Get Ready for WOWZAPP 2012 in Malaysia


A few more days to go before WOWZAPP Malaysia 2012 kick start! So what is this WOWZAPP first? Just in case if you don’t know what is WOWZAPP, it is a worldwide hackathon for developers to get building cool apps for Windows 8. There are thousands of developers around the world building apps for the next generation of Windows during this event. WOWZAPP in Malaysia will be on 10-11 Nov 2012 at MMU, Cyberjaya. Music, free food, expert help, free resources will be available there to assist your learning and coding without sleep. Maybe a bit of sleep.

For more information:

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Windows Phone Marketplace Opens for Distribution in Malaysia

According to the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Windows Phone marketplace is now allow submit apps for distribution in 6 new markets; Argentina, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and the Philippines. This is such a great news to kick start year 2012 for Windows Phone developers in Malaysia. But wait, some developers are confused between submitting app targeting Malaysia market and marketplace availability in Malaysia.

I’m come out a list of questions and answers to help clear the doubt regarding this news.


Q: Is marketplace now available in Malaysia?

A: No, even though developers now can targeting Malaysia market when submitting their apps, but Windows Phone marketplace is still not available in Malaysia yet.


Q: When will Windows Phone marketplace available in Malaysia?

A: Microsoft did not make any official statement currently yet, but we can expect the marketplace coming very soon since it now allow apps targeting Malaysia market.


Q: Can Malaysia developers register in App Hub now?

A: No, not yet. Since the marketplace is not available yet.


Q: How can Malaysia developers submit their apps now?

A: Malaysia developers still need to submit their apps through third party company like Yalla App and they can select Malaysia as one of their distribution market.


Q: What is the additional requirement to submit apps targeting Malaysia market?

A: Content that consider as offensive in Malaysia local law are not allowed. Examples of potentially offensive content: [Source: 3.10 Country/Region Specific Requirements]

  • People in revealing clothing or in sexually suggestive poses
  • Religious references
  • Alcohol references
  • Sexual or bathroom humor
  • Simulated or actual gambling


Q: Why start developing Windows Phone apps now, even the marketplace is not available yet?

A: The biggest reason is to get a head start over the other when the marketplace is available. Since we can expect the marketplace coming very soon to Malaysia and apps that targeting Malaysia is still very limited now. This is a great opportunity to kick start a new apps targeting Malaysia users or porting your existing apps from other platforms and stay ahead from your competitors.


I hope this post give a better picture of what actually happen and what you as a Windows Phone developers in Malaysia can expect. If you have any questions, do post on the comment and I will try my best to answer it.

by Ooi Keng Siang via Ooiks’s Blog 

Everyone Deserves To Enjoy Playing Game

Computer or console gaming is fun and everyone deserves to enjoy the fun of playing the game including people with disabilities. I’m very lucky to meet Mark Barlet (Co-founder & President of the AbleGamers Foundation) during the Microsoft Accelerating Asia Pacific at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he bring all different kind of controller devices for Xbox 360 all the way from US to showcase how people with disabilities can enjoy playing game just like anyone else.

As long as you are still alive and breathing, no matter what disabilities you have, there will be a custom made controller device for you to play the game on Xbox 360. I personally try out the controller myself. It is very simple. I can play a racing game with just 2 or 3 fingers only. Well, the easy level of car racing game might look too simple for a hard core gamer, but gaming is purely for the sake of fun here. There are also many other controllers showcase there like controller control by mouth, only left hand or only right hand and many more. All controllers are specially designed for certain disabilities. Of course, Microsoft Kinect with Fruit Ninja game is showcase there too, just swing your hand and cut the fruits!

The Microsoft Accelerating Asia Pacific summit is a media and analyst gathering focused on showcasing how Microsoft, through technology and partnerships, is making a real and positive impact in Asia. One of the objectives is to showcase how Microsoft accessible technology can help improve the living of people with certain disabilities. I’m very impressed with all the guests invited to share their experience on how accessible technology can help them. For example like Tan Siew Ling from Microsoft citizenship share her experience on how those small little features that Microsoft build into operating system like Narrator which help her get connected with everyone in the world through Internet.

