REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. today kicked off WOWZAPP 2012: Worldwide Hackathon for Windows, the first simultaneous global hackathon for students, startups and professional developers in the company's history. Following the recent Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 launches, more than 100 locations across five continents will hold weekend-long hackathons for students and other participants to create apps for the Windows ecosystem. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO) Participants in the United States, India, Finland, Pakistan, Greece, Malaysia, Turkey, Brazil and many other countries will work together for 48 hours, creating Windows Store apps for consumers to enjoy, building off the momentum of the release of Windows 8, which saw sales of more than 4 million upgrades in the three days following its launch on Oct. 26. U.S. locations include Austin, Texas; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Redmond, Wash.; and more than 20 others. A complete list of participating locations is posted at http://www.WOWZAPP2012.com. "With more than 14,000 students registered to participate, WOWZAPP 2012 will be the largest simultaneous hackathon of student developers ever, acting as a catalyst to bring a wealth of new, exciting and quality apps to the Windows Store," said Moorthy Uppaluri, general manager of Worldwide Academic Programs at Microsoft. "Microsoft is committed to empowering students with the tools and resources they need to showcase their creativity and make money through app development." With the global youth unemployment rate at 12.7 percent* — double the overall unemployment rate — students are seeking new ways to build their skills and start their careers. Microsoft offers students a variety of programs to help them learn new app development skills and differentiate themselves in a competitive job market. WOWZAPP 2012 is a chance for students to explore a different professional path, and is just one way that Microsoft is equipping students with free tools and resources to build apps.