About 3 weeks ago we welcomed over 50 developers at our offices in Zaventem for the second Windows 8 Summer App-a-thon (the first edition was in July in Blankenberge).  A full day of Windows 8 coding, spread out over 2 sessions (Day & Night), with some fun activities in between (cocktail bar at 4PM, playing Kubbs in the park , … ) as well as tips & tricks to kickstart your apps.

   

You can find more pictures of the event here.

The attendees could also take part in a contest in which their app would be presented to a Microsoft jury looking at the following criteria:

-Creativity of the app & service
-Technical architecture
-Implementation of the Metro design principles
-Windows Store potential

Today we’re happy to announce the winners! Congratulations go to …

1st prize
Xbox 360 + Kinect
xbox-kinect
Name: Bart Lannoeye
App: Takuzu
Description: Takuzu is a binary puzzle game with very simple rules and challenging puzzles.

Takuzu
(click for larger image)

In Bart’s own words: “It was a fun app-a-thon at Microsoft HQ and we saw some great apps demoed at the end of the day. I got positive feedback on the game and winning a prize is an extra confirmation that we're on the right track and a motivation to get it in the marketplace before GA."
2nd prize
€150 travel voucher from Connections
Connections
Name: Jérémie Melchior
App: Mon Entraineur
Description: The app allows athletes to keep track of their trainings and competitions.

Mon Entraineur
(click for larger image)

In Jérémie’s own words: “I am very happy to be awarded as 2nd to the App-a-thon. It is my first application and it gives me confidence in developing other applications in the future. I am just started being on my own as a developer and enjoy the world that Windows 8 creates.”
3rd prize
€50 travel voucher from Connections
Connections
Developers: Xavier Decoster, Maarten Balliauw, Yves Goeleven, Kristof Degrave
App: StackExchange for Windows 8
Description: An unofficial Windows 8 app that uses the StackExchange v2 API. The goal of the app is to have a native experience browsing and monitoring StackExchange questions, tags & answers on the StackExchange Web sites (e.g. StackOverflow).

StackExchange
(click for larger image)

In their own words: “App-a-thons are great! They offer an opportunity to focus a couple of hours on building a prototype, there are MEET experts and MVP’s around to ask questions and there’s a great atmosphere! We were able to build an app for consuming the StackExchange network in a couple of hours. No full-fledged app, but we were able to focus on the initial basics and on getting this app going forward.”

Want to dive into Windows 8 apps too? If you pass an App Excellence Lab by September 14, 2012 you will get a €100 travel voucher from Connections (guaranteed prize!).

Take 4 simple steps:

Go
  1. Download the tools you need
  2. Follow on & offline training
  3. Attend an App Clinic
  4. Pass an App Excellence Lab

An App Excellence Lab is a 2-hour review of your application together with a Microsoft engineer. If your app meets all the requirements, you will receive the voucher and a Windows Store token! Read the full terms & conditions of this promo.

Windows 8 App-a-thon 
image
Only 8 weeks to go until Windows 8 becomes generally available (October 26!). We’re very happy to have received a lot of positive feedback from the people who attended our summer app-a-thons.

That’s why we are organizing another one in September! Join us at the Microsoft office in Zaventem on September 28 and team up with your best UX or developer friend to build a killer team, come alone, sign up with a group, whatever you want!

There will be 2 coding sessions, 1 for Day Birds from 10AM - 4PM and one for Night Owls from 6PM - 12AM. You can join us for one or both sessions.