The Super Successful Student Server – Development Environments for US Imagine Cup Teams

What is it?

You’ve probably seen me blog about the fantastic Imagine Cup competition more than a few times here. Occasionally, we get feedback that putting together a software design team is made more difficult with the acquisition of software. Now, for students, we have programs like DreamSpark and MSDN AA through your department, but what if you could just have everything you need in one place and eliminate that step entirely to begin working on your projects?

That’s where the Super Successful Student Server (4S) comes in. Spearheaded by my colleague SoCal Sam, 4S is an environment that you can remote into and have full control over your project with your team. This includes Team Foundation Server as well, which makes the management of your project easier by quite a bit!

What’s included in 4S? More than you might imagine:

  • Visual Studio Architect 2010
  • Azure SDK
  • Team Foundation Server (TFS)
  • Office 2010, with InfoPath, Publisher, MS Project 2010, Visio Premium
  • Visual Web Developer 2010
  • Web Matrix
  • Sharepoint Foundation
  • Sharepoint design tools (Workspace)
  • Forefront
  • The ability to run Unix applications
  • Silverlight 3 AND 4
  • Silverlight 4 Toolkit, April 2010
  • Expression 4.0 Studio
  • Internet connection with the ability to load software as needed
  • Ability to upload and download software to submit your project

How do I get an instance for my team?

First of all, you need to be planning to compete in the Imagine Cup. If you’re already working on a project, that’s great! But, for some of you, this could be the missing piece that will help you get off the ground a bit faster. Make sure you have a team registered at

Secondly, contact me via this blog or email me at dan.waters at microsoft dot com. If you are going to school in the states of WA, OR, ID, HI, AK, MT or WY, I’ll help you directly. Otherwise I will point you to someone who can, and you can get off the ground a lot quicker!

Where can I learn more about the Imagine Cup?

If you’re a student in one of the states I mentioned above, I have likely been on your campus in the last few months. Check out to learn more about the Software and Game Design competitions. Make sure to register on the site as well. This year is going to be huge!