Following several recent instances of developers individually publishing hundreds of applications in a matter of days, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will now limit the number of Windows Phone apps any one developer can have certified in a single day to 20. "While these apps meet our certification requirements and give consumers a wider selection of content, we're also finding that publishing them in bulk degrades our customers' experience," writes Microsoft senior director of mobile services and developer product management Todd Brix on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. "By publishing hundreds of apps in a short amount of time, the popular 'New' Marketplace list category fills quickly, pushing the other new apps out and reducing the diversity of the shopping experience."
Brix states that developers can still submit large bunches of apps for certification at one time, but Microsoft will limit individuals to 20 certifications a day rather than approving them all in one fell swoop. "This change helps us retain a balance of choice and customer experience by enabling customers to see a broader and more representative assortment of new apps from the developer community when they see 'New' apps every day," Brix explains, adding Microsoft will reach out to companies who've recently published large numbers of apps with similar functionality. "We're offering to work with these developers to explore how they can better take advantage of the Windows Phone platform to improve the functionality of their apps and reduce the need for large numbers of similar apps," Brix notes.
Microsoft will remove many recent bulk apps from Windows Phone Marketplace while their developers update and republish their software. Brix adds the company will create and share additional guidance and best practices to help Windows Phone developers more effectively create applications offering localized or targeted experiences without the need for dozens of unique apps.
In tandem with the introduction of its Windows Phone 7.1 mobile operating system update, Microsoft last month announced a web-based version of Windows Phone Marketplace slated to go live later this year. Like the existing smartphone-based version of Windows Phone Marketplace, the web iteration will enable consumers to browse the complete application catalog, view screenshots, check out details and reviews and select from the app's supported languages. Microsoft also will expand Windows Phone Marketplace local app submission and purchase support from 16 to 35 countries--the new markets include Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan.
- read this Windows Phone Developer Blog entry
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