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Microsoft Store developers say they're suffering — and Microsoft isn't helping

Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

The Microsoft Store provides great utility to consumers and developers, though consumers only ever see the tip of the iceberg. For them, it's usually as simple as hitting the buy button. For developers, it's a maze of analytics, metrics, and support tickets — the innards of which are apparently harder than ever to maneuver, according to developers who spoke with Windows Central.

A lot of developers aren't sure what to do. Their analytics no longer make sense and their results seem to change at random, app update certifications fail for ill-defined reasons, and custom campaign traffic data disappears without warning. The list of issues goes on and on, but the constant is that all these problems affect developers' abilities to keep apps in good shape, earn money, and make the most of Microsoft's platform.

We reached out to Microsoft about the issues and complaints, but the company declined to comment. Here's an inside look at why many developers feel disheartened by the Microsoft Store and want to see the tech giant clean up its developer-facing backend content.

Analytics implosions, missing data, and subpar support

Microsoft Store

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

One independent developer we spoke with was Mark Turnbull, the UK-based founder of XtremeDevelopments.com. He'd been experiencing serious backend data issues for well over a month with his apps, which include PDF Binder (opens in new tab), PDF Binder Pro (opens in new tab), PDF Joiner (opens in new tab), and PDF MarkUp (opens in new tab). "Traffic data is under-reporting by thousands of rows," Turnbull said, stating that PDF Binder Pro typically received 20,000 app listing page views per month, though as of May 27, traffic reports in the Dev Center only showed it as having six page visits. There didn't appear to be a clear reason for this gargantuan drop-off.

Turnbull also cited the issue of custom campaign traffic data going missing. "If a user clicks a custom link to my app listing page it should be measured within the custom campaign data so I can check the effectiveness of my marketing," he said, explaining that none of these clicks had been visible to him for weeks as of May 27.

Straight answers from Microsoft have been hard to come by.

These were serious enough problems on their own, but their consequences were even more dire. Though the developer support personnel handling Turnbull's Microsoft Store issues couched their replies in words such as "could be" and "may," their responses painted a worrisome picture for the developer. They admitted his rankings were possibly being impacted by errors on their end and that analytics data, from traffic to acquisitions, could be incorrect.

Microsoft Store layout

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Couple that revelation with the fact that Turnbull's acquisitions had dropped in half from March to April and his May results were just a quarter of March, and it became clear why he was eager to find a resolution to the surge of technical issues. They were crippling his Microsoft Store presence practically overnight. As a developer with over 30,000 paid app sales and an average Microsoft Store rating of 4.5, he took his standing there seriously.

Turnbull talked to support for weeks, hoping to get — at the very least — the bare minimum of concrete assistance with resolving his analytics issues. In response, they sent him emails that ranged from deflecting the problems to trying to close his ticket.

Only after much prodding did Turnbull receive admissions of potential culpability from Microsoft. And on June 11, Turnbull said support closed his ticket without resolution.

Isolated incident, or growing flood?

Microsoft Store search app

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Turnbull is far from the only developer to suffer issues such as the above. An independent developer from Serbia, Ivan Ičin, whose company is Labsii, also cited serious analytics issues with his app Speech Central (Windows Central reviewed Speech Central in 2017). He said that, as of June 3, his stats for the previous 30 days showed him as having 182.6% more item sales than page views (a number that, on its surface, certainly appears to be an analytics error vastly underreporting page views), and that these seemingly flawed figures were still well below his normal results.

From a dev perspective, parts of the Store experience are 'completely broken.'

Ičin stated that these issues began for him many months ago, between September and October of 2020. He added that the aforementioned 30-day window's sales were roughly two-thirds less than they were before analytics went haywire, implying that he was another developer suffering material consequences from apparent backend issues.

He reported his problems to Microsoft but had his cases closed without resolution.

The independent Finnish developer behind Karelia Studio, Mika Valkealahti, shared similar issues with us, citing that the acquisition funnel was, as of our June 3 exchange, "completely broken." The acquisitions being reported versus how many sales Valkealahti had actually achieved via his Universal Writer (opens in new tab) app were vastly different numbers. Increasingly odd was that refreshing graph results would change them in seemingly random ways, showing sales then snapping them out of existence all within the time span of a few quick refreshes, Valkealahti said.

