Microsoft has apparently learned from one of rival Apple's biggest mistakes, making clear the rules and restrictions that developers must follow to earn submission to its forthcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile application storefront. Even as the specifics of Apple's App Store approval policies remain a mystery--most recently, an update for an official Nine Inch Nails iPhone app, developed in conjunction with the pioneering industrial music group's frontman Trent Reznor, ran afoul of Apple censors on the grounds it contains "objectionable content"--Microsoft issued the following list of Windows Marketplace guidelines, answering most common questions well in advance of the store's scheduled opening in conjunction with the release of its Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system.
The list of prohibited application types, as reported by WMExperts:
1. Applications that are or distribute alternate marketplaces for content types (applications, games, themes etc.) that are sold or otherwise distributed through Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
2. Applications that link to, incent users to download, or otherwise promote alternate marketplaces for content types that are sold or otherwise distributed through Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
3. Applications that promote or link users to a website, or contain functionality within the application itself, which encourages or requires the user to purchase or pay to upgrade the application outside of Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
4. Applications that enable VoIP (Voice over IP) services over a mobile operator network.
5. Applications that sell, link to, or otherwise promote mobile voice plans.
6. Applications that display advertising that does not meet the Microsoft Advertising Creative Acceptance Policy Guide (http://advertising.microsoft.com/creative-specs).
7. Applications that replace, remove or modify the default dialer, SMS, or MMS interface.
8. Applications that change the default browser, search client, or media player on the device.
9. Applications with an OTA (over the air) download greater than 10 MB.
10. Applications that run code outside Microsoft runtimes (native, managed, and widgets).
11. Applications that publish a user's location information to any other person without first having received the user's express permission (opt-in) to do so, and that do not provide the user a means of opting out of having their location information published.
12. Applications that publish a user's data from their mobile device to any other person without first having received the user's express permission (opt-in) to do so, and that do not provide the user a means of opting out of having their data published. A "user's data" includes, without limit, contacts, photos, SMS or other text communication, browsing history, location information, and other data either stored on the mobile device or stored in the "cloud" but accessible from the mobile device.
WMExperts notes that the list does raise a few questions, namely whether Microsoft will approve WinMo apps that enable WiFi services over carrier networks despite the restriction on VoIP as well as whether it will decline web browsers from firms like Opera Software and Skyfire, which enable users to set them as default browsers in seeming contradiction of rule 8.
For more on the Windows Marketplace rules:
- read this WMExperts article