Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) introduced a new Global Publisher Program, enabling developers worldwide to submit Windows Phone 7 applications for distribution via the software maker's Windows Phone Marketplace storefront. Writing on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Microsoft Senior Director of Mobile Services and Developer Product Management Todd Brix explains that the program enables developers to work with a Global Publisher intermediary, which will submit WP7 applications on the developer's behalf and determine pricing and service terms. "GPP does not preclude Microsoft from bringing full Windows Phone Marketplace and App Hub support to a given region," Brix adds. "If anything, GPP demonstrates that Microsoft is working hard to bring the Windows Phone opportunity to more regional developers as quickly as possible. Regions in which we work with a local publisher are clearly priorities."
Microsoft also revamped several Marketplace policies, most notably raising the limit on the number of no-cost certifications that can be performed on free apps from five to 100. "This was a common request from developers which we are glad to implement after building alternate methods to ensure that users can find and download high quality apps," Brix states. In addition, policy 5.6--related to the inclusion of contact information for support--is now optional, not mandatory.
Windows Phone Marketplace offers more than 9,000 applications, with a base of over 32,000 registered developers contributing an average of 100 new apps each day. Brix adds that downloads of the Windows Phone Developer Tools set now exceed 1 million. He also notes that developers leveraging WP7 trial capabilities are experiencing significant success: Premium applications that incorporate trial functionality are downloaded 70 times more than paid apps without the trial option, with nearly one in ten app trials converting to a purchase. Moreover, more than half of trial downloads that convert to a sale do so within a day, most within two hours.
- read this Windows Phone Developer Blog entry
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