Win the Ultimate ExperienceDid Santa leave a Nokia 920 under the tree for you?  Or maybe the 8 days of Hanukkah left you with a nifty Surface with Windows RT? Without a doubt these devices are a treat to use, but it’s the apps that make them come alive, and now’s a great chance to be part of the user experience that will reach millions of consumers (and perhaps win yourself an Xbox or even a tour of Microsoft Studios to boot!).

As a developer (or designer) your journey to the Windows 8 or Windows Phone Store should start with Generation App, a free, self-paced, 30-day program that provides training links, design guidance, and the ability to get one-on-one consultations from a Windows 8 engineer and designer.

If you’re a developer (and an 18-year old or older resident of the 50 United States or District of Columbia) and you get an app published between December 20, 2012 and February 28, 2013, you’ll also get

  • reimbursed for your developer store account(s) (see full rules for specifics and exceptions) – if you get both a Windows 8 and a Windows Phone app into the respective marketplaces, both registration fees will be reimbursed!
  • a copy of Halo 4 for Xbox 360,
  • a chance to win of 12 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect packages – actually you’ll get one chance to win for each application that’s accepted into the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store during the aforementioned period.  More apps means greater odds that you'll win!
  • a shot at the Grand Prize, where a panel of judges will select three winners (see full rules for criteria) who each receive a trip to Microsoft Studios in Redmond, WA, including
    • round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations (two nights) for two people,
    • hotel/airport transfers to the Microsoft Campus, and
    • a tour of Microsoft Studios, participation in a coding session, lunch, and a sneak peek at an upcoming game.

To enter, your first step is building your Windows 8 or Windows Phone application, which is where Generation App comes in. When your app gets accepted to the Windows 8 or Windows Phone Store (between now and February 28, 2013), you can then enter the Ultimate Experience providing the application URL for each application you submit within the promotion timeframe.