In an effort to reinvigorate interest in the platform it has just acquired, HP has recently tasked Palm with creating a contest for its webOS developers, with two top prizes of $100,000 each. Separate awards will be given for apps in both the free and paid categories, with the former judged by number of unique downloads, and the latter by total revenue generated. Besides the set of top prizes in each category, the company is also giving away a total of eight $50,000 bonuses, thirty $10,000 checks, and 100 HP Envy 17 laptops or $1,000 credit vouchers at HP.com.
This so-called “Hot Apps” contest follows a similar, non-PDK one which ended in July with Pandora Radio and YouView Visual Voicemail Client taking top honors in the free and paid categories, respectively.
To be eligible for the contest, developers must have created their app(s) with Palm’s proprietary Plug-in Development Kit (PDK), and distribution must have occurred through one of Palm’s official channels. In the event that ties occur with respect to downloads or revenue, the first app to hit that particular mark will be judged the winner. A leaderboard showing the current standings is available here (and with twelve empty slots in the free category, it seems like $12,000 worth of sweet HP credit is still up for grabs).
With a total of $1,000,000 on the line, it’s clear that HP is looking to both buoy the spirits of current webOS developers and, perhaps more importantly, draw new programmers into the fold. Much of the company’s future in mobile (both in the smartphone and tablet spaces) would seem to hinge on the success of the young, but well-regarded platform. If HP and Palm can start to crank out hardware that is more universally appealing, and combine that with a well-stocked app store, the newly-combined entity probably has a good shot of capturing market share.