Valkealahti didn't report the issues because a Microsoft notification informed him that the company was aware of Dev Center problems and was working to fix them.

This echoes what Turnbull had to say about a banner in the Dev Center's acquisitions page that stated funnel data was inaccurate. The problem with that banner was, Turnbull said, twofold: Not only was it a vague understatement of the real issues, but it disappeared around the end of May — even though problems hadn't been resolved. This alarmed Turnbull since the banner itself mentioned it would only be removed once a resolution had been found.

Acquisitions Banner

Source: Windows CentralThis banner signifies issues in Dev Center. (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

As it turned out, the banner's own notice was not entirely truthful. "Note that the banner can be intermittent, so even if it is not displayed, we confirmed that the issue is still active," Microsoft support told Turnbull, letting the developer know that he was right to worry about troubles persisting regardless of what the banner said.

Another process, another problem

Xbox New Microsoft Store

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Including Turnbull, Ičin, and Valkealahti, Windows Central spoke with six developers who had encountered Dev Center analytics issues and problems related to those mentioned above. One of the developers flagged an additional difficulty they'd had to deal with on the subject of app update certification.

The developer, who asked to remain anonymous due to an ongoing relationship with Microsoft, discussed issues they'd had trying to publish an app update. Usually, updating their app was a straightforward affair, but this time around, it was complicated by a certification failure accompanied by a vague explanation. "All I got was a generic message with a link to a documentation page that has not been updated since 2018," they said. Then the problems escalated. "I opened a ticket with the support team and after a couple days of emailing back and forth, they told me they were the wrong team for this issue ... and they had me open a new ticket and start all over again."

"I am currently looking at alternatives to the Microsoft Store."

They opened a new ticket, as instructed, and followed support's advice. Certification still failed. They then waited a week for a response, and then a few more days for an explanation, at which point they were told, in their own words, that "the reason the submission was failing was because my app wouldn't work on Xbox since it uses a FullTrustProcess."

Here's the definition of a FullTrustProcess as stated by the developer. "A FullTrustProcess is a method to get around the limitations of a regular UWP app by bundling a Win32 process with more access to system capabilities together with a UWP application. Because of the extra capabilities, applications that use a FullTrustProcess require extra verification in order to be allowed in the Microsoft Store."

However, FullTrustProcess incompatibility with Xbox shouldn't have been a factor, since the developer's app wasn't available on Xbox in the first place. "After explaining to them that my app wasn't available on Xbox, they changed their original reason on why the submission is failing," the developer said, mentioning that they explained themselves as requested and still received a certification failure for their minor update. "I am currently looking at alternatives to the Microsoft Store because even when this issue is resolved, I need to have an additional way to distribute my app in case this happens again."

When will the issues end?

Based on the aforementioned reports, it looks like technical headaches, both big and small, are affecting a number of people providing content to the Microsoft Store. Effective, transparent support is vital for developers' wellbeing, and such opacity from Microsoft impacts every affected individual's livelihood and ability to earn income. So even if these issues only disrupt a small pool of creators in an ocean of developers, they're issues that need addressing.

At Build 2021, in a teaser for the next big Windows release (presumed to be Windows 11), Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella stated "soon we will share one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators." That hints at some major overhauls coming for those developing for the Microsoft Store, but that's little comfort for developers currently experiencing backend issues.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

