the event with a Mac. "I had to cover the Mac logo with sticker tape," he grinned. Unfortunately, the tape wasn't opaque enough and his notebook, along with a few others, did attract attention. 

A group of R V College of Engineering students said they worked their way through a Windows 8 media centre app. Balachander, a final year computer science student, said, "The new UI does take some getting used to." 

Guinness's Paul O'Neill screened random participants for credentials: "We have screened around a 100 participants so far. They have been extremely enthusiastic about the event. We are optimistic that a record will be made today ." 

"The biggest thing about India is the scale of things," says Joseph Landes, general manager of developer & platform evangelism at Microsoft India. "Abroad, we get 100-200 developers at these events, here we have thousands participating." 

The enthusiasm was borne out by the fact that the first app - a Web Radio app - was completed in less than 6 hours after the event launched. 

KTPO grounds in Whitefield, Bangalore, on Friday to write More than 3,000 developers gathered at the KTPO grounds in Whitefield, Bangalore, on Friday to write applications for Windows 8 as the company bid for entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most participants in a single app development event. 

"The work involved in getting the venue ready was substantial," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "The ground was uneven - it had to be levelled. Then the infrastructure - we have 63 generator trucks standing by. We had to put in place 4,000 power connections. I think there's around 60,000 feet of cabling that had to be laid. Then there was Internet access to be provided - 2 GB of bandwidth . We have something like 500 people working as crew." 

The 18 hour event has to follow certain rules to qualify for inclusion in the Guinness Book. Paul O'Neill , vice president for the Guiness Book of World Records , laid these out in his opening speech. "Participants cannot step out of the premises for more than 60 minutes. They need to have a background in computer science or computer engineering or the sciences. The final number will be the number of developers present at the site at 8:00 am on Saturday." 

Steven Sinofsky, the president of Windows and Windows Live at Microsoft, sent a video message wishing the developers luck. For Microsoft, the app fest is a build-up to the launch of Windows 8 on October 26, and a means to create excitement amongst developers to build on that platform. 

Indian IT icon and UID evangelist Nandan Nilekani also made an appearance - wishing he was thirty years younger and able to roll up his sleeves and get into the code with the rest of the participants. 

Participants from all over India huddled over laptops running Windows 8 RTM (release to manufacturing) and Microsoft's Visual Studio 2012. There were a few Macs as well. Sreeju, a 31 year old city based software professional, came to the event with a Mac. "I had to cover the Mac logo with sticker tape," he grinned. Unfortunately, the tape wasn't opaque enough and his notebook, along with a few others, did attract attention. 

A group of R V College of Engineering students said they worked their way through a Windows 8 media centre app. Balachander, a final year computer science student, said, "The new UI does take some getting used to." 

Guinness's Paul O'Neill screened random participants for credentials: "We have screened around a 100 participants so far. They have been extremely enthusiastic about the event. We are optimistic that a record will be made today ." 

"The biggest thing about India is the scale of things," says Joseph Landes, general manager of developer & platform evangelism at Microsoft India. "Abroad, we get 100-200 developers at these events, here we have thousands participating." 

The enthusiasm was borne out by the fact that the first app - a Web Radio app - was completed in less than 6 hours after the event launched. 

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