Microsoft opens Windows Mobile Marketplace applications submissions & Race to Market contest

As promised earlier this month, developers from 29 countries can now submit their applications to the Windows Mobile Marketplace. the whole certification process should take around 10 days and developers can follow this process through the Developer Dashboard.

Today represents another significant milestone for Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and more importantly, the first big opportunity for developers. We are now accepting application submissions from all 29 supported countries and have launched a Race to Market Challenge to kick things off. It’s time to show us what you’ve got!

Registered developers and ISVs can now upload their application, game or widget to the Windows Marketplace platform and we’ll begin certifying those apps according to the process, policies and guidelines we’ve published. We certify apps on a First In, First Out (FIFO) basis. Certification should normally take about 10 business days initially and you can always check on your application during the process through our Developer Dashboard. To better market your app, you can provide us with all the product information and promotional materials you’d like us to use to describe and showcase your application for the more than 30 million Windows Mobile devices out there.

If we go through the certification process and your application doesn’t pass one or more of the tests or checks, we’ll give you a detailed report explaining which test and why. All of the tests and checks we run align with the tools and criteria we’ve shared, so there shouldn’t be too many surprises. The steps we take to help ensure that an application meets reasonable expectations for quality, usability and localization creates a high standard for the marketplace, a consistent experience for shoppers and ultimately increased exposure and repeat business for all involved.

Our strategy for all of this is pretty straightforward; we want to create a global marketplace for Windows Phones where developers and users meet to sell and buy high quality and high value applications that make work easier and life more fulfilling. We’re creating a clear process and new opportunity for developers and ISVs to make money from their investment in innovation. The applications we feature will be well organized, easily accessible by PC or phone and backed by a money back guarantee. And when they’re ready to buy, customers will have a variety of payment options to choose from. These are new customer experiences, and frankly, capabilities that will set us apart.

But it all starts today with the applications, and as I mentioned earlier we’re kicking this process off with a little contest we’re calling the Race to Market Challenge.

The Race to Market Challenge is just another reason for developers to get in on the ground floor of the new Windows Marketplace. While we do sincerely believe that everyone who submits an app will benefit from being among the first available when Windows Marketplace opens for business, we’re offering a few other prizes as well.

Race to Market Challenge

Prizes; 4 Microsoft Surface tables (Developer Edition), online marketing & promotion of your app and challenge trophies for the mantle.

Applications will be judged on:
Most downloads of a free app
Most valuable app (downloads x price)
Most useful (as judged by Microsoft panel)
Most playful (as judged by Microsoft panel)
Contest runs from launch to Dec 31, 2009.
Details will be available at today.

Finally, I’d like to thank the Windows Marketplace beta tester community for its patience and feedback, as well as all of you who have already taken the time to register your company with us (see comments from beta tester Eduify and Ilium). We’ve learned a lot and can’t wait to get more of your ideas and feedback to help us make the experience better for everyone.

If Juniper research is right and we can expect to see 20 billion applications downloaded annually in the years ahead, the mobile app market is in its infancy and consumers will soon demand more consistent and intuitive shopping experiences than exists today. We’re going to meet that demand.

Join us!

Head over here for more info.

The Race to Market challenge site can be found here

The Windows Mobile team has also updated the applications guidelines here (pdf)

Microsoft is looking for a Software Engineer to build a general-purpose graphics platform for mobile phones


A recent job ad posted on July 22 reveals that Microsoft is looking for a Principal Dev Lead to build a “general-purpose graphics platform for mobile phones” here’s the full job description:

Job Category: Software Engineering: Development
Location: United States, WA, Redmond
Job ID: 700202 5597
Product: Windows Mobile Devices
Division: Entertainment & Devices Division
Would you like to make a critical contribution to mobile computing? Do you enjoy building and leading strong teams? Do you have a passion for graphics and graphical user interfaces?

The Windows Mobile Software team is looking for an extremely senior development lead to manage a small team of highly motivated engineers and deliver a robust, performant, general-purpose graphics platform for mobile phones.

In addition to general development leadership responsibilities, the successful applicant will be able to design, communicate and navigate a roadmap for mobile graphics support in current and future Windows Phone operating systems.

Relevant skill-sets include: People Management and Team Building, Operating System API and Runtime development, Command of 2D and 3D Graphics APIs (D3D, OpenGL, DirectDraw, GDI) , Real-Time Rendering/Shading, Window System and Compositor design, Command of performance considerations over various ALU/ bus/GPU topologies.