79 Comments
  • The Microsoft Store is basically the modern Windows 8. It's not liked by developers, so users ignore it, so Microsoft will probably just kill it eventually.
  • I mentioned a little while ago that Surface Duo seems like the new Windows 8. It's dual screens, instead of dual operating systems.
  • It was never born actually. No one uses it but everyone hates it.
  • I have seen plenty of Spotify, Facebook and Netflix etc users using it.
  • That's not true. But still your opinion tells a lot on Microsoft low capability to deliver the message and impact. One thing that Microsoft should do by now is to ban Windows 8 apps on the Store. It requires some courage but it would be a bold message that people would understand and it would significantly raise the awareness of the Store.
  • Even some of Microsoft’s own apps weren’t updated to UWP. They still have that hamburger button in the titlebar to this day.
  • That frustrates people a lot. Hamburger is useless on non touch systems. Even ms apps force them on users. Just bring back menu bars. Even mac has them and they are very useful
  • The hamburger menu is a huge pain, but I also hate how they've coupled it with the vertical menu bars. The hamburger today is generally only used to unhide the menubar text which everyone has to do anyway because we aren't Egyptians who read hieroglyphics. The traditional File/Edit/... menu bar was soooo much better. Took up a small amount of space, was thoroughly predictable for all users, and it toggled multiple vertical menus in its menus which led to more feature-rich applications. There are signs that Microsoft is starting to admit its UI failure though. In the latest WinUI3 Controls Gallery, there are tabbed horizontal NavigationViews and Compact Sizing options for widgets elsewhere in the canvas. 10 years and who knows how many billions of dollars wasted and Microsoft is still only halfway through needlessly reinventing the Windows 95 Interface Guidelines.
  • You have misunderstood. He is talking about the small hamburger button placed next to other window buttons which is an indication that it is a Windows 8 app and may expect some things like that there is external share button available.
  • MS store dont even show the last update
  • I wonder if they forked Store development (owing to this 'significant windows update' that is incoming) and the maintenance team on the old/live version has just been trying to keep things vaguely functional until the new version can release.
  • One can only hope this is the case...
  • One can only wish... But back on the real world - I'm 99.99% sure that's not the case
  • Microsoft should steal Apple App store talent and truly invest in developers. I have to assume it's just not financially worth it or they are simply incompetent
  • Why would ANY "Apple App store talent" go to MS? Talk about career suicide. That's like wishing McDonalds should "steal Food Network talent" to improve food quality. Bobby Flay is never going to do that. "I have to assume it's just not financially worth it or they are simply incompetent" Actually, it is because Windows is beyond "legacy software". Investing in it at this late date is pointless.
  • Windows is on a downwards trend. Macos looks 10 times more clean and functional than windows now. It's a clear downgrade.
    Most windows store apps look weird and are not as useful as traditional apps.
    Look at vlc for an example. Most store apps take time to load and are not at all optimized.
  • The VLC app seems half assed (heck it even misses half of the functions which are definitely possible to implement in an UWP app). I have seen plenty of UWP apps that are fast and smooth.
  • As a developer mentioned above in the text, I can tell you it is more of the latter problem. Microsoft wants to build the Store on the back of developer investments and not to invest itself. Just for an example they have called few dozen of top developers at that moment including me to sell their apps for 10 cents for one week to make the Store popular. Wait. Microsoft whose worth is in teradollars asks me a small developer that barely manages to float to fully subsidize their promotion. A complete madness. If they said that they would pay to me at least 20% of my price and subsidize the rest so that it is 10 cents to the user I would consider, but this request was silly. Some developers have accepted but I would guess by end results that more than 90% have declined.
  • There are developers that use the Microsoft store? Why?
  • Because I still earn few hundred dollars a month so why not. I am not sure if new apps can earn that anymore (probably hardly), but if you are a small developer this is the only reasonable way to do this as it:
    - sell worldwide in a legal way (have localized support and be in line with the local regulation including the refunding, invoicing, taxes etc)
    - has built-in licensing and extremely good enforcement of those
    - charges only 15%
    - even brings some free traffic to your app If you were the developer you would know that this is your best option by far unless you are a multinational company that has a global sales infrastructure itself.
