I happen to have one of the best jobs within Microsoft - managing the Windows Phone Developer Ecosystem in New Zealand. I work within the Developer Platform Evangelism team, alongside Thiago Almeida (Cloud Evangelist), Nathan Mercer (IT Pro Evangelist) and Nigel Parker (Windows 8 Evangelist).
As part of my role, I manage Microsoft New Zealand's Windows Phone training events and workshops, and work with developers to help them get their hands on Windows Phone devices for testing apps nearing completion. We have some exciting opportunities to ramp up developers on to our Windows Phone Ecosystem so keep reading.
Over the last 12 months we have seen the launch of the highly anticipated Windows Phone in New Zealand, launching with the LG Optimus and HTC Trophy on Telecom and Vodafone, respectively. Since the launch in NZ, developers in New Zealand have released over 250 apps to the Marketplace. Globally, over 40,000 apps have been released, with over 120,000 downloads/day. Three successful New Zealand apps have taken the world by storm, Alphajax, Metrotube, and RWC2011 have had hundreds of thousands of downloads.
The market has already begun to shift, and Windows Phone is quickly becoming a major player. We will be working heavily with our developer community to take advantage of this trend. There are also now several ways to market your application to your specified audience: public domain, targeted domain i.e. enterprise applications, and testing domain. These three options now give you all the flexibility you need to customise your applications, including the opportunity to test your application before submitting to the public market place.
There is no reason to put it off any longer! For those new to the platform - Windows Phone development is completed using familiar tools, Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend, both available as free versions to develop for the phone. Use Silverlight and XNA to build rich, immersive experiences in the languages you know, C#, VB.Net. And with exposure to over 35 markets there is a huge opportunity to be the next Angry Birds.
If you're stuck and looking for resources, just do a quick search and you will find a plethora of training material - but to get you started, check out:
There are several interesting sites to keep you up-to-date with the latest on the Windows Phone Ecosystem - including WP Central, Windows Phone NZ, Windows Phone Developer blog, and our MSDN Facebook page. There is also the Auckland Metro Meetup and Linkedin Windows Phone group.
If you need a device to test your application, email us and let us know - we can help. One of best things about the submission process on the Marketplace is that you get a full report on why your app didn't pass certification, so that you can go back to rectify the errors, and feel confident that your application will give your users the best experience possible.
Finally, as part of our ongoing effort working with local developers to build some great local phone apps, we will be running free seminars and workshops throughout the country, and will be working with the local MS Communities group across the next six months.
Now it's time to step up and show us what you can do! We have four Samsung Focus Flash phones to give away at the end of January. How can you win - simply build an application and get it published on the Windows Phone Market Place by 30th Jan to be in to win. The more applications you publish, the more chances you have to win. Every app goes in a random draw to win one of four Samsung Focus Flash handsets.
But wait, there's more! The first 50 developers to email us a screenshot of their first application will get a Market Place account for free - that's waiving the $150 annual registration fee. So get started today!
Windows Phone Competition. Please read below specific Terms and Conditions:
- To be eligible - you must be a New Zealand Resident using a New Zealand Market Place Account.
- To be eligible for the competition, you must have a new published Windows Phone application anytime between the 1st of January 2012 to 30th January 2012
- Entries must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the application on the Market Place and a short two/three line sentence describing the application
- Microsoft is not responsible for entries not received and incomplete, illegible, 'hacked' or otherwise fraudulent entries are not valid.
- By entering this prize draw you agree to be bound by these terms & conditions.
- Each published entry will go in to the draw to win one for four Samsung Focus Flash Phone Handsets
- Winners will be notified on 5th of February 2012 via the email or contact phone number provided.
- Prizes will be delivered to each winner at a New Zealand address (as advised by the winner) at Microsoft's expense.
- Only people living in New Zealand are eligible to win. Employees and independent contractors (and each of their immediate family members) of Microsoft are not eligible to enter.
- Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash. If you are unable or unwilling to accept your prize, Microsoft may award it to an alternate winner.
- If you accept a prize you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize.
- If for any reason an advertised prize is unavailable, Microsoft may substitute the advertised prized for another prize which has approximately the same recommended retail price.
- If there is a dispute as to who submitted the winning entry, the winner will be the authorized account holder of the market place account used to publish the Windows Phone Application. Applications submitted in to the draw must be by the actual owner of the Market Place Account.
- Microsoft New Zealand Limited is the promoter of this prize draw and may modify these terms & conditions without notice. The judge's decision in relation to the winners or any other aspect of this prize draw is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
- Microsoft may disqualify, from participating in this prize draw, any person who tampers with the entry process, or submits an entry not in accordance with these terms and conditions.
- Microsoft is committed to complying with the Government gift and ethics policies. Employees and independent contracts of the Government must adhere to gift and ethics policies applicable to them when entering this prize draw or accepting any prize.
- Microsoft is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, servers or providers, or any combination thereof. Nor is it responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this prize draw, or by any technical or human error that may occur in the course of the administration of this prize draw.
- To the extent permitted by law, Microsoft, its retailers, suppliers, associated companies and agencies will not be liable to you for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage whatsoever, including personal injury, which is suffered as a result of, or arising from, your participation in the prize draw or winning (or not winning) any prize.
- At Microsoft, we are committed to protecting your privacy. Microsoft will collect and use your details for the purposes of running this prize draw. You can access or request correction of your details by emailing email@example.com.