With just software alone is not enough, we also need hardware to help. One of the panel discussion invited Mark Barlet, Doojin Choi (Executive Director, National Information Society Agency) and Dr. Young-il Kim (Director, The National Library Support Center for Individuals with Disabilities) to discuss on “Accessibility Principles In Hardware Design”. Yes, we definably need all those hardware to enhance the information and communication technology experience especially for people with disabilities. Not just for the purpose of getting the job done in work, but for the fun of gaming as well.

by Ooi Keng Siang via Ooiks’s Blog

Moving Toward A Better Future

Day two of the Accelerating Asia Pacific summit kicked off with a quote from Bill gates that said, “The world is getting better but it’s not getting better fast enough, and it’s not getting better for everyone”.  This set the tone for the rest of the day where Microsoft showcased their efforts around working together with governments and organizations to create better cities, healthcare services, and disaster response systems.

Technology has been integrated into our daily lives to provide us with better services and facilities. Julian Goh, Urban Planning Director from Siemens Corporate Technology, shared how utilising information and communication technology helped make the impossible possible. For example, the Mass Rapid Transit system in Singapore was improved by sharing critical data to facilitate more transits on the same railway while improving the safety aspect.

As more and more government services in different countries are moving towards an e-government system, technology is now more important than before.  With these technological changes, we are now living in a city we could never have imagined before.

Using information and communication technology to enhance the quality of healthcare is not uncommon but there are still several challenges to be solved such as interoperability between different systems, data privacy, and security.

Jenny Prince (Plunket), Dr. Ilias Yee (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Programme), and Mubbashir Iftikhar (KPJ Healthcare) shared their experience on how technology has created better healthcare services.  In addition, they also recognized that this is just the beginning and recommended that software companies, governments, and patients must work together in order to progress healthcare services.

The infamous Japan 2011 earthquake was the most devastating natural disaster in recent years. It was very interesting to learn that Windows Azure played a major role in processing and monitoring the radiation levels in the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.  Despite the sheer volume of data, the application was created within a day.  In addition, Shugo Ikemoto (NPO Support Center for Program Development) and Kei Kudo (NPO Sodateage Net) shared how technology could aid Japan’s recovery from the disaster.

It was refreshing to learn how Microsoft is making a difference to create a better tomorrow, and a better future. The world is getting better and everyone has a part to play in creating a better tomorrow.

by Ooi Keng Siang (Microsoft Student Partners) via Ooiks’s Blog

The Impact of Microsoft in Asia Pacific

The Accelerating Asia Pacific summit is a media and analyst gathering showcasing how Microsoft, through technology and partnerships, is making a real and positive impact in Asia. I’m honoured to be selected as one of the student bloggers to attend this great event and to share the stories through my blog.  Here are the standout topics and discussions from day 1 of the event.

It’s always interesting to learn more about the latest innovation in Microsoft Research. Prior to this event, I interned at Microsoft Research India for three months so I’m very excited to learn about their latest innovations. Edward Cutrell, Microsoft Research India, shared more about the project call, CGNet Swara, which will enable everyone to report local news or issues in their local language. I can see how this could have an impact in India where a lot of news happens every day but goes unheard by the authorities because it is never covered by the local newspapers. Jonathan Tien also shared about the project Engkoo from Microsoft Research Asia, which enables learning of English in China through translation knowledge from billions of web pages.

Another topic which I thought was really interesting was raising awareness of Microsoft’s efforts in building in features which few people are aware of, such as Narrator, into their operating systems. Tan Siew Ling’s, Society for the Physically Disabled, experience on using features such as Narrator enables visual impaired people to use the computer freely left a deep impression on me, and a greater appreciation for Microsoft and the efforts the company is making to cater to the disabled.

Here’s an interesting thought that came out of a panel discussion on investing in students, start-ups and entrepreneurs – parents in Asia are likely to ask their children if they want to become an engineer or doctor in the future, but never an entrepreneur. This was one of the key barriers for students in Asia Pacific identified by Johnathan Lee from Cradle Fund. Johnathan went on to highlight that some of the fundamentals of starting a business included funding and support which Microsoft’s BizSpark program provides, creating a lower risk opportunity for all entrepreneuers.