  • Dang, I didn't know what a dumpster fire it was on the backend. One would think that after spending nearly a decade trying to con developers into adopting Metro/Modern/UWP, coupled with the absurdly small userbase, would result in a well oiled store backend as far as successfully getting the apps available and in place for distribution. If Microsoft actually believed UWP apps were a thing, the store should be capable of handling an order of magnitude more traffic that it probably currently gets seeing as how no one ever uses UWP apps on purpose. For metrics, I'm surprised developers even thought to trust Microsoft's store analytics as they had a vested interest in making those numbers look as big as possible. Not implying Microsoft fudged numbers, but I would have only gone strictly by sales paid out to bank with any real validity as a metric. Let's be real here: a PDF app only getting 6 views... sounds much more realistic than 20,000 page views. There's no incentive for a user seeking out a PDF reader, Edge-legacy and Edge-current does that pretty perfectly. There is a group that would want more feature rich PDF editing applications, but they most likely already have a product solution already in mind, and if they don't they would bing/google it, certainly not search the Windows Store for it. That's a unicorn scenario and the stuff that Microsoft executive dreams are made of.
  • To quote myself: "I think Microsoft is its own worst enemy". I gave up on MS Store roughly 2 years ago when I saw the crap you need to go through to publish your app.
  • "Let's be real here: a PDF app only getting 6 views... sounds much more realistic than 20,000 page views. There's no incentive for a user seeking out a PDF reader, Edge-legacy and Edge-current does that pretty perfectly. There is a group that would want more feature rich PDF editing applications, but they most likely already have a product solution already in mind, and if they don't they would bing/google it, certainly not search the Windows Store for it." I don't know ArcadeDaydream, with 1.3 billion people using Windows a mere 20,000, or .00153846154% of that 1.3 billion, popping into the Store viewing a PDF app sounds statistically reasonable, or realistic, to me. Anecdotally, as a techie, and business owner, and Windows user, I fall into that less than 1% of people who have likely view this app searching for a PDF tool. But again, 20,000 views, .00153846154% of the user base, is a pretty small, yet realistic, number. Six views would be statistically unrealistic. Just my thoughts.🤔🙂
  • Again, for a UWP PDF reader? The store and UWP has been shown to be a massively unpopular failure: 6 views was being generous. If everyone fired up Windows 10 for the first time today, sure I could see that rate of interaction with the store being genuine, but this is a decade after Windows 8 where everyone learned very quickly that Metro (and later UWP) are garbage apps designed by garbage developers and the store is full of this Metro (and later UWP) garbage and should be avoided. If someone was looking to open a PDF, they would have clicked on a PDF and had it opened automatically by the browser. If they wanted an application to edit PDFs, do you really think even 20,000 said "hey, let me fire up Microsoft Store and look for an app"? In 2021? After 10 years of total failure?
  • From my experience, the MS Store seems to be mostly good for 3 things: Touch-based Apps, UI Tools, and Streaming Apps. I've found some really good Apps that work great with 2-in-1 laptops like the Surface Pro, such as Drawboard PDF and Xodo, which don't exist in x86. Other UWP Apps I use are mostly for improving Windows 10's basic functionality, such as EarTrumpet (sound mixer) and Ditto (Clipboard Manager) etc. The last category is video and music streaming, like Netflix App. The only reason to download these is that they seem to offer the better quality that x86 and browsers don't seem to be able to deliver, so you're forced to use them despite bad interface. It's ironic that Touch UI oriented Apps are the best part of the MS Store right now, when MS themselves seems to have almost given up on Windows 10's Tablet UI functionality.
  • @AcardeDaydream I understand your frustration with the Store. As a techie, Microsoft enthusiast, Windows user and avid Surface user (Surface Pro 2017 (5), Surface Pro 7 and 15" Surface Book 3 I want the Store to succeed. I want great apps, a great tablet experience that makes the switch from an awesome desktop mode to a great tablet mode. We don't have that yet. Tablet mode is OK and the Store is often disappointing. Still, just practically speaking to the details of the claims regarding this PDF app and the creator's experience, it seems to me that pragmatically the preponderance of evidence points to a validity of the claims that the metrics, of 6 views, is vastly underreporting. 1. Statistically with 1.3 billion Windows users, the .00153846154% of users, a segment well below 1% of Windows users viewing this PDF app, even though the raw number of 20,000 seems large (relative to the user base it is exceedingly small) is reasonable and realistic. 