‘tis the season… for building apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone AND perhaps winning some great prizes as a result.

Generation AppThere are several contests being run by Microsoft and strategic partners to sweeten the pot for both designers and developers, and with holiday downtime (and new devices under the tree for some) it’s a great time to roll up the sleeves. Your first stop should be registering for Generation App – it’s free and you’ll get access to resources, samples, and other goodies to pave your way to the Windows Stores.

After that, take a look at these promotions currently in market and create some awesomeness – be sure to read all of the contest rules and regulations before entering.

Lumia Geek 8-Week Challenge (ends January 8, 2013)

Lumia Geek 8-Week ChallengeTo celebr8 the new WP8 Nokia Lumia devices we are hosting the Lumia Geek 8 Week Challenge. The challenge is open to developers worldwide who submit a neor significantly updated app to the Windows Phone Store between November 13, 2012 and January 8, 2013. One developer can submit multiple entries.

There are three awesome prize categories all with amazing prizes to be won. First and second prizes include trips to Mobile World Congressin Barcelona at the end of February 2013. We are looking for the best Windows Phone developers to make amazing apps for the new WP8 Nokia Lumia devices.

Student Holiday App Challenge (ends January 20, 2013)

Student Holiday App ChallengeThe Student Holiday App Challenge is open to US students (ages 18 and up) of accredited educational institutions. Individuals or teams (of at most three people) that submit a Windows 8 application to the Windows Store (after Dec 15th) and have it accepted and available for download by January 20th, 2013, will win a $100 gift card. An individual or team can submit up to FIVE applications and be awarded a gift card for each application that is in the store by January 20th. Note, there is a cap of 200 gift cards, so the earlier your app is in the store the greater your chances of receiving the $100!.

Tiggzi Windows 8 Developer Challenge (ends January 31, 2013 / February 28th, 2013)

Tiggzi Windows 8 Developer ChallengeThis is like two contests in one – enter by January 31st, and you’re eligible for both challenges; entries that don’t win the first challenge automatically roll over to the second.

Your application must be built with Tiggzi App Builder, and entries will be judged based on criteria including usefulness, quality, use of Tiggzi back-end services and use of native Windows 8 features like Live Tiles, Search and Sharing contracts, and snapped view.

Ten prizes will be awarded for each challenge: the top two get a Dell XPS Convertible; 3rd place is a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT; and all winners get at least a 6-month subscription to Tiggzi App Builder Pro.

App to the Future (ends February 3, 2013)

App to the Future registrationApp to the Future is an app design competition open to the international design community, challenging entrants to design and mockup conceptual apps for the Windows Phone platform to help with their day-to-day challenges, better connect with their family or friends, or showcase an innovative, new app idea. Top winning entrants will be further encouraged to develop and sell their app in the Windows Phone Store utilizing prizes, resources and assistance provided by Core77 and Microsoft.

30 finalists will receive a one year subscription to the Dev Center ($99 value). The top 5 finalists also get a Windows Phone and a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT, while the remaining 25 are eligible to receive a phone if their app is published by a deadline to be determined.

Windows 8 Apps for Social Good (ends February 28, 2013)

Windows 8 Apps for Social GoodWant to help people find the closest organic produce? Interested in making it easier for people to conserve more energy? Can you make online donations easier? How about making math easier for kids?

Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Contest invites both new and seasoned developers to create an app for “social good” – and you could win one of three cash prizes to help fuel your dream and keep it going!

The Best Overall Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps receive $15,000 each, and the People’s Choice gets $10K!  All three also get a Windows Phone.