theodp writes: 'The lack of education in computer science is an example of an area of particularly acute concern,' Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith told Congress as he sold lawmakers on the need for legislation to improve 'America’s access to high skilled foreign talent'. So, should Microsoft also be using the nation's CS education crisis to sell Windows Azure? At the end of October, Microsoft will award $100,000 worth of donations to the five highest vote-getting technology education nonprofits 'who teach programming and provide technical resources to those who might not otherwise get the chance.' To vote for your favorite nonprofit, Microsoft explains, there's one little catch: You must first join the AzureDev Community. Currently in the lead for the top prize of $50,000 is Black Girls Code. But moving up the ranks into second place is Code.org, the sometimes dual-missioned organization advised by Microsoft's Smith that launched a few months ago to great fanfare with a slick viral promotional video featuring supporters Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Code.org has put out a call for votes to their 140,000 Facebook fans, and 17,000 Twitter followers to help them lay claim to Microsoft's $50,000 first prize. So, are you rooting for the billionaire-backed underdog?
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