Microsoft announces Windows Phone Next App Star contest

Microsoft has been highly aggressive over the past several months in trying to add more apps for using by Windows Phone owners. In October, the company announced that there were over 120,000 apps available for download via the Windows Phone Store. In December, Microsoft said that Windows Phone app downloads have increased by 100 percent since the launch of Windows Phone 8 and app submissions have increased by 40 percent.

Today, Microsoft announced yet another effort to put the focus on good Windows Phone apps with the launch of its Next App Star competition. The Windows Phone Developer blog has the details on how it will work.

Basically, if you are a Windows Phone developer, or plan to be, you have until March 5th to submit your app for consideration. The blog states:

..we will judge the app submissions for the contest based on an equal weighting of user ratings and app quality, including your implementation of new Windows Phone 8 features, like Live Tiles. We’ll narrow the field to 64 entries to participate in a head-to-head, bracket-style competition with public voting. Over the next several weeks of voting the field of 64 will be narrowed to 32, 16, 8, 4, 2, and finally the grand prize winner.

While the people who submit the top 64 apps will get prizes, including a Nokia Lumia 920 and a one-year free Dev Center subscription, the app that gets voted to win the grand prize will be featured in a national Windows Phone TV ad.

Source: Windows Phone Developer blog | Image via Microsoft

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I'd still love to see a better magazine style reader. Weave is alright, but I'd like something something with a little more in the presentation department. Large photos on links to the articles, some kind of background or background(s).

It seems the go-to for a lot of the Metro apps is a solid color theme, but what I really find most visually appealing is when there is something going on in the background (the hubs, music player, imdb, etc)

"If you create a new non-student Dev Center account after January 14, 2013 and you are a resident of Maryland or Vermont, you are not eligible to enter."

Just for curiosity, why?.

btw, im pretty interesting in this contest but, right now, my brain is shortcircuited and i can't think in a new project. So, could somebody enlighten me with some idea? tnk.(other that social stuff and clones).

Brony said,
" So, could somebody enlighten me with some idea?

For my photography business, I would love to have an app the works kind of like square where I can use it to charge my customers, however It would be awesome if the app could also, have a built in scheduler for scheduling appoints, integrated maps for turn by turn navigation to project locations, take voice input for location notes, geotag locations, and also have the ability to work with Nikon's WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter or other wireless adapters for different camera brands. Additional features would include, being able to track financial information like quickbooks. You can call it Photo-Agent or Photographers Assistant. What do you think, too ambitious?