Now that I’ve caught your attention with the title of this post, I want to introduce you to a really great promotion we are holding at Microsoft Canada for you as a mobile app developer (by the way, when I write “app”, I actually mean “app or game”).

One of the biggest comments that I get when talking to people interested in building an app for Windows Phone is that they don’t have a device.  Then they ask me where they can get a Windows Phone.  The easiest answer is to go to your local wireless carrier and purchase a Windows Phone (likely with a data plan) from them.  That isn’t always optimal (hey, I get it – if you’re locked into a plan it’s a tough sell to get another one with your carrier of choice).  The second choice is to purchase a Windows Phone from a distributor like zones.com, where you can purchase a device that is not attached to a data plan, but those phones are typically not subsidized by the distributor or the device manufacturer.

Now, for those of you that publish 2 or more new, quality apps for Windows Phone, we will actually give you a Windows Phone to keep through the Mango App Challenge.  Feel free to re-read that.  Your eyes are not deceiving you.  There are terms and conditions, of course, but the gist of the offer is that if you create 2 new apps (i.e.: they don’t already exist in the Marketplace) that meet a certain quality bar and you publish them under a Canadian Marketplace account before December 15th, we’ll be delivering you a shiny new Windows Phone with the Windows Phone 7.5 OS (formerly codenamed “Mango”) already installed on it.  It’s that simple.  We’re so confident in your ability to bring some amazing apps to the Marketplace that we have 300 devices total for this offer to give out to developers.

So, are you interested?  I thought you might be.  For those of you that know Windows Phone development already, chances are you’ve already fired up Visual Studio 2010 and have great ideas ready to be converted into code.  For those of you that have not built apps for Windows Phone, we have you covered as well.  There are tonnes of resources available to you to learn how to build apps for Windows Phone and the tooling is freely downloadable.  The only thing you need to to is pay the CAD $99 fee to register as a developer for Windows Phone (this registration is required to publish apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace).  Below are some resources to get you started (and they are great for new and seasoned developers alike!).

How to Get Started Building Apps for Windows Phone and Enter the Mango App Challenge

  • Visit the Microsoft Canada Windows Phone Developer Resource Page:  This is a one-stop link shop for pretty much everything you need to start building for Windows Phone (in fact, the links below this one are included in this Resource page)
  • Download the free developer tools
  • Learn how to develop for Windows Phone with free training like this, this and this
  • Register as a Canadian-based publisher on the App Hub (this will allow you to publish apps to the Marketplace)
  • Build and test your 2 apps.  Then submit your apps for certification in the Marketplace.  When it passes certification, publish your apps.
  • Submit your 2 published apps to the Mango App Challenge before December 15, 2011.
  • If you meet the requirements of the Mango App Challenge and there are still phones available from this offer, then you will be notified that you have scored yourself a free Windows Phone!

Good luck and happy coding!