The Microsoft Garage program has released a number of apps for Windows Phone, Android and other platforms. Many of them are the work of college students who have worked with the company as part of the Microsoft Foundry program.
Microsoft says that 65 students are picked to attend the Foundry programs, which are held in the company's offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and Hyderabad, India. Some of the apps that have been released from this program, via Microsoft Garage, include the now discontinued Tetra Lockscreen for Windows Phone, along with Floatz, Nova Bacon and Lost Turtle. Students were even in charge of the free Xbox One game Voice Commander.
"These kids are no slouches when it comes to technology. About 80 percent of them have backgrounds in computer science while the other 20 percent are skilled in design-user experience. The students come from universities such as MIT, the University of Michigan, Simon Fraser University, and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay."
"The interns use the full three or four months of the program (depending on location) to make a high-quality, smooth, and appealing game or app. And developing one from an idea to a story-ready product requires a variety of skills."
Even after the apps are released, Microsoft says the students continue to release updates based on feedback from users. Microsoft compares the interns' experience to working at a tech startup. Lucian Lui, the senior director of Microsoft's New England Research and Development Center in Cambridge, states:
"We want them to learn what it takes to get from concept to ship and experience the journey in a very accelerated way. They understand how difficult it is to take an idea and make it usable and available to people. We guide them along, but they need to own the solution. This is real-world experience."