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Wikipedia app gets Windows Phone 'app star' honour

Microsoft has crowned its "Next App Star," awarding the title to Rudy Huyn for his Windows Phone Wikipedia app.

Huyn will now have the chance to have his app, available now for free in the Windows Phone marketplace, featured in a prime-time television commercial in the US.

In January, Microsoft invited Windows Phone developers from around the world to submit their apps for a chance to be featured in an upcoming TV spot. The result: 9,137 entries from 79 markets.

Those entries were narrowed to 64 finalists from around the world - Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, the UK, and the US, Microsoft said in a blog post. The company then opened up voting to the public, and more than 615,000 votes helped narrow the field even further, earning finalists prizes like Nokia Lumia 920 phones and Microsoft Signature Sony ultrabooks, not to mention exposure among Windows Phone owners.

In the final round, the competition came down to ProShot by Eddie Kezeli and Huyn's Wikipedia, which brings the popular website to Windows Phone, and Huyn emerged victorious.

In a Microsoft video showcasing the winning app, Huyn explained that he created the application because, well, he likes Wikipedia.

"I like to learn new things," he said. "Everyone can use my application, because everybody likes to learn." Huyn focused on the app's design, in an effort to build the "best Windows Phone experience possible."

Huyn is no stranger to Windows Phone development, having built more than 45 apps.

All 64 free and paid Windows Phone Next App Star finalists are listed online, and are available in the Windows Phone marketplace. Last year, Microsoft reached a milestone 75,000 certified Windows Phone 8 apps, less than a year after the next-gen operating system was released. Still, Microsoft is lagging behind the dominant Android and iOS platforms in terms of available applications.