Windows Phone Marketplace policies revealed

The new policies for the Windows Phone Marketplace have officially been posted on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. Eight months ago, Microsoft's first phone market was announced. Now, with the upcoming release of Windows Phone 7, the game has changed, and so shall the Marketplace. Below are the new policies that are being put into affect (all quoted directly):

  • Annual registration fee of $99
  • No limit to the number of paid apps submitted 5 free apps per registration, $19.99 each after that
  • Free registration to DreamSpark students (same unlimited paid and 5 free apps applies)
  • A new optional push notification service to help developers stay engaged with customers
  • A new optional Trial API - trials mean more customers try your app, and less likelihood that they return it. The length or type of trial is fully controlled by the developer
  • The ability to publish to all available Marketplace markets through a new “worldwide distribution” option, allowing developers to pay once and distribute broadly
  • Wider range of business models; free, paid, freemium and ad-funded
  • Equally important to many developers is what isn’t changing:
  • A revenue share of 70/30
  • Developers manage their business with Marketplace via the self service portal http://developer.windowsphone.com
  • Payout takes place monthly for developers that have earned more than USD$200 worldwide
  • Developers can make ad funded applications
  • All applications go through a process of technical and content certification
  • Marketplace offers support for credit card commerce, and where available mobile operator billing.
  • Microsoft continues its practice of publishing policies, guidelines, and submission process details to developers so they understand exactly how marketplace works.

Microsoft says that it has listened to developers and their feedback. Their goal is to create an ecosystem that is amply suited for both games and apps. They are also charging developers for submitting more than five free apps per registration. It's interesting that they'd want to deter developers from providing free content. Free apps have proven to be a great way to attract consumers to a mobile platform. Without a proper customer base, the Marketplace may face a tough time flourishing. Perhaps hosting too many free apps causes enough of a financial burden on Microsoft to warrant the fee, though it seems unlikely.

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21 Comments

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" No limit to the number of paid apps submitted 5 free apps per registration, $19.99 each after that" is actually really smart. Will stop devs from flooding the market place with crappy free apps.

Marcus16 said,
" No limit to the number of paid apps submitted 5 free apps per registration, $19.99 each after that" is actually really smart. Will stop devs from flooding the market place with crappy free apps.

In iphone store, most of the free application (usually labeled as "Lite") are, or trial in disguise, or application with ads. Windows Mobile Marketplace is doing a clear difference with it, there are trial and ad-funded all of them are not considered freeware.

Dont wanna be rude or anything, but who cares? seriosuly? dont you think Microsof is a little bit late? taking their time to develop this up-to-standards OS while competitors such a Google and Apple are pushing with full on R&D like maniacs?

Microsoft has all the resources to gain the capabilities that will give a good fight. It just seems like nowadays their CEO left themselves with only resources.

pielor said,
Dont wanna be rude or anything, but who cares? seriosuly? dont you think Microsof is a little bit late? taking their time to develop this up-to-standards OS while competitors such a Google and Apple are pushing with full on R&D like maniacs?

Microsoft has all the resources to gain the capabilities that will give a good fight. It just seems like nowadays their CEO left themselves with only resources.

I can name at least five people that DO care. Even if it was just one, it's still new information that someone in the world would care about. Especially devs that intend to bring their apps to the platform. To them, this is quite certainly interesting and welcome news. If you don't care about it, don't read it and don't comment on it. Kthxbai.

Metodi Mitov said,

I can name at least five people that DO care. Even if it was just one, it's still new information that someone in the world would care about. Especially devs that intend to bring their apps to the platform. To them, this is quite certainly interesting and welcome news. If you don't care about it, don't read it and don't comment on it. Kthxbai.


you know what a looser is? A looser is the one who gives up, especially in the tech world. Mobile market is pretty new, unsaturated and still developing. And especially in the US, the timeframe for device renewal is tied to contracts (2 years). So, almost every smartphone customer makes a decision every two year about their next device. If microsoft comes up with a compelling device, a good platform, decent services and a large ecosystem, I don't see a reason why they shouldn't be successful.

pielor said,
Dont wanna be rude or anything, but who cares? seriosuly? dont you think Microsof is a little bit late? taking their time to develop this up-to-standards OS while competitors such a Google and Apple are pushing with full on R&D like maniacs?

Microsoft has all the resources to gain the capabilities that will give a good fight. It just seems like nowadays their CEO left themselves with only resources.


