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Microsoft Programming

iPhone App Wins Microsoft-Campus Programming Contest 233

imamac writes "Startup Weekend was a 54-hour coding marathon held on Microsoft's campus last weekend. It was designed to encourage the use of MS programming technologies. However, the winner of the contest was an iPhone app: '"Awkward," whispered Startup Weekend organizer Clint Nelsen into the microphone upon announcing the top vote getter.'"
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iPhone App Wins Microsoft App Contest

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  • Do'h!!

    This could be the end of that little experiment. Rule 1 is don't say anything good about your competitor. I wonder how much air time this will get in the media. And I can see the Apple vs. Microsoft ads now. Sucks to be a 'softie right about now.
  • What, was someone supposed to write an app for the Microsoft phone?
  • by cmholm ( 69081 ) * <cmholm@ma[ ] ['uih' in gap]> on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @03:52PM (#29277457) Homepage Journal

    The parent used a poor choice of words. Startup Weekend in general isn't an MS program, only the BizSpark program that helped organize this particular event.

    • by bonch ( 38532 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:35PM (#29277901)

      Microsoft sponsored the event, and it took place on the Microsoft campus. What was incorrect about the wording of the summary?

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:37PM (#29277931)

      Granted it moves every year, but this year it was also held at the Microsoft campus - and the 14 other apps were all written for Windows Mobile.

      Microsoft sponsored, at the Microsoft Campus, with mostly Microsoft apps - well, is it really so inaccurate to label it a Microsoft event even though technically it is not?

      It's close enough to be funny anyway.

      • Not to get too far offtopic, but your sig is highly interesting. Has it occurred to you that Bill and Steve did exactly that?
        • "Not to get too far offtopic, but your sig is highly interesting. Has it occurred to you that Bill and Steve did exactly that?" IIRC, Apple came first. And much about Microsoft is due to its aping Apple.

          That Apple still survives is an artifact of anti-competitive laws. In this case, those laws have worked famously.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mvdwege ( 243851 )

            Without Apple, chances are Microsoft would still be a Cygnus-like little shop writing interpreters and compilers for hardware manufacturers.

            Microsoft had two big breaks that made them what they are: the Z80 card for the Apple II and the contract to provide PC-DOS. And arguably, without the reputation MS built in the CP/M world with the SoftCard, they might not have gotten the IBM deal.


    • by Schnapple ( 262314 ) <tomkidd@[ ] ['via' in gap]> on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:59PM (#29278159) Homepage

      Startup Weekend in general isn't an MS program, only the BizSpark program that helped organize this particular event.

      Well let's give them a little credit in not requiring everyone to only use MS products and develop for MS platforms.

      • by mgblst ( 80109 )

        Yeah, do you really think that Steve or anyone important at Microsoft would have allowed this? Not if there were chairs available to be thrown, that is for sure.

        Every time Microsoft does something reasonable, you find out that they had a dodgy ulterior motive for it, and they do something twice as shitty next time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by woan ( 1629447 )
      I was there. The last two in Seattle were at Adobe and Google. Many thanks for MS for sponsoring this. Other than to win the prize, I think everyone would agree it would be stupid to target Windows mobile phone users. The fan favorites actually did both a Palm Pre and iPhone version of their app. Both the MS sponsored prize (preannounced for best team on MS platform) and the incubator (most promising business model) sponsored prizes went to the SearchKick team on the MS platform. I think 13 or so of the
  • Inaccurate Summary? (Score:5, Informative)

    by clang_jangle ( 975789 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @03:52PM (#29277459) Journal
    Actually, if you follow the link the first comment on TFA says:

    Actually the Top Award was given to another startup, Search Kick. they got the MS prize but also the prize of the design incubator. the other prize, public vote, was given to learnthatname. all great projects !

    I haven't bothered to confirm it, but that's the claim.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:19PM (#29277715)

      Yes, and if you read the second comment - posted by the article's author - you'd see that the iPhone app received the most votes by far. It was not eligible for the prize money, though, since that specifically predicated it was for an app "built on Microsoft technologies".

      • by Korin43 ( 881732 )
        So if you ported mono to the iPhone and then write wrote an application using it, would that count? Since .net is a Microsoft technology, mono provides a .net framework, and the application is "built on" a Microsoft technology? Just wondering..
        • You can't execute scripted content on the iPhone outside of the tools given, so no full mono stack... though you can do an ahead of time build against mono, which a few people are doing... building or even testing such a beast out of Visual Studio is another issue.

  • 54 hours? (Score:3, Funny)

    by FranTaylor ( 164577 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @03:55PM (#29277483)

    That works out to two days, using my Microsoft calculator.

