From the app description:
"App Enthusiasts showcases applications created by developers around the world on Windows Phone and Windows 8. Stay up to date with the coolest creations by students, indie developers, and companies in your area. App Enthusiasts can filter apps by region, country, state and city, and it even keeps track of the apps you’ve seen across all of your devices! Microsoft employees are using App Enthusiasts to showcase apps at local events around the world, so if you’re interested in having your application promoted or if you’d like to find out about Enthusiast events in your area, please email AppEnthusiasts@Microsoft.com."
What is exciting is that App Enthusiasts is more than just an app, it is a movement to bring visibility to applications created by Windows Phone and Windows 8 devs. Microsoft field employees are planning to host events at Microsoft retail stores across the U.S. At these events, developers featured in App Enthusiasts share their creations and speak to the audience about their inspiration. We believe that an application like this can help create a community of supportive developers and fan interest alike. I certainly suggest reaching out to AppEnthusiasts@Microsoft.com if you have an app that you would like featured in this program! Seriously, we want your best work to shine!
Let’s take a look at the app itself:
Upon launching either version of the app, the user is asked to authenticate with their Live credentials and is then greeted with a listing of applications organized by date:
Users can see at a glance what City, State, and Country an app has been published in. Upon clicking an item, the user will be brought to the download page in the marketplace for the selected app. When an item has been viewed, a checkmark appears next to the item indicating that it has been seen.
With these applications it’s really easy to discover cool apps from my region. By setting the filter to my city I was able to see creations from people in my area. From here I could easily install apps built by people I’ve actually met in the field. Being able to curate and find their work made it incredibly easy for me to provide feedback and ratings. It is a really great way for me to keep in touch with my community and help promote the Windows ecosystem. If you want to know more about the upcoming events and how to showcase your app, send an e-mail to AppEnthusiasts@Microsoft.com.
A friend of mine just passed me a link to a series of tech talks that Apple is putting on around the world:
We noticed a few interesting differences between the way that Apple is doing their events compared to the way Microsoft runs ours. The first one, and the one I think is the most fun: they’re providing wine and cheese. It’s from 6:00 to 7:00 so I don’t know if the wine and cheese is in addition to dinner or instead of dinner, but at Microsoft events we’ve never done anything like that. Sure we have open bars all the time, but wine and cheese has a different connotation.
Next we noticed that they’re giving priority admission to developers who have written and submitted at least one app, and they’re having the information presented at the event covered under NDA (so photographs and recordings are not allowed).
As a Microsoft employee who frequently hosts and attends Microsoft events, I’m curious what Microsoft developers would think about this format. For you Microsoft developers out there, would wine and cheese be more appealing than an open bar with your choice of beer? And how would you feel about an event where you couldn’t talk about what you saw when you left? Would the secrecy be worth getting more of an inside scoop, and would you really be willing to stick to it? What about events that give priority to people who have published apps? Would you be deterred from signing up knowing that you might get bumped? Or would you feel like you’re getting preferential treatment because you’ve actually built something on the platform?
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