Almost anyone who’s ever tried Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system — including myself — will tell you that it’s a pretty terrific smartphone platform, except for one major weakness: The Windows Phone Marketplace. Although it’s home to a number of great apps, there aren’t nearly enough of them, and those who are used to Android and iOS and the huge catalog of applications that their app stores deliver find the Microsoft’s solution rather disappointing.
But the company has long been pushing to change that, and its taken some pretty huge steps, including offering developers tens of thousands of dollars to port their apps to Windows Phone, and handing out free Nokia Lumia devices. Its latest is a new reward scheme for developers in the U.K., which gives points for every application they release in the Marketplace.
Once their applications has passed Microsoft’s approval and been released, each developer receives one point (yes, just one). They can collect a total of four throughout the course of the program, and those points can then be used to claim free stuff. For example, one point is worth items like an Xbox 360 controller or 12 months of Xbox LIVE Gold, while all four points could get you a Nokia Lumia 800 or even helicopter flying lessons.
“This programme is designed to reward and celebrate UK developers who have taken the time and effort to develop and publish great Windows Phone apps into the Windows Phone Marketplace,” says Microsoft’s website. “You develop great and unique applications for the Windows Phone Marketplace in the UK, and we reward you for doing a great job.”
The program is available to developers in the U.K. only, and it will run until August 12, which doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to earn all four points.
Will you be signing up for the program?