SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft is running a competition for app developers that will reward prize winning Windows 8 software with a place in a television advert and a chunk of cash.
The competition is called App Star and is introduced to developers by Todd Brix, senior director of Microsoft's Windows Phone apps team.
Brix said that the competition is designed to make 2013 an exciting year for Windows 8 developers, and will see them and their software compete for thousands of dollars worth of prizes, including a Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone and a free one-year Dev Center subscription. The winning app out of a narrowed down 64 will get a part in the advert and the exposure that will bring.
"I'm pleased to say that with so many big 2012 deployments behind us, we've got the pieces in place to make 2013 a great year for Windows Phone developers. In fact, we're kicking off the new year with a one-of-a-kind opportunity," said Brix.
"To help your apps get more visibility with more customers, today we are launching a new contest with a very special top prize - featured placement of your app in a Windows Phone prime-time TV ad in the US."
Registered developers, students, hobbyists and professionals can visit Microsoft's Dev Center and opt-in to taking part in the competition. The deadline for opting in is March 5th.
"If you haven't yet developed a Windows Phone app (or you want to make tweaks to an existing app), you can register today and publish your app by March 5th to participate," added Brix.
Apps will be judged based upon their quality and any user ratings. Worthy of attention, said Brix, will be those that implement things like Windows' Live Tiles, so those that make the most of the new Microsoft look and feel.
The chosen 64 entries will compete against each other gladiatorial style, and live or die by the public vote. Eventually, one will be left, and to that victor will go the goodies. Runners up will also get some prizes.
"This isn't just about picking the most popular app in the Store," added Brix. "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."
In December Microsoft said that it had almost doubled the number of apps in its Windows Phone store, having added 75,000 over the previous 12 months. It added that on average its customers download 54 apps each.
This month Apple revealed that its developer community has created over 775,000 apps for its devices. The firm said that its iTunes App Store has seen 40 billion app downloads.
In September Google said that its Play store for Android had 675,000 apps and 25 billion downloads. µ