Microsoft has finally opened its door for software developers from 29 supported countries to submit their applications to the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. The supported countries include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States.
The idea of Windows Marketplace for Mobile was introduced by Steve Ballmer at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona early of the year. The Windows Marketplace for Mobile commercially benefits both consumers and software developers. Consumers can browse and download applications via their Windows Mobile 6.5 phone from this digital mobile applicaiton store while developers can make use of the platform to showcase their idea and talent and publish as well as distribute their applications.
In conjunction with this event, the Redmond Company has also kicked off a “Race to Market Challenge” contest aiming to encourage more developers to participate and make submissions. Under this contest, developers will stand a chance to win a price in one of four categories: most downloaded free application, most valuable or moneymaking app (calculated by the number of downloads times price), the most useful product (judged by Microsoft panel), and the most playful (judged by Microsoft panel). Interested parties are required to submit their applications, games and widgets to the organizer before 31 December this year. Winners to this contest will be given a prize package inclusive of a Microsoft Surface table and developer kit, free online marketing and promotion of their application, plus a one-of-a-kind trophy. Of course, some developers might be a bit disappointed with the prizes given if you compare to other contests for developers, e.g. Google’s first Android Developer Challenge which gave away the following:
- For each of the 10 categories, winners will get $100,000 for the first prize, $50,000 for the second prize and $25,000 for the third.
- For overall (across all categories), users will get $150,000 for first prize, $50,000 for second prize and $25,000 for third prize.
Developers who are keen to take up the Race to Market Challenge contest can log in to the site via the link here. Users also can refer to Application Submission Guidelines and download the Windows Mobile 6.5 Developer Toolkit.