The panel discussion “We don’t wait for change, we make change” was one of my favourites from day 1 as it involved two ex-Imagine Cup winners – Levi Tan Ong (Imagine Cup 2010 Game Design category) and James Pinto (Imagine Cup 2008 Embedded Development) together with Hunter Walkengorst from qutbluebox discussing how students can turn their ideas into reality. Because I’m part of the Microsoft Student Partners Social Media Team for Imagine Cup, it was really inspirational to see past competitors take their ideas to the next level and start a business from it.

Next up was my panel discussion on technology engaging students. This was my first time as a panelist and I was really nervous about it but Jason Trump from Microsoft guided me all the way through and I think the discussion went well. I had the opportunity to meet some great people from this panel discussion such as Mechai Viravaiddya from Population and Community Development Association, who started the bamboo school which educates students with all the skills required to earn a living on their own in Thailand. I also met Dr. Vu from HCMC University of Education also shared how technology can help in learning and education. All in all, a fantastic experience for me.

Education through gaming? Yeah, sign me up for that! Kids nowadays play games more than everything else, education through gaming will be more effective now. I strongly agree with the point made by Khong Yee Jian from Creative Robotics Education that with technology like Microsoft’s Kinect, kids can enjoy the game while learning something useful and get some exercise! Levi gave the example of how we can even learn something from a first person shooter game, like Gears of War, through throwing a flash bang before entering the house to rescue the hostages while taking down the enemy at the same time. Hmm, the point seems right to me, although is not something common will happen, but this is something anyone can pick up in the game without realizing it.

The most inspiring thing from day 1 had to be Feng Yan-Ting from Taiwan sharing how technology changed her life. Yan-Ting was diagnosed with cerebral palsy since but this never stopped her from learning computer technology. Through Unlimited Potential program, she can now type e-mail messages and communicate with her family members and friends. Now I’ve always believed that the computer is accessible for everyone, the only question is whether people want to learn it. If Yan-Ting can overcome all her pain and difficulty to learn computer technology, then others who are luckier than her should do it too.

I would say that Microsoft is really making a different to help NGOs, partners and students to achieve their goals through Microsoft technologies. I have no doubts that Microsoft is creating a big impact in Asia as seen through the sharing by the panelists from different countries, fields and background. I’m happy to say that this is all just the beginning, through Microsoft technologies and partnership with NGOs, I strongly believe Microsoft will create a bigger impact in Asia and reach out to everyone who needs the help.

by Ooi Keng Siang (Microsoft Student Partners) via Ooiks’s Blog

Imagine Cup 2010 Result Announced

Imagine Cup 2010 result just announced. Thailand had won the cup again this year. The result for all category are as follow:

Software Design Category

  • Champion: Skeek (Thailand)
  • First-runner Up: TFZR (Serbia)
  • Second-runner Up: OneBeep (New Zealand)

Embedded Development Category:

  • Champion: SmarterME (Taiwan)
  • First-runner Up: MCPC (Russia)
  • Second-runner Up: GERAS (France)

Game Design Category:

  • Champion: By Implication (Philippines)
  • First-runner Up: Nom Nom Productions (Belgium)
  • Second-runner Up: Gears Studio (France)

Digital Media Category:

  • Champion: Ka-Chi (Taiwan)
  • First-runner Up: Dreaming Spirits (Saudi Arabia)
  • Second-runner Up: Woolgathering (Singapore)

IT Challenge Category

  • Champion: NBRanger (China)
  • First-runner Up: Miklos Cari Sivila (Bolivia)
  • Second-runner Up: zxc1984 (Singapore)

Envisioning 2020 Award

  • Champion: Jigga-Dongxi (Taiwan)
  • First-runner Up: KOLA (India)
  • Second-runner Up: Target Locked (India)