  • by lostpuppy ( 121909 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:09PM (#29277601)

    They shouldn't be able to win until apple accepts the app for download.

  • XCode is free, only deploying to a real iPhone/iPod and selling in the app store costs money.

    Why should anyone pay money to develop for WinMo? it's market share has shrunk and C++ isn't a nice to write in as Objective C.

    • by Joehonkie ( 665142 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:24PM (#29277771) Homepage
      Xcode is free if you've got a Mac. Otherwise it costs 1 Macintosh worth of dollars.
    • I haven't been in the loop on WinMo in a few years, since I gave up on my Jornada and switched back to Palm, but at that time the Windows Powered SDK was a free download from Microsoft.

    • by beuges ( 613130 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:47PM (#29278029)

      Visual Studio Express is also free, as are the Windows and Windows Mobile SDKs. And you can develop in .net for WinMo using the .net Compact Framework, not only C/C++.

      And it doesn't cost money to deploy to a real phone or list on an app store (and you dont run the risk of having your dev costs flow down the toilet entirely because Apple rejected your app).

    • by LaughingCoder ( 914424 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @04:48PM (#29278043)
      You can get a copy of Visual Studio Express here (it's free): []

      And you'll also need this WinMo 6.5 SDK (it's free also): [].

      FWIW, I developed for Windows Mobile / Smartphone for several years. The tools were all free. Back then they had something called Visual Studio Embedded (free of course). The best thing was I was able to write a single version of the application (a non-trivial multi-threaded, multimedia application with network connectivity) which ran on my Windows desktop as well as on Windows Mobile (aka Pocket PC) and Windows Smartphone. I did the vast majority of my debugging and testing on the desktop. Very rarely did I have to do any mobile-specific debugging, other than wrestling with the &*%^$# cell network (this was from 2001 through 2005, when pushing data through the cell network was barely functional).

      Oh, and by the way, deploying to phones is free also. I don't need Microsoft's permission, nor do I have to pay them a fee.
    • Encourage use of MS tech by providing a mobile OS that doesn't suck. The last two years I had to develop for WM, and every time I thought I cannot be disappointed more I was wrong.Â
    • C++ isn't a nice to write in as Objective C

      That's an odd claim to try to make, considering they're so closely related. Have you actually used both enough to gain some level of mastery? Because I have, and the difference is, in my opinion, more a matter of preference than between any other two languages I can think of. One thing I will say, though, is I find Objective-C syntax absolutely horrendous to read compared to C++.

  • Does anyone know if Microsoft has any plans for Windows Mobile? It's old and slow, but I actually prefer the UI to the iPhone's. If they made a decent web browser they could be back in the game! I prefer the precision of the style to the fatfingered approach of the iPhone and Pre.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by 1shooter ( 185361 )

      If they made a decent web browser they could be back in the game!

      Therein lies the flaw in your reasoning. If indeed.

    • by tcdk ( 173945 )
      I still live with WinMo, but only because of the newest Opera Beta.... nice browser! []
    • There are other browsers for Windows Mobile, like Opera, Iris, Skyfire or Netfront.
      Firefox mobile is coming soon.

    • Microsoft will (hopefully) be releasing Windows Mobile 7 at the end of the year. Their currently supported version is v6.1, though many people have happily upgraded to their (very) reliable v6.5 betas (myself included). WM7 will focus on an OS-wide finger-friendly UI (which WM6.5 sort of has, but not quite entirely) and improved usability.

      Honestly though, its competitors are really starting to sap up all of their competitive advantages, which is starting to spell the beginning of the end for its relevance.

    • There is a decent browser (2 in fact,check upcoming Skyfire) for Windows Mobile, it is Opera 9 []

      (as Opera Desktop 10 shipped, their site getting a bit hammered now, check later if you wish)

      It is a real browser, just like iPhone Safari. As a bonus, it will have ''turbo'' (mobile compressing/reformatting proxy) too. Skyfire on the other hand, is a shell for a Desktop mozilla, which does amazing things like playing flash videos no matter whatever format they are. I also loved its appr

  •'s the start of the "extend" phase of their three step plan. ;)

  • Are you kidding me? How many Apple computers are running MS Office. Personally I think if Microsoft put more focus on cross-platform applications they would be able to leverage their extensive experience in developing software. The have gotten so bogged down in pi##ing contests with Google, Oracle, IBM and almost every other windmill out there that they have lost sight of what made Microsoft all their money, Basic and MS Office.

    I say now that RIM has released an SDK for VS we should create serious appl

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun