64 Apps, One Dream, Pure Madness


The following is a feature story from Microsoft News Center Editorial Staff about a new Windows Phone app contest where the public votes one lucky app into a TV ad and gets a chance to win new Windows Phones for themselves in the process.

It’s part March Madness, part American Idol; part showcase and part showdown.

The Windows Phone Next App Star contest enters its first round of head-to-head competition today, pitting Windows Phone apps from developers around the world against each other for a chance to see their app on TV.

Like March Madness, the contest happens during the third month of the year, and its first round involves 64 contestants. Like American Idol, popular vote decides the winner. In this case, ballots can be cast via the contest web site starting today. Customers from every country that Microsoft does business with may vote.

The winner of each head-to-head match gets a prize and moves on to the next round, and the top app at the end of the contest will get featured in a prime-time television ad in the U.S.

Bryan Tomlinson, senior product marketing manager on the Windows Phone Apps Teams, said the contest is designed to showcase our apps and give both developers and consumers plenty of ways to win prizes.

The winner of every match in the round of 64 gets something and the voters do too. Every day of the contest, until April 8, a sweepstakes will give away one Nokia Lumia 920 phone (see official rules for details).

“Every vote is an entry. You can share it, and if anyone clicks on your referral link and votes, all your entries are doubled,” Tomlinson said.

“We have a robust catalog of beautiful apps,” he said, explaining that people using competing phones will like what they see. People should “take a look and see the way apps come to life on a Windows Phone.”

Among 32 interesting app match-ups in the first round, one is Majesty versus Amazing Weather HD. 

Majesty is a great strategy game from Herocraft out of Russia that transports you to a vast, magical world where you become the head of a country. All the responsibility for the land’s prosperity rests on your royal shoulders. You have to fight enemies and monsters, explore new territories, manage economic and scientific developments and solve a heap of unusual and unexpected problems. Below is a screenshot from Majesty.

Amazing Weather HD from EizSoft out of Australia is a beautiful and informative weather app with dynamic lock screens and mix and match live tiles and live HD animations. It features quick seven day overviews, hourly data, charts, warnings, satellite images, detailed forecasts and GPS live tiles. Below are a few screenshots from Amazing Weather HD.

The contest, Tomlinson said, excludes the more than 100 apps we’ve already shown on TV, so you won’t see Angry Birds, CNN, ESPN, FourSquare, Twitter, Words With Friends and all the great brand name apps you’ve grown to love on Windows Phone.

“It’s a really great opportunity for independent app developers,” he said. Everyone gets their shot at having their app on TV. We had developers from 79 countries enter and developers from 18 countries made the top 64.”

Those countries include Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and the U.S.

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