Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace polices have been updated. These policies govern the application submission and certification process.  According to Microsoft, the changes are to "attract a much wider range of developers, from large software companies down to students and hobbyists."

These changes seem to follow Microsoft's efforts to court the development community. From offering the Development Tools for free to waiving any fees for unlocking codes, Microsoft is creating a very developer friendly environment for Windows Phone 7.

The new policies include:

  • 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

What isn't changing includes:

  • 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.

A full list of the Windows Marketplace policies can be found over at the Windows Phone Developer site.

[read: windowsteamblog.com]