When the platform was in it's early stage of deployment the beauty of the Marketplace on the Windows Phone system is that it seems to have superb quality control when accepting apps and games into the catalog. Forcing developers to test their apps and make sure that enough development has gone into not only the backend cog-work, but the aesthetically pleasing UI implementation too.

While we still haven't become anywhere near as fragmented as Android and iOS (LITE/LIVE apps anyone?), the Marketplace is beginning to show signs of growth with the inclusion of apps that just aren't up to the high standards of others. If anything, 4th & Mayor is a fantastic app that could be used as quality control, which developers would need to target. Check the Application Certificate Requirement changes after the break

With a few tweets being published stating that the Marketplace needs to be "cleaned up" and feature stronger barriers in place to keep it above the competitors, not to mention a Japenese only app making its way in, Microsoft has published a blog post that addresses a few things:

  • First, we’ve updated and clarified our content policies and technical requirements to address some of the common questions and points of confusion that we have heard from several developers. These requirement changes will go into effect on June 3 for new applications and application updates.
  • Second, we have added several test steps to the technical certification requirements to help developers conduct in-house application testing during the development cycle, in order to avoid common certification pitfalls and to improve pass rates and certification times.
  • Finally, the application certification requirements for Windows Phone have now been integrated into our MSDN developer documentation. You can find the updated certification requirements here.

Some of the recent changes to the Application Certificate Requirements are:

  • 2.6 : If your application includes a trial version, the trial version must reasonably represent the functionality and quality of the full application.
  • 2.14 : Your application must have distinct, substantial and legitimate content and purpose other than merely launching a webpage.
  • 4.6 : Screenshots must only contain application graphics, and must not include any emulator chrome. Graphically-enhanced screenshots are not allowed.
  • 4.7.1 : The large and small mobile app tile images must be representative of the application.

We believe this to be a good step in the correct direction, and it's pleasing to see Microsoft take measures sooner rather than later. What do you think about the alterations?

Source: Microsoft, via: 1800PocketPC and arktronic