Internet Explorer 8 Award

  • Champion: Rhea (Poland)
  • First-runner Up: LittleRitle (Poland)
  • Second-runner Up: CieszakTeam (Poland)
  • Accelerator: Samba Samba (Brazil)
  • Visual Search: BigTurtle (Russia)
  • Web Slice: Invention Task Force (Poland)

Next Generation Web Award

  • Champion: Wanna Be Alice (Korea)
  • First-runner Up: Rhea (Poland)
  • Second-runner Up: Samba Samba (Brazil)

Interoperability Award

  • Champion: Xormis (Jamaica)
  • First-runner Up: Uptiva Dreams IT (Brazil)
  • Second-runner Up: Chandradimuka (Indonesia)

Touch & Tablet Accessibility Award

  • Champion: Team Note-Taker (United States)
  • First-runner Up: OneView (United States)

Windows Phone 7 “Rockstar” Award

  • Champion: Beastware (United States)
  • First-runner Up: Tselina (Indonesia)
  • Second-runner Up: Hypo Team (Malaysia)

Resource from result announcement page and Imagine Cup twitter.

In addition, all finalist of Imagine Cup 2010 will get a Windows Phone 7. Wow, the best ever present given to all finalist. All of them now can develop Windows Phone 7 right on the new phone!

Although Team HDC from Malaysia didn’t make it this time but they go all the way to top 6 of Software Design category which never happen before on Malaysia team. They make us proud and they have sure bring Imagine Cup Malaysia to the next level. Guys and girls, don’t give up, this is not the end of the journey but the beginning of your great future! Even you guys want to join again next year or mentoring other team, I will still support you guys!

Imagine Cup 2011 will be at New York, USA. First Lady, Michele Obama, sends all finalist a virtual welcome to New York next year. Yeah. I though Imagine Cup will never make it at USA due to visa problem, but year 2011 will going be there. Sure a lot of fun at there. I’m interested to join again man!

For more detail visit Imagine Cup website.

By the way, I don’t see Joe Wilson this year, where is he?

by Ooi Keng Siang via Ooiks’s Blog

Meeting Up with Steve Ballmer

25th  May 2010 was the most amazing day in my life because there were just too many amazing things happen on the same day. I get the chances to had a close contact with Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft and Tony Fernandas, the CEO of AirAsia. Weren’t this was just too amazing?

25th of May 2010 was the day of Microsoft cloud online service launching at Malaysia. Steve Ballmer had come all the way to Malaysia to speak for the cloud online service launching here at PICC, Malaysia. Team HDC (Imagine Cup 2010 Malaysia Champion) and my team were lucky enough to get invited to attend this event. After the cloud online service introduction, my team was call upon to the stage to receive a certification hand by Steve! This was the first time I get the chances to shake the hand with Steve and receive certification from him for our success in last year Imagine Cup 2009 at Egypt. Team HDC even received a Malaysia flag from MOHE to show that they were now officially representing Malaysia. I bet they have lot of pressure now.

After that, we also given a chances to share our Imagine Cup project with Steve. We provided a space to setup our booth to present out solution. But due to time constraint, we were only given 30 seconds for the presentation. 30 seconds! That was like an evaluator pitch, it may sound so short for others but it was really long for us. Lucky, my team member Matthew make it through (He was the main presenter that day). Kind of relief after that.

Since we had nothing better to do until 5 (Taxi scheduled to pick us up at 5), so we stay at our booth and see who ever interested on our project. Out of a sudden, my friend spotted Tony walking alone very casually toward our direction (AirAsia booth is just beside us). “Eh, who is that?”, this was the first thing come across my mind and my friend told me, “That is the CEO of AirAsia, moron!”. Gosh! So sorry that I’m such a frog in the well. Tony was kind enough to spend some time listen to Team HDC and our team presentation. One of the Microsoft Student Partner even requested Tong to sign on his shirt! A CEO of multi-nation company yet so friendly and low to the ground, cool man!

Before we close our booth at 5. We received a lot of feedback on our solution VHC (business part). Some of them were really good feedbacks that burning up my spirit. Seriously, I’m bad in business and had very little idea on business, but maybe I will give it a try. Time to polish up the solution!

by Ooi Keng Siang