Microsoft Looking for “Next App Star”

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Posted 4 years ago

We’ve all heard of American Idol and America’s Got Talent, and while these shows are great for talented singers and dancers, they are not exactly the ideal platform for talented app developers to show off their skills. Well, as a way to get developers some of the mainstream limelight, and to boost its own app store, Microsoft has launched the “Windows Phone Next App Star” contest.

Open to registered Windows Phone developers worldwide, the contest will place the winning app and its developer in a prime time U.S. TV ad that will air later this year.

The competition kicks off on March 5 and anyone looking to enter will need to have had an app published by then. Based on Microsoft quality metrics and the all-important customer ratings, the top 64 apps will be placed into a final bracket – which is when the real fun begins.

From April, the 64 apps will be whittled down in a bracket-style public vote, taking the total number down to 32, 16, 8, 4, and then 2 from which the grand final winner will be decided. The newly crowned “App Star” will then be handed his or her five minutes of fame.

Of course, there can only be one outright winner, but that doesn’t mean participants go away empty handed. Microsoft has promised “thousands of dollars in prizes for the developers of the 64 apps that get selected,” which will include a Nokia Lumia 920 and a one-year free subscription to the Dev Center.

Pitching the competition on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Microsoft wrote:

This isn’t just about picking the most popular app in the Store. Windows Phone Next App Star is about giving developers a shot at being the next big hit. You don’t have to be a longtime developer on the Windows Phone platform — even a newcomer can win fans and win big.”

Microsoft has been working hard to expand the Windows Phone app catalog over the past year, more than doubling the number of apps in 2012. Such a competition, with the incentives on offer to participants, can only help that number increase.

– Anthony Carter

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