The Race to Linux contest, in which developers try to convert programs from other operating systems to Linux as fast as possible, drew six times the entrants as last year, an estimated 600.
Maybe it was the Nintendo Wii offered as the prize.
Yaacov Cohen, the CEO of Mainsoft, which co-sponsored the contest along with IBM and Novell, said this year's winners were given more complex tasks than last year and were able to use beta versions of Mainsoft's Grasshopper 2.0 for the first time.
Canadian Mark Cafazzo used Grasshopper 2.0 to port a blog starter kit to Linux in just 17 hours. The other winners were Loune Lam, who ported a small business application using Mono, and Christina Dragmir, who created a community map application.
"We want to show developers they can use the latest, greatest Microsoft technology, like role based security and ASP .Net, and take it cross platform," Cohen explained. "The idea is to have native applications running on Linux with the same qualities as on the Windows environment.
"We are demonstrating a benchmark that we have preserved the performance of the application, once it's ported. It's cross-platform without compromise."
And even if you lose, you get to keep your application.