B.S. in Computer Science or equivalent experience plus multiple years as a successful line manager or higher required. Familiarity with at least one family of Windows system architecture (3x, NT, CE) preferred

Does it have anything to do with XNA games on ZuneHD/Windows Mobile 7 ? Who knows..

Check it out here

Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 shown on video

Here’s a short video of Sony’s Xperia 2 futur Windows Mobile smartphone being shown running. Nothing really insteresting besides the fact that it seems to be a bit sluggish (Qualcomm MSM7200a chipset I guess…) and uses a resistive screen (not sure though..). Other than that, the software/Rom is still unfinished obviously.

For more photos and videos check the ongoing thread at xda-devs

Source: Engadget

CES 2010 registration is open

Just a quick note for those who are planning to go the Las Vegas for CES 2010. The registration is officially opened as of today.

Please take note of these important dates:

Before October 1, 2009 $0.00
October 1, 2009 — 5 p.m. EST, January 2, 2010
5:01 p.m. EST, January 2, 2010 — On-site $200.00

CES 2010 should be interesting on many levels. 3D HDTVs and OLED TV sets are probably going to be all over the place. But most importantly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Steve Ballmer officially announces Windows Mobile 7 during his keynote.

You can register here

BlackBerry Curve 8520 announced


Rim have finally announced their latest non-3G Qwerty Smartphone. Unlike previous BlackBerry models the 8520 sports an optical track-pad instead of the standard trackball used by Rim. The same kind of user control was introduced by Samsung with the i780 more than a year ago and is used is several other phones like the Epix, Omnia and SE Xperia. This new Curve also has dedicated media keys on top and out of the box Mac support for syncing contacts, calendars and applications. The official product page can be found here

According to SlashGear the 8520 should be available at T-Mobile USA and VodaFone UK

Update: T-Mobile’s Press Release

Sony Ericsson opens PlayNow Arena application submission

On the same day Microsoft is said to open app submissions to its mobile marketplace, Sony Ericsson just did the same by allowing developers to submit Java™ ME and Symbian native (S60 5th Edition) applications and games to the PlayNow Arena store.

Submit your content for assessment.
PlayNow™ arena allows end-users to access a full range of free and premium content via their mobile phone or computer. PlayNow arena Applications offers selected high quality and imaginative applications for Java™ ME and Symbian OS. Free and low-cost content can also be made available via Sony Ericsson’s Fun & Downloads service. You can now submit your content to PlayNow arena. Submission is free of charge and your application only needs to be signed if it is accepted.

For more PlayNow Arena info check SE’s official site : here

Microsoft Windows Mobile Application Verifier released

The Windows Mobile Team just released the Appilcation Verifier. What does it do exactly ? Here’s a description :

Before an application will be accepted into the Windows Marketplace for Mobile catalog, it must be able to perform all primary and secondary functions while the Microsoft Application Verifier Test (AppVerifier) is running. AppVerifier needs to be configured to detect heap corruption and invalid locks usage, including critical section use. The specific conditions that must be met in order for the application to pass the AppVerifier test are:

•The application must not break into the debugger, crash, or fail when Application Verifier Heaps, Locks and Handles related tests are performed.
•The application must not have any invalid pointers associated with the main executable.

For more info about the AppVerifier and download links with instruction click here. As announced a few weeks ago, application submissions to the Windows Mobile Marketplace should start tomorrow.

Android Donut leaked. Is it 2.0 or not and what about multi-touch support?

Saturday night the guys over at xda-devs got their hands on what seems to build the Donut build of Android. Looking at the repository they found out that there’s mention of native multi-touch support among other goodies that were demoed at I/O a few months back like text-speech, CDMA support etc. G1 cooked ROMs are already available. But it gets even more interesting tonight. Romain Guy, member of the Android Team at Google, posted the following here :

Donut is NOT Android 2.0 and there’s no multi-touch support in Donut.

Confused? Donut is probably just the name of the latest batch/developer branch of Android builds (which do probably have multi-touch code in them) but Google isn’t planning on exposing the feature before 2.0. At least HTC added multi-touch support in their Hero roms without waiting for Google. They are probably doing the same with future Windows Mobile phones..

Source : Engadget