Windows 8 First Apps Contest: You are a Finalist!

When Microsoft announced Windows 8 in September 2011 during the Build conference, I was very excited about the incorporation of Metro UI in the OS. Fast and Fluid, truly defined the first impression of Windows 8. I downloaded the Developer Preview and installed it on a virtual machine using VirtualBox. Though I did not succeed in installing it for the first time, I was successful the second time (after numerous searches on the web regarding this topic)! On the virtual machine, to be frank, the experience was not so awesome, but ok. The animations were a bit sluggish.

After installing, I played around with the OS for a few days. I created a few sample apps just to get a hang of metro apps. I was eager to create a major Metro App but was lacking the motivation (yeah, I can be lazy sometimes… 🙂 ).

Then in December, Microsoft announced the Windows 8 First Apps Contest! The thought of having an app of my own as a part of Windows 8 was very appealing. Besides, it gave me the required motivation to delve into Windows 8 programming.

I had created an app called FlipSaw, which is an innovative version of the jigsaw game, in WPF. I was planning to port it to WP7 so that I could release it at the MarketPlace. As the time was short, I decided to port the app to Windows 8 first. The only problem was I had minimal knowledge about Windows 8 programming and I had only 1 week before the deadline of January 8th.

Since the platform is a developer preview, I had a tough time porting the code and getting it to work. I learnt a lot of new things in Windows 8 thanks to the developer community forums. I was able to get the code working only 4 hours before the deadline and couldn’t polish the app much!. Finally I submitted the app with only 15 mins to spare.

Then it was a week long wait. The Build Contest site mentioned that the finalists will be notified via email by Jan 15. But there was no update till Jan 15th 12:59 pm PST (Jan 16th 1.30pm Indian Time). So I thought I didn’t make it. In the evening, the site posted a message that the finalists have been selected and the mails have been sent. I checked my mail again but still my inbox showed zero new mails :(. With a heavy heart, I resolved to update my app anyway when the Beta came out and post it in Windows Store when it opened.

The next day morning, as I was checking my mails, I found a new mail waiting for me in the inbox.

To my utter joy, the subject read – First Apps Contest: You are a Finalist!

Well, I have two more weeks before the deadline of Round 2 (Feb 3rd). This round will be way tougher than the previous round. Time to smoothen the rough edges of my app.

Let’s FlipSaw!!! 🙂

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