2. Additionally, (as seen on the article) his reports that the Store's metrics are underreporting views fits within a broader context that other programmers are experiencing and reporting similar issues which further supports the validity of his claims. Again I understand and empathize with your frustration. I doubt you would frequent this site, much less provide the comment you did if you didn't want to see the Microsoft Store do much better across the board for users and programmers. But I do think that just pragmatically speaking, minus our disappointment and frustration with Microsoft, a usual mere .00153846154% of the user base viewing this PDF app is not only likely being accurately reported by the programmer but (and I'm no mathematician), given the 1.3 billion Windows users, is likely statistically far more probable to occur than just receiving 6 views. Now I know you are probably being hyperbolic in both your tone and statement, but the Store, though in need of ***much improvement*** right now, perhaps is not in such a dismal state as you portray. With communicated expectations so low, 6 views, :-) that's likely less mathematically probable than the .00153846154% of the user base claim you are dismissing. :-)
  • Unless Microsoft pays me for the software that I haven't sold which is extremely unlikely, the page views are reasonable, so they are not inflated. Just because you have never visited the Store even if 1% of Windows user does it still more than 10 million of users.
  • In 2021, I highly doubt even 1% of Windows users visit the store for any reason whatsoever, except by accident.
  • Hopefully in 2022 you will have a bit more empathy and accept that there is always at least 1% of people that think completely different than you, and usually much more. Again I am not claiming that the Store is particularly popular but many devs earn thousands of dollars and even more hundreds. It requires quite a lot of pageviews and users according to the marketing thoery and user behavior.
  • This isn't about empathy or lack thereof, it's about realism. We are a decade into the Windows/Microsoft app store story for desktops and it has not been successful, nor have the OS releases it runs on been well received. As such, there is a compound disinterest as these experiences shape user behavior leading to avoidance. After a decade, I don't believe even a minority of users would seek out software solutions in the Windows/Microsoft Store. But that said, I wasn't taking into account one avenue: if app page view counts were always consistent and valid then and now, could that be explained by lists of UWP apps and their direct listing URL on the Store on curated "Top 10 $Foo Apps" websites changing, being removed, or hidden from searches? At that point it's a marketing problem and not a technical one, but could explain it. I had a huge uptick in activity in a GitHub repo of mine when someone posted a link to to it in a forum that presumably had some sort of high SEO result.
  • OK, let's describe this situation precisely. You have above Windows Central editor explaining you why. Even more I am the developer on all app stores and I can claim that those numbers are true and logical UNLESS Microsoft is paying us for items we don't sell. And that is extremely unlikely, among other things I do get a reasonable amount of support questions. So you insist that your personal arbitrary feeling of how people think is above all those facts. I am really not sure what to say, but it is worthless to further discuss.
  • You're saying you are having problems with an unpopular app platform trending rapidly downward according to data that may or may not be correct generated by a company that seemingly has no interest in continuing the platform or fixing further backend issues after spending 10 years failing to incentivize users and developers to adopt it. If your entire user base exists on the possibility of what effectively amounts to a rounding error of Windows 10's install base as you've described, I would suggest that any major problems that still exist here are in the concept of the investment in time, money, and resources in a failed platform and being gaslit and strung along by Microsoft into thinking that it would have viable commercial potential despite clear evidence to the contrary. Not legitimate criticism of that platform from people that don't use your apps running on that platform. Everyone should be frustrated over this: UWP developers for being conned by Microsoft into thinking that such a technology would be viable despite clear evidence that this application model is not received well on the target platform. Non-UWP developers, for Microsoft not expanding and future-proofing win32/WPF + win32/WinForms with modern features and allowing it to bitrot despite it being heavily used and preferred to this day. And users, who were given the most subpar user experience in the product's and platform's lifespan to the detriment of why everyone used the platform in the first place. This isn't personal or arbitrary. There was no massive success of Modern apps. There was no exodus from "legacy" applications to Modern apps en masse. Modern apps didn't start a trend. Convergence never happened. Those are facts. This is just one opinion of many that seems to track well with the majority of users who despise everything Microsoft has done since 2012 and feels frustration because there's not a better solution for traditional desktop computing, nor should there be a need for one if Microsoft didn't want to needlessly chase poorly cloning the Apple App Store model.
