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Startups, entrepreneurs, and app builders are congregating at DEMO Mobile in San Francisco today. DEMO Mobile is the launch event exclusively focused on the best new mobile technologies based on design, innovation and market potential.
Today, a few startups showed onstage how their inspiration came alive on Windows 8, and launched new apps in the Windows Store: KinectHealth, a mobile fitness studio app, TouchMail, a modern e-mail app, and Envvied, an app where fashion meets shopping.
Last year, Bob Summers, who has been programming since he was just eight years old, was looking for a way to stay motivated in his mission to stay active and lose weight. He wanted a solution that offered a variety of training programs, the ability to track progress over time, and help in keeping motivated with encouragement from his workout buddies. Eight months later KinectHealth was born. Think of the KinectHealth app as your mobile fitness studio.
Exclusively available on Windows 8 and powered by Azure Mobile and Media Services, KinectHealth helps you achieve your fitness goals with a variety of fresh workout videos, a fitness progress tracker, and a buddy system using TimeFit technology to bring others into your online studio via webcam. The diverse device support for Windows 8 also means that you can exercise with the device and screen size that works best for you, whether it is your PC, tablet, or all-in-one.
KinectHealth takes advantage of unique Windows 8 features like the Share charm, enabling you to share your fitness progress with family and friends. You can also keep track of your workouts with biometric data gathered through your webcam and share workout videos, goals, and progress with your Xbox or networked TV. With KinectHealth’s use of live tiles, you can keep your workouts fresh when new workout videos are available.
KinectHealth has already signed up a number of popular trainers including Amanda Russell, YouTube’s Next Fitness Personality with over 35 thousand subscribers and over 2.2 million views. KinectHealth is free to download in the Windows Store with the option to purchase a subscription for $14.99 per month, which gives you access to 24 new workout routines every month.
If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time with email. Trying to catch-up on mail after being out of the office, quickly searching and finding mail items, or simply keeping my inbox organized; it seems like the email deluge is never ending.
With more and more email activity occurring on mobile devices, Seattle-based startup TouchMail Inc. had an idea to help make email more productive and visually compelling on mobile, touch-based devices. The result of this idea and their work is an app that brings a uniquely visual and intuitive touch email experience to Windows 8.
With TouchMail, you search in the same way that you naturally scope information while you think, with filters such as people, attachments and priority. A quick touch on my boss’ profile picture and I can quickly see all the messages he’s sent me.
The app’s signature Horizon View feature, organizes mail items in a visual way, letting you see patterns and priority items that you wouldn’t normally notice in a list view. Moreover, one-touch delete, color-coded messages, and profile pictures make managing your inbox easy. TouchMail is a great example of how apps can help you be more productive, whether using touch on a tablet or mouse and keyboard on a PC.
Envvied is also at the show in the Microsoft booth and is available right now in the Windows Store. This app marries fashion news and community with an interactive component that lets you shop for the latest trends on the web for the best price. Using this visually rich app, you can also submit pictures of your favorite fashions and have the Envvied community help you find the stores that carry the clothes you want. The team at Envvied is thrilled about the opportunity to get into the Windows Store early.
We hope that these apps have inspired you and that you want to get started. If you already have Windows 8, head over to WindowsStore.com to get more information on how to get started creating your own apps for Windows Store. If you run a Mac, we’re making it a little easier with the Windows 8 QuickStart Kit. The Windows 8 QuickStart Kit is the latest program we’ve built with Parallels to enable iOS app builders and designers to build apps for Windows. To celebrate the opportunities for startups on Windows 8, we’re extending our initial QuickStart offer with 10,000 more Windows 8 QuickStart Kits for app builders to get access to the tools they need to bring their app to Windows.
The kit includes a Windows 8 Pro, Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac , and iOS to Windows porting support from top engineers. We’re offering 1,000 Windows 8 QuickStart Kits online today to iOS app builders. To get the Windows 8 QuickStart Kit, go to http://swishdemo.com/details/demo-devkit, to answer a few questions, pass our developer puzzle, and donate $25 to code.org, Khan Academy or Watsi.org.
We are offering an additional 10,000 kits at various app builder events throughout the year . Check here for a list of upcoming events in the U.S. or here for international locations.
The QuickStart offer is just one example of our programs that focus on helping entrepreneurs and startups get support and start building for Windows. With more than 50,000 startups from 100 countries in the program, BizSpark provides software, support, visibility and community to promising startups and visionary entrepreneurs at no charge. Through BizSpark, you gain access to a global community of advisors, investors and partners as well as Microsoft software and services.
So what is your next big idea? We’d love to see it come alive on Windows 8!
--Ben Thompson, Partner Marketing Manager