Kiwi web developer Marker Studio has setup the world’s first 100% Windows app agency. The agency is to be known as Market Metro. Specifically, with Microsoft’s upcoming release of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Marker Metro is dedicated to building apps for Microsoft’s new Metro user interface, which includes apps customised to suit individual organisations needs and the device they run on, as well as being tailored for touch interaction.
“This is a huge opportunity, so we’ve just gone for it,” says Keith Patton, Marker Metro CEO. “Microsoft Windows powers the lion’s share of consumer PCs around the world today. It’s natural that millions of users will soon upgrade to Windows 8, either through a software upgrade or on new PCs and tablets like the Surface device just announced.”
Marker Metro is already among the select few permitted to submit apps to the Windows Store before the release of Windows 8. Working with Microsoft, the company developed two of the top apps in the new Windows Store, including the NZ Herald app and the Trade Me Toolbox app. “We’ve been working with the Metro ‘DNA’ since the announcement of Windows Phone 7 back in early 2010”, says Marker Metro practice lead Ben Gracewood, “so we have a deep understanding of the design philosophy and programming techniques required to make the very best Windows apps.”
“It’s an exciting time for Microsoft and it’s really pleasing to see Marker Metro seize the opportunity presented by Windows 8 and Windows Phone to create a new business building amazing Metro apps for their customers”, says Scott Wylie, director of the developer and platform group for Microsoft New Zealand.
Marker Metro’s unique skills have not gone unnoticed. The Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) app for the Windows Phone received the inaugural ‘Windows Phone Solution of the Year’ at the 2011 Microsoft New Zealand Partner awards, and the company’s word game Alphajax took out the Best Mobile Application category at the 2011 ONYA awards, which reward excellence in New Zealand’s web developement industry.
“The apps Marker Metro have built for the Windows Phone stand out for their great design and attention to detail,” says Nick Abbott, developer experience lead for Nokia Australia and New Zealand. “This agency is creating truly world-class apps”. The team at Marker Metro are currently gearing up to release a Windows 8 app for 7Digital, to accompany their Windows Phone 7 app, also built by Marker Metro.
“We’d love to work with more companies – kiwi or worldwide - to get their apps into the Windows Store,” says Gracewood. “I see it as a truly unique opportunity for enterprise IT shops to give their users the best of all worlds: Great tablet devices, fantastic apps, and access to the full power of Windows when required.”