Let’s face it: Many of us would like to learn how to develop apps, but what’s been missing has been a real incentive to get you off the sofa, and onto your laptop. That’s why we’ve partnered with Microsoft, and have £40,000 of prizes to win – all you need to do is create (or convert an existing app) for the Windows 8 platform.

If you’ve not built a Windows app (or indeed, any app) before, it’s no problem – seriously. We’ve got guides that speak to you in layman’s terms, talking you through all the steps needed to build that killer app. If you’re familiar with HTML and CSS, or even iOS’ apps-building languages (Objective-C, Cocoa Touch and XCode), it’s certainly an advantage, but not a necessary one. One of the best things about creating apps for Windows 8 is that you only need to code just the once to create apps for all device sizes – it’s completely scalable. Oh, and did we mention that with the Windows Store, you get to keep more of your money than cough some other app stores we could mention?

 

Creating For Windows 8

Windows 8, as you may well know, puts apps everywhere. All apps can take advantage of Live Tiles, Contacts and Cloud Services, making Microsoft’s latest platform easier to use (and let’s face it – it feels a lot less like work, too).

If you’re interested in developing for Windows 8, you may want to know that Windows Store apps are sold in more than 200 markets, and can be localised in more than 100 languages. Plus, Microsoft supports free apps, trials, and paid apps, along with in-app purchases. But what you probably want to know more about is what’s in it for you – basically, the revenue share basis is 70 per cent, but if you’re lucky enough to earn USD $25,000 in revenue, then that jumps up to 80 per cent.

 

So How Do You Win Some Of These £40,000 Worth of Prizes, Then?

We realise that learning a new skill takes time and patience, which is why we’ve teamed up with Microsoft to offer £40,000 worth of prizes to act as a swift kick up the backside for each and every one of you.

With prizes for the top ten apps; 28 daily draws, and one grand prize draw, the chances of winning one of the below are pretty high:

1. Daily Free Prize Draw

Microsoft is offering an added incentive to encourage you to submit your Windows 8 app ahead of time. Quite simply, the earlier you get your entry in, the more chances you'll have of winning a 32GB Windows 8 tablet.

Just complete your entry form before 3.30pm on any day between 26th November and 24th December and you’ll automatically be entered into the following day’s daily prize draw. And if you don't win that day, you'll be entered into the next day's draw, and the next and the next… Winners will be picked at random, and there are 28 of these top-flight tablets begging to be won. So what are you waiting for?

2. Winter App Free Prize Draw

If the idea hasn’t yet sunk in, let’s make it absolutely clear: Microsoft is REALLY keen to get app developers to enter this competition, and is offering an incredible range of prizes to get you building and submitting your Windows 8 apps.

So to up the ante a little further, anyone who enters their app between 26th November and 24th December will be eligible for the Winter App Free Prize Draw as well as the Daily Prize Draw (link to be added). And this prize is definitely not to be sniffed at – it’s an amazing bundle of tech worth £6,500, including a Dell Workstation, a Wacom 24 HD tablet and a 16GB Lytro Camera.

As with the Daily Prize Draw, the winner of the Winter App Free Prize Draw will be chosen entirely at random. So as long as your entry is validated by Microsoft, you have a chance of winning this fabulous prize.

3. The Top Ten apps/Grand Final Winner

Okay, this is the big one. If your Windows 8 app gets selected by our panel of judges as one of our Top Ten, you’ll be looking at fame, glory and a fabulous prize bundle worth £1,665!

Each of our top ten winners will get (deep breath)… a Windows 8 Ultrabook, a Windows tablet and a Nokia Lumia 920 Windows 8 Phone.

You have until 16th January to get your Windows 8 app done, dusted and submitted to the competition. Then it’s in the hands of the judges. Our expert panel will include some of the leading journalists from Future Publishing’s range of print and online magazines covering design and technology, which include .net, Computer Arts and TechRadar to name but a few.

Finally, one entry will become our overall Grand Final winner. Getting that level of industry recognition would be reward enough. But to make victory all the sweeter, the overall winner will go home with an added prize bundle – a Dell Workstation, a Wacom 24 HD Tablet and a 16GB Lytro Camera. Not too shabby, really.

 

Terms and conditions

Daily Prize Draw
The competition is open to UK developers only. All entries submitted between 26th November and 3.30pm on 24th December 2012 will be eligible for the daily prize draw.
Your entry must be submitted by 3.30pm to be eligible for that day’s prize draw. You must supply the app publisher’s name and email address when completing the competition entry form to be eligible for any element of this competition. The app publisher’s name and email address will be sent to Microsoft for verification. All competition entrants will be validated by Microsoft to confirm the app is live in the market before the prize draw takes place. Future Publishing will choose the daily prize draw winner at random based on this validated list.

The winner of each daily prize draw will be announced on this website within two weeks. Entries received on Saturday and Sunday will be submitted for verification on the following Monday.

Entrants can win only one daily prize in total. Entries submitted between 21st and 24th December 2012 will be chosen and notified no later than 04th January 2013.

Winter Prize Draw
The competition is open to UK developers only. All entries submitted between 26th November and 3.30pm on 24th December 2012 will be eligible for the Winter App Free Prize Draw.

You must supply the app publisher’s name and email address when completing the competition entry form to be eligible for any element of this competition. The app publisher’s name and email address will be sent to Microsoft for verification. All competition entrants will be validated by Microsoft to confirm the app is live in the market before the prize draw takes place.

Future will choose the Winter App Free Prize Draw winner at random based on this validated list. The winner will be drawn during the weekend of the 14th of January 2013 and will be chosen at random from all of the Daily Prize draw entries received by 3.30pm on the 24th December 2012.

Top Ten Apps/Grand Final Winner
The competition is open to UK developers only. All entries submitted up to and including the 16th January will be eligible for the Top Ten Best Apps competition.

You must supply the app publisher’s name and email address when completing the competition entry form to be eligible for any element of this competition. The app publisher’s name and email address will be sent to Microsoft for verification.

Entries for the Top ten apps will be sent to Microsoft for verification. The winner will be announced on this site after the closing date, 16th January, once verification is received from Microsoft. Entries received on Saturday and Sunday will be submitted for verification on the following Monday.

Entrants can win only one prize in the Top Ten Apps competition. All competition entrants will be validated by Microsoft to confirm the app is live in the market before prize is allocated. All entries will be eligible for the Best App Competition. Closing date for this element of the competition is 16th January 2013.

Windows 8 App Generator