Following concerns that Windows Phone 7 wouldn’t have enough titles support to satisfy the new wave of app-hungry smartphone users, Microsoft confirmed Monday that developer support has exceeded expectations. In a post on The Windows Phone Developer Blog, Microsoft’s Todd Brix announced that the Windows Marketplace for Mobile is now home to approximately 2,000 apps and games compatible with Windows Phone 7 devices. The figure is nearly double the company’s target, which was set last month. Microsoft also announced that the Marketplace is fully open to app submissions, and that it currently has 13,000 registered Windows Phone 7 developers. Windows Phone 7, which launched Monday in the U.S., is Microsoft’s attempt to reclaim consumer interest in its smartphones. Continued developer support is one of several keys to the success of the platform, and Microsoft certainly has an uphill battle ahead of it considering the massive app war chests held by Apple and Google. More →
Microsoft may be biting the hand that feeds them by not paying developers who are selling applications on Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace for Mobile. An increasing number of developers are expressing their angst at Microsoft and its Marketplace payment system which is supposedly not sending out payments for eligible accounts. Some accounts are reported to be incorrectly labeled as “Not eligible for revenue payout” when they have met the $200 payout threshold and other accounts, though labeled as “Eligible for revenue payout”, are not receiving any payouts due to mistakes within the payment system. In the latter case, much confusion exists with the “Eligible for revenue payout” status which applies to accounts that have already received a payment and are setup to receive future payments once the $200 threshold has been reached. More →
There it is, Windows Mobile developers — the day you’ve kind of, sort of, maybe been waiting for. Todd Brix, Senior Director for Mobile Platform Services Product Management at Microsoft has just announced that the company will begin accepting app submissions in 29 supported countries on July 27th. As in, less than two weeks from today. Woo! Brix goes on to report that Microsoft is on schedule to launch its “Windows Marketplace for Mobile” this fall alongside Windows Mobile 6.5. Current users shouldn’t fret of course, as the Marketplace will also be available on WinMo 6.0 and 6.1 before the year is out. So what say you, Windows Mobile fans — think the Marketplace can compete?
All right file in, ever-patient Windows Mobile developers. If you’ve managed to stick with ole’ faithful this long without jumping ship to a trendier, flashier platform, the light at the end of the tunnel is finally coming into focus. Maybe. Microsoft has now officially opened its doors for Windows Marketplace for Mobile developer registration, again. We’re a bit confused here because as far as we know, registration has been open since the beginning of the month. Maybe MS means international devs can now register? Perhaps, but several developers outside the States are still reporting difficulties with the registration process. Whatever the case may be, if you’re a WinMo dev who hasn’t jumped on board yet you should. Now the only thing left is to give this bad boy a nickname. Windows Marketplace for Mobile is quite the mouth full and doesn’t have nearly the same flow as App Store or App World. So what do you guys think we should call it? WMM? WinMaMo? MarkFoMob? Hmm. We’ll keep working on this and get back to you.
[Via Windows Mobile Team Blog]
One of the core issues many people cite when Windows Mobile’s shortcomings become the topic of discussion is the look. We’re not WinMo haters but we must admit, 6.0 and 6.1 do have a bit of a Windows 3.1 look to them. UI impacts the user experience, dramatically at times, so this is one area we’re hoping Microsoft really focuses on in 7. It’s obviously way too early to say how Redmond is doing but a new round of screenshots reported to show various areas of 7′s UI have emerged, and they may give us an idea of where MS is going interface-wise.
Above, a reported image of Windows Marketplace for Mobile displays a pretty minimalist UI with clean lines and angles. Below, a screenshot of Windows IM maintains the same overall feel, and then a shot of the podcasting app goes in a completely different direction. That’s all fine of course, but if you compare all of the shots we have so far something catches the eye. Look at the battery, signal, and volume placement in each of the shots — they’re constantly moving. Battery switches from the bottom left (Marketplace and IM) to the bottom right (maps) and whatever it is that is represented by that triangle / “Y” icon does the same; hell, the icon itself changes. Moving readings around like that is a horrible, horrible idea as far as UX goes so this leads us to believe one of three things: 1) Microsoft’s UX architects have blown a gasket, which is doubtful. 2) These shots are of various builds and Microsoft is playing with the placement of these UI elements and their icons. 3) The screenshots are fake. You be the judge — hit the jump to check out the rest of the new shots along with two old ones.
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.