  • OK, let's try again. Very simple. We are talking here whether some numbers are correct or not. I am claiming that they are correct because they can be calculated based on some reliable numbers and some well known statistics. Your answer is basically a 10 page philosophical essay on why this doesn't fit into your thoughts and beliefs that in some cases and to some extent might be even true by themselves but that have very vague connection with those numbers that we discuss. There's one thing I do know - philosophy cannot prove that the maths is wrong, never ever. So I haven't read whole your essay on this, sorry.
  • 1. They should fix MS Store glitches.
    2. Divert all apps through MS store, like Apple does. Unfortunately they won't do this. People depends on .msi/.exe files.
  • Microsoft needs to rehire the QA team and programmatic testers yesterday. Only then some head can be made into this asinine lunacy. It looks like Microsoft is deliberately trying to commit seppuku with an extremely dull blade.
  • Going the intel way
  • "It looks like Microsoft is deliberately trying to commit seppuku with an extremely dull blade.", I love that line :-)
  • Yeah, but will they? Whenever MS announces something, I'm amongst the first to say : "Yeah, bullshit".
    Just like with Windows 10X -- that was such a STUPENDSLY IDIOTIC idea, and it took them close to 2 years to figure that out. That's beyond pathetic.
  • They wasted so much money and resources on useless products and then abandoned them.
    Remember windows 10s,10x,surface neo and surface duo.
    Everything is half baked product, why would a consumer pay for a half baked product.
  • There are all kinds of problems with the store. Tomb Raider has Denuvo but Denuvo is not mentioned on the store page.
  • I love the convenience of the Store as a consumer, but I can understand the frustrations of devs. I hope MS gets it's act together so that consumers can experience a easy buying and updating process like it should be.
  • As someone who's been working on a UWP app for close to the last 2 years, and I can fully attest to this.
    MS Store is beyond bullshit. Even their "publish to store" process is stupid -- you need to run some verification, and if that passes, then you upload the app to their website, and then wait for up to 3 days for someone to "verify" all's good. Every now and then, they will come up with some extra stupid requirement, and your app will fail, and then it can take weeks of going back and forth until your update is finally accepted. And of course, if you use certain APIs, they will reject your app. Because of their stupid "sandbox" requirements. They can even reject your app if you're running a discount campaign -- because, they say everything dealing with money needs to run through them -- but their API is horrible. Luckily, you can publish your app *outside* of the store -- which is what I chose to do. It is a bit hard to set it up at first (because that's how Microsoft rolls), but after that, it's pretty smooth sailing. I simply see no reason to go back to MS Store -- every again. As for the "Window 11 + better MS Store" experience, I'm pretty sure it's a lot of bullshit again. I mean, they should fix what's wrong now, and then focus on "a better MS Store experience" or whatever other marketing bullshit term they're using. There's such a huuuge disconnect between us the developers, and what Microsoft *thinks* we want, it's mind-boggling. They keep doing bullshit, pretend to listen, leave developers frustrated, then go back to step 1.
  • All of the above is because Windows has not been a priority for MS for years. It is legacy software. Developers have moved on to greener pastures. MS makes their money elsewhere these days. "Windows 11" is not going to change that.
  • "It is legacy software. Developers have moved on to greener pastures." A more apt assessment is that the Windows ecosystem from the 90s to the 2010s was temporarily inflated by casual grandparents who did tasks that are now easily handled by mobile devices. Microsoft incorrectly interpreted this dip in sales as a rejection of Windows itself and course corrected, badly, over the last 10 years chasing after unicorns that don't actually exist (those that want to primarily use mobile applications on a desktop computer to do real tasks). The fact that after the mobile device market correction left behind a Windows ecosystem with a still monumentally large userbase that was bigger than when it started, has been growing, grew excessively during a pandemic, is practically universally adopted by all major enterprises, targeted for all consumer and enterprise hardware, along with entire industries targeting Windows deliverables specifically resulting in unthinkable billions and billions in revenue... I mean, at best, your statement sounds uninformed. Windows benefitted from basic users that now use mobile devices, but by no metric is Windows legacy software all because grandpa can now use an iPad instead of Outlook Express to send us chain mail. Can't argue that Windows hasn't been a priority at Microsoft, but if anything that speaks to that fact that even on cruise control with no leadership representation and following a decade of failed initiatives, there's still not a better alternative that doesn't suffer from serious concessions.
