On the fence? Signed up but not started? It's not too late! You've got until February 15 for someone on your team to take the Windows 8 App Challenge quiz, which is available from your Dashboard once you've signed up for the challenge and created a team.

To get you going, we're spending this whole week sharing information about the challenge and about developing for Windows 8. We thought we'd get this started with a bang so with help from Jura Clapman, our Captain for this challenge, here are our Top Ten Reasons to Compete in the Windows 8 App Challenge:

  1. No matter where you are in the world, January is the most boring month of the year. You might as well code!
  2. Windows 8 is the biggest developer opportunity ever: over 60 million licenses sold to date and your app could be available to every one of those PCs through the Windows Store!
  3. Students may never have any money, but they can submit their apps to the Windows Store for free! Details here: https://www.dreamspark.com/Student/Windows-8-App-Development.aspx
  4. You can get through Windows Store certification faster by running the Windows App Certification Kit to make sure your app is ready before you submit. Download the kit here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/apps/jj572486
  5. You can start fast and start smart with Microsoft Visual Studio 2012's app templates. And Visual Studio 2012 is free for students at http://www.DreamSpark.com/
  6. App icons that don't tell you anything new are stale. But even when your Windows 8 app isn't running, Live Tiles pull updated content to the Start screen to show you the latest information. Now that's fresh!
  7. Users can get files in and out of your app easily if you just use the File Picker contracts.
  8. You can share content between your app and others with the Share contract. Post tidbits to Facebook, send high scores to friends, and more.
  9. Feeling lazy? In just two steps you can add search functionality to your app. You could have already done it instead of reading this top ten list!

And the number one reason to compete in the Windows 8 App Challenge is . . .

  1. Windows 8 has still got that New OS smell! Mmmmmmmmmmm! 

John Scott Tynes
Imagine Cup Competition Manager
Microsoft Academic Programs