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iPhone app wins Microsoft's own app contest

updated 11:30 am EDT, Tue September 1, 2009

iPhone app Wins MS Contest

Microsoft drew embarrassment this weekend when it revealed that the winner of its app development contest was an iPhone app. Although 14 out of the 15 young companies at the Startup Weekend event wrote for a Microsoft platform, it was an iPhone contact memorization app, Learn That Name, which won the most votes from those at the competition. The victory came despite having just 48 hours to build and test the app and should lead to a $3 download when it reaches the App Store.

News of the iPhone app's win is ill-timed for Microsoft, which just today set a Windows Mobile 6.5 ship date for next month and has been trying to attract third-party developers to write for the platform. Besides contests like Startup Weekend, it has shown developers how to port iPhone apps and has tried to provide equal incentives to Apple by asking for a flat 30 percent cut of revenue instead of the steep, popularity-based rates common to most outside Windows Mobile app stores.

By Electronista Staff


  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    ha. ha. ha.

    microsoft sucks.

  1. zro

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Nov 2003



    I don't know whether or not I'd have liked to be in the room when Steve Ballmer heard about this. :D

  1. simdude

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2004


    well it wasn't fair

    I mean, there was only 14 Microsoft apps vs 1 iPhone app. I think you would probably need about 40 MS apps to find one better.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Maybe there should have

    been an app written that takes full advantage of WinMo's awesome multi-tasking abilities. No iPhone app would have been able to beat that.

    Multi-tasking means more to tech-nerd smartphone users than anything else. It just doesn't mean diddly to 99% of the non-tech smartphone users.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



    The Learn that Name app won because it was the best idea. It had nothing to do with the platform. In fact, it wasn't even an app anywhere until before the competition, and still isn't an iphone app as it has not been approved.

    This is a poorly written article with the goal of making this seem worse than it is. Look at the difference in language used between this article ant the techcrunch one.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



    Ya, someone should build ONE app that takes advantage of multitasking. That makes sense. Multitasking allows for multiple apps to run at the same time... pretty hard to develop one app that takes FULL advantage of that.

    multitasking doesnt mean diddly to 99% of the non-tech smartphone users? Really? They don't experience it everyday on their own computers, and then wonder why they have to reload pidgin or aim from scratch every time they get a new message? Or if they leave a game mid level, they cant come back to it the way it was after checking their calender? Please. Get real.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    Yeah, multi-tasking means nothing to iPhone users, since they aren't allowed to have it except in Apple's own apps. The 99% you quote aren't missing it because they don't realize what it could mean.

    How about streaming audio while surfing the web? Or using Skype and wanting to check email? Or just be able to quickly check todays ball scores?

    Multitasking isn't just about having an app run just in case something happens and it needs to respond. It's actually switching between apps without having to wait for them to load into memory, connect to the internet, and have the content load, rather than just be there.

    But I'm sure even on your Mac you just close down Mail when you use Safari. Then quit safari when you want to type a letter. Then quit in the middle of typing the letter so you can check the spelling of a word in a dictionary. Then quit the dictionary and open the editor again.

    Oh, right, you don't.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    The app didn't win. It received the most votes, but the author didn't get the big prize. That went to someone who actually coded for an MS platform.

    And it's also going to be on the Palm Pre. Should we check the Palm sites and see if they're reporting it as a Palm app winning the content?

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