Following the announcement of a successful 2012, Microsoft’s Windows Phone is “kicking off the new year with a one-of-a-kind opportunity.”
The Next App Star contest is aimed at giving developers better visibility across a larger customer base. How does the contest promote your app’s visibility? By featuring it in a primetime TV ad for Windows Phone 8, of course.
To enter, a developer must register at the Dev Center and opt-in by March 5. The contest is not strictly for pre-existing apps. As long as the app is developed for WP8 and published in the Apps+Games Store by the end date, it is available for submission.
After March 5, the judges at Microsoft will determine the top 64 apps by weighing user ratings and app quality. They stress in the announcement that utilizing the features of Windows Phone 8 will greatly help the chances of your app being chosen. From that point, the remaining 64 apps will be subject to a public vote in a “head-to-head, bracket-style” tournament. The last app standing will land a spot on a TV ad.
Microsoft will also award “thousands of dollars in prizes” to the other 63 apps that didn’t win the TV spot. Among other things, prizes include a Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone and a one-year subscription to the Dev Center.
The contest is open to seasoned developers and newcomers alike. Experts in the Dev Center are available to give advice, or answer development questions related to fine-tuning your application.