Microsoft is continuing its courtship of students, some as young as high school age, to bring new blood into the ranks of .NET developers and Microsoft platform users, eWeek reports. Walid Abu-Hadba, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) group, said Microsoft invited more than 150 college students to its MIX09 web development and design conference in Las Vegas, as well as more than 75 high school students. "We went to some of the top design schools in the country, and we flew 153 college students here," he said. "And we decided we wanted to get some high school students here as well, so we flew in 77 high school students." The push to attract students is part of the DPE group’s overall mission, which is "to make sure we keep the developer ecosystem happy and make sure the ecosystem continues to grow," Abu-Hadba said. He said there are three core elements to Microsoft’s strategy to appeal to students. One is awareness. "We try to catch them at early stages of their lives to show them that IT can be a great place for them," he said. The second element is to give students free and easy access to tools and technology, and the third is to affect the educators and influence the curriculum for students…

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