Microsoft has announced that it is adding a digital photography challenge to its Imagine Cup this year.

The Imagine Cup’s Digital Photography Competition calls students around the globe to explore their creativity by using technology to solve real-world problems.

Last year over 65,000 students from 100 countries participated in the Imagine Cup which Microsoft say is like a “software development Olympics”.

The theme for the Software Design Invitational this year is “imagine a world where technology enables a better education for all” and, picking up this theme, the Digital Photography Competition encourages photographers to use Microsoft’s tools and technology to unleash their ideas and communicate a story about education using only photos as the communication medium.

To enter the competition, entrants will be required to submit a photo essay of up to ten images.

The deadline for first round submissions is 11 May 2007.

Following a review of all the entries, six teams will be selected on June 8th 2007 to fly out to Seoul, Korea to compete in the International Final to battle for a share of the $15,000 total prize fund.

Microsoft has said that the judging panel will consist of notable, industry figures and academics as well as this year’s sponsors BT, Capgemini and HP.

The team who finishes in third place will collect $3000, second place runners-up will celebrate with $4000 and the overall winners of the Photography competition will get $8000.