UPDATE 3/20: The Windows Phone Next App Star voting site is back up. To ensure fairness, votes cast yesterday will not be counted. However, yesterday’s voters are still eligible for the March 19 free phone drawing.
UPDATE 3/19: We’ve taken the voting site offline temporarily while we investigate a few issues that emerged as traffic grew heavy following last night’s launch. We hope to have the site restored soon. Thank you for your patience.
Our goal this year is to create opportunity for the Windows Phone developer community. With that goal in mind, in January we launched the Windows Phone Next App Star contest to shine the spotlight on your creations and to get your apps exposed to more customers than you might reach on your own. The Next App Star contest helps achieve this goal through public participation in the selection of a contest winner by head-to-head style voting, and a grand prize of the winning app featured in a Windows Phone prime-time TV advertisement in the US.
Today, I’m pleased to announce the 64 finalist apps that will advance to the public voting phase of the competition. Developers from more than 79 markets entered a total of 9,000 apps in the competition, a higher volume than we had anticipated. Judging was conducted on a scoring of 50% based on total app ratings scores for the period March 6-12, and 50% on app quality, as determined by Microsoft. Congratulations to the finalists, and thank you to all developers who entered apps in the contest – all entries were creative and unique; some apps will be well-known to you while others are newcomers. Narrowing the field to 64 apps – 32 paid apps and 32 free apps – was not an easy task.
I’d like to be the first to congratulate our finalists, who will now move on to the public voting phase of the competition. Advancing in the competition represents an opportunity for finalists to win additional prizes, including speakers, Ultrabooks, travel, and of course the grand prize of featured placement in a Windows Phone prime-time TV ad.
Although this phase of the competition is all about getting the finalist apps visibility with consumers they might not otherwise reach, I’d like to personally invite all Windows Phone developers to participate in the voting. With your knowledge of what makes a great app, you are uniquely qualified to help choose your colleague who will become the grand-prize winner of the competition. As an added incentive, there’s an opportunity for you to win a new Nokia Lumia 920 for yourself.
How does this phase of the contest work? Visit the Windows Phone Next App Star page on Facebook to view the brackets. You’ll see a match-up of 2 apps from the first round of 64. Decide which of the pair you prefer and then cast your vote. In true competition style, your vote narrows the field in consecutive rounds of voting. Mark your calendars with the following dates, because this contest will move fast.
Finally, one of these last 2 apps will be our grand champion, determined by the votes of all voting participants.
Every vote you cast is equal to one entry into our daily sweepstakes to win a Nokia Lumia 920. If you don’t win the first day, your votes carry forward until that round is over. After you finish your first round of voting, you’ll be given a chance to share that you voted in Windows Phone Next App Star. If anyone clicks on that link and votes, we will double your entries.*
Congratulations to all participants, and our thanks to all of you for bringing your apps to Windows Phone. We hope you’ll all get out and vote to support your colleagues.
* No purchase necessary. Open to registered Facebook account holders 18+ years of age. Offer ends 4/8/2013. See Official Rules for details.