Regarding #1, yes, it is open to MS employees...frankly, any developers that use our technology. However, since this is a community event, we'll be very restrictive about how many (if any) MS submission we choose. If this were a contest, we'd probably have
to exclude MS employees.
For #2, we don't know yet. It's something we'll recognize when we see it. And, it's difficult to tell what the bar will be until we see a number of submissions. We've heard of some pretty cool ideas already, so it's very tough to say.
Fortunately, since this isn't really a contest and we're planning to post most (if not all) of the entries to Channel 9 after the event the event, any reasonable entry should get good coverage.