Because releasing an OS platform before the hardware and app ecosystem were ready worked out beautifully for Palm

....oh, wait....

Remember that the 5 free app limit is for non-ad supported free apps (since MS classifies ad-supported apps differently from truly free apps)

lordcanti86 said,
Remember that the 5 free app limit is for non-ad supported free apps (since MS classifies ad-supported apps differently from truly free apps)

That's a good point, and I think the limit makes sense, we don't need 30 fart apps or w/e.

Hmm shame they are going witheet the 99 price model. I do however like the 5 free free Apps. That way it will hopefully not flood witheet crappy apps. Btw it looks almost a copy of the Apple dev stuff. Though the dev tools are full fledged and not express versions. ( have 2 say even on express they work nicer though )

MisticRain said,
Hmm shame they are going witheet the 99 price model. I do however like the 5 free free Apps. That way it will hopefully not flood witheet crappy apps. Btw it looks almost a copy of the Apple dev stuff. Though the dev tools are full fledged and not express versions. ( have 2 say even on express they work nicer though )

Don't forget students that are part of dreamspark don't pay $99, it's all free!

Best way for young devs to start in and get a few apps out.

Man, Jobs and Gates sleeping in same bed? They trying to shoot themselves in the foot with the same bullet? Go Google....

shakey said,
Man, Jobs and Gates sleeping in same bed? They trying to shoot themselves in the foot with the same bullet? Go Google....

Bit behind on the times?

So... am I right in thinking you can't just distribute apps yourself? You *have* to go via the official Marketplace, with all its Apple-like restrictions?

FunkTrooper said,
So... am I right in thinking you can't just distribute apps yourself? You *have* to go via the official Marketplace, with all its Apple-like restrictions?

You do realize that far more people will download your app if you use the Marketplace, right?

I signed up as a developer for the launch of 6.5, but after seeing how terrible the OS was, I didn't bother to write a single app.

WinMo7 has made me change my thinking on that, and while I'm not where I want to be on a development area, I'm on my way and the new OS makes me excited about starting. That said... it's a different animal than 6.5 but I think a benefit to everybody who goes that route.

http://developer.windowsphone....ketplaceContentPolicies.pdf

"Adult Related Content
o
Content not allowed:  Sex / Nudity - Images that are suggestive or sexual (e.g. sexually provocative
touching, bondage, masturbation) or provocative images that reveal nipples,
genitals, buttocks, or pubic hair.  Any adult and/or borderline adult content (images or text).  Content that generally falls under the category of pornography.  Content that depicts or suggests prostitution.  Any content depicting sexual fetishes.  Any content of a sexual nature depicting children or animals.”

Want porn, buy an Android phone?

giga said,
http://developer.windowsphone....ketplaceContentPolicies.pdf

"Adult Related Content
o
Content not allowed:  Sex / Nudity - Images that are suggestive or sexual (e.g. sexually provocative
touching, bondage, masturbation) or provocative images that reveal nipples,
genitals, buttocks, or pubic hair.  Any adult and/or borderline adult content (images or text).  Content that generally falls under the category of pornography.  Content that depicts or suggests prostitution.  Any content depicting sexual fetishes.  Any content of a sexual nature depicting children or animals.”

Want porn, buy an Android phone?

IMO that just means you can't make a porn app....doesn't mean you can't put porn on your phone.

BlendedFrog said,

IMO that just means you can't make a porn app....doesn't mean you can't put porn on your phone.


Well yeah, no phone maker blocks porn on the web browser.

BlendedFrog said,

IMO that just means you can't make a porn app....doesn't mean you can't put porn on your phone.

That's the thing. Porn apps tend to be quite interesting to a large number of users. It's probably due to the whole interactivity with the action thing, but eh... just have a look at most games that allow mods and you'll notice plenty of sex-related mods that usually tend to have more downloads than most other mods.

Of course, I'm a bit against the whole thing myself as most mods done that way are just plain distasteful and boring. The ones that are not tend to flourish quite a bit, though. A bright example would be the "A Dance With Rogues" mod for Neverwinter Nights which still holds its spot in the top ten on Neverwinter Vault.

Banning it altogether is usually a good solution to be rid of the ton of crap that would appear, but it still blocks the few apps/games that tend to be done very well and are entertaining to use even if you're not too much into porn.