Microsoft 30 to Launch: Where You Can Make an App That Goes Into the Store

So, what do you do when you show up to an app building workshop in San Francisco to learn how to build Windows 8 apps? Well, you make an app and it goes into the store. 

Microsoft just closed their 30 to Launch in San Francisco on Monday. It was pretty cool. About three dozen app developers gathered in Rocketspace each week to take classes on the building of Windows 8 apps. they got lessons in architecture, form factor, everything. And then they set to building. One of the developers, Paras Wadehra, impressed everyone by building an app that will soon go into the store. 

We decided to interview him about four other apps he built, to figure out what went in to getting them into the store. Here's the interview. 

Why did you make these apps? 

Paras: For me, building Windows Phone apps was a no-brainer. I already had been working with various Microsoft technologies, including .Net, C# and Silverlight. I had previously written apps for Windows Mobile and other competing smartphone platform,s as well. I was able to easily port my skills from desktop/web and other mobile platforms to the Windows Phone platform. My apps cater to the everyday needs of users. Take Dictionary for example, it is an app that I knew many people will use multiple times a day. My Dictionary app was the first Dictionary on Windows Phone platform. And then there is Unit Converter, again a very popular daily use app. For kids (and adults alike) I made SketchPad, which lets you draw free hand on a canvas with a vast palette of colors and then save your sketch in the Pictures Hub. On the games side, I made an app for popular game of Chess - it is a favorite time-pass for many people around the world and speaks to all people across cultures and without any language boundaries. Similarly, all my apps are easy to use and speak to the users directly.
My apps have been very well received by users, with over 300,000 downloads and they have won several awards and accolades from Microsoft and others in the industry.
What industry do they serve?

Paras: My apps cater to people of varying interests and range from Productivity App to Utility App, from a Kids App to a Game, from a Transit App to a News Reader App, and more.

What's it like working on the Windows platform? What can you tell us about how its design affects behavior?

Paras: I believe Windows Phone platform has the coolest form factor from an end user's perspective. It brings fresh air into the stale smartphone market. Microsoft has made working with and developing for Windows Phone a breeze. It is much easier to get your app in the marketplace compared to some competition, yet the application goes through a full quality review ensuring that low-quality or malware-ridden apps do not fill the marketplace. The intrinsic design of Windows Phone platform encourages developers to give more thought to the functionality of the app rather than trying to make it look pretty while it does nothing useful. From experience I can tell that users like apps that work better over apps that look good but do nothing, and Microsoft's platform delivers just that.
Paras Bio:

Paras is an avid Windows Phone enthusiast and champions other developers to get started developing for the platform. He is an experienced speaker and a co-organizer of the Silicon Valley Windows Phone User Group. He works as a Windows Phone developer at his day job along with consulting for a few other companies, while writing more apps in his own spare time. He is also in the process of converting his Windows Phone apps to the Windows 8 platform and won 1st place in the 30 to Launch competition for Windows 8 conducted by Microsoft in San Francisco. He can be found online on Twitter as @ParasWadehra

Apps featured in this article:
Chess -
Dictionary -
SketchPad -
Unit Converter -

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