Windows 8 is almost here, but despite Microsoft’s best efforts, there just aren’t that many Windows 8-style apps available yet. To kick-start the Windows 8 development community, Microsoft today announced that it is hosting a global hackathon in over 60 cities from November 9 to 11. Registration for the event is now open.
The hackathon, which Microsoft decided to call “Wowzapp 2012,” is mostly geared toward students, but a Microsoft spokesperson told me that it is open to all developers.
Microsoft will provide all participants with the necessary tools to build their apps, including Visual Studio 2012 Express (which, just like Visual Studio Professional, is free for students through Microsoft’s DreamSpark program). At the event, Microsoft app experts, developers and trainers will be on hand to help the participants develop their apps (or put the finishing touches on their existing apps). In addition to this help, participants will also receive a Windows Store registration code so they can submit their apps for to the Store.
“Windows 8 represents a prime opportunity for students to gain practical experience as developers and potentially earn money through app downloads in the Windows Store, before even graduating from college,” says Microsoft. “Whether a student wants to offer their application for free or make money from paid apps or advertising, the Windows Store provides the flexibility to do so.”
In addition to this program, Microsoft is also running Generation App and other initiatives to motivate developers to write apps for Windows 8. Just last month, Microsoft also hosted Appfest in Bangalore, India, the world’s largest non-stop coding marathon, where over 2,500 developers write Windows 8 apps.