Honeymoon for developers and Windows Marketplace for Mobile may be over

Among the flurry of on-device application distribution channels currently in the works, Windows Marketplace for Mobile may be among those that will struggle for quality content once reaching market. Could this be a product of Windows Mobile’s relatively small market share or lack of developer interest? Most certainly not; any Windows Mobile user will tell you about the huge abundance of great WinMo apps out there. Microsoft, maker of Windows — the world’s most widely embraced platform as far as third-party development is concerned — has apparently decided its bottom line is more important than playing nice with mobile platform developers. Pulling what could be a page from the Handango playbook, the company has incorporated a series of questionable policies that seem to highlight Microsoft’s interest in dollars and cents far outranking its interest in encouraging the very developers it hopes will populate its mobile money maker.

In a nutshell, developers get five free submissions to the Marketplace each year while subsequent submissions will run $99 a pop. A nice seemingly nice gesture, until you get to the part where each and every revision of an app will count as a new submission! In other words, new versions of an app will not only count towards a dev’s five free passes but each new version will cost the developer $99 to submit. Crazy. Rather than worry about immediately recouping internal app review costs, perhaps Microsoft should consider encouraging revisions — or, you know, encouraging developers to make their apps better and add features that could potentially improve sales.

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