Sunday, June 11, 2006

MSN Robot Invaders!

Robots or "BOTs", are software programs that you can add to MSN® Messenger and Windows Live™ Messenger. If you add a robot to your contact list, it can chat, give you customer service support, perform searches, make suggestions, play games and more.

We’re looking for the best new robot ideas for Messenger. And $40,000 in fantastic prizes go to the top BOTs! Follow these eight steps to compete:

1. Download an SDK
Use one of three free toolkits to build your robot for MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger.
>> Learn more and download

2. Build a robot!
Get creative. Get crazy. Make the most useful, exciting robot you can. Just be sure to follow our judging criteria (below).
>> Inspiration

3. Register your robot
Using MSN Messenger or Windows Live Messenger, add to your contact list and initiate a conversation to register your Robot with MSN. Then follow the prompts to provide your contact information, address and PUID for your Robot application.

4. Advertise! Or don’t
You can put ads in your BOT through our partner Kanoodle (available only for US-based partners.)
>> Learn more

5. Host the robot on your server
Publish your BOT to a personal Web space. You must host your robot until November 15, 2006.

6. Enter your robot here
Come back to this site and complete our registration form. We’ll ask for a short description of your BOT, a thumbnail screenshot and your robot’s ID. If your application is approved, we’ll post your screenshot and a link to your robot in the Gallery.

7. Vote for BOTs!
Head to the Robot Gallery and vote for your favorite entries. You can vote for more than one BOT, as often as you like. And yes—you’re allowed to choose your own robot. Tell your friends to cast ballots, too!

Votes aren’t part of the judging criteria. But at the end of the contest, the robot with the most votes wins the $500 User’s Choice Award. And BOTs with the most votes are featured on the first page, where more people will see them.

8. Win!
In October, we’ll choose the best robots based on the judging criteria below. The Grand Prize, 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-place winners split $40,000 in prizes. And the best robots will be promoted on MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger!

Judging Criteria
We'll evaluate and score robots by these standards:

User Interaction: 25%
Usefulness: 25%
Creativity: 25%
Use of multiple Windows Live services: 25%

MSN services include:

Who’s Eligible?
Developers and ISVs from all over the world can compete. For full eligibility details, read the official rules.