  • The verification is not required I believe. Publish to store takes for me ~1 day so that seems pretty good to me.
  • Yeah, it depends quite heavily on what your app is, and how easy it is to test. The more complicated the app, the longer the verification is takes, and the more bullshit reasons they can find to reject it.
  • They do have few strange requirements - for example once my app was rejected because it had links to the versions of the app on Google Play and App Store. I mean they don't have a mobile platform and it is reasonable that the developer can advertise this. But overall I had few hundred of updates and very few problems, if I had them it was easy to comply and it was at least somewhat reasonable, most of the time fully reasonable. I can say they are much less strict than Apple and overall this is something good developers should appreciate. Who wants to publish any junk he can think of should go to Google Play, though even they become slowly at least a bit more strict.
  • I did publish an app to the store a looong time ago (4-5 years back). There would be issues that would take 1.5 weeks of going back and forth to solve, it seemed to be based on "pure luck" -- depending on who (what person) was testing your app, you may get rejected or not. For instance, just increasing the version and doing nothing else, sometimes worked. Sometimes they would look at the links my app opens, and say I'm not allowed (like, opening to a discount page). A LOT of bullshit. Long story short: they are NOT listening to developer feedback. They constantly fake listening to us. They just don't care -- had they taken into account our thoughts, the store would have been exponentially better.
  • Again I did published hundreds of updates on all app stores, so I guess I can make some comparisons and not just say what I like and don't like and call it 'they don't respect developer feedback'. What you wrote above is your personal feedback, you don't represent the developer community. What I want to say is that Microsoft is extremely light on the things you complain about when you compare them to Apple. And Apple is undisputed leader in this area. So at the very best this is not a major problem and at the very worst you are completely wrong.
  • Microsoft store is not the best, but it's not just their fault, it's the foolish developers not wanting to put their apps in there and make them good. That's why people avoid it.
  • I really hope that was sarcastic.
  • "The Microsoft Store provides great utility to consumers and developers" LOL. Good one. "That hints at some major overhauls coming for those developing for the Microsoft Store" No, it does not. The vast majority of people still developing for Windows are NOT using the MS store. Including MS. I use lots of apps on Windows. None of it came from "the store". It never even occurs to me to look there.
  • "I use lots of apps on Windows. None of it came from "the store". It never even occurs to me to look there." that's your choice, did you check if you're avaialble on the store? if they're I always prefer a clean install/update/uninstall from the store (plus no permissions to install 3rd party apps, mess up with registry, file system and settings)
  • Microsoft should just remove every bit of modern design that was introduced in windows 8 from their os.
    Everything metro/modern is highly useless for a desktop environment and trades productivity for a cleaner look.
    Their so called modern explorer app and even the settings looks like a badly made phone app.
  • Crybaby you can just use the W7 skin in W10 if you really cannot adjust to an OS update https://www.howtogeek.com/223728/BRING-THE-WINDOWS-7-START-MENU-TO-WINDO...
  • You don't understand after all these years? UWP was rejected by the masses. Nobody wants it and the world doesn't revolve around Microsoft fanboys
  • UWP wasn't rejected by the masses, it was rejected by the developers. The masses had no idea what was UWP, and what wasn't, unless they had a Windows Phone and took advantage of Continuum, a small percentage of a small percentage.
  • You don't understand. This is not about start menu, it's about everywhere else where they removed functionality for modern design. Most apps don't have a menu bar and instead has a hamburger menu which is less useful with keyboard and mouse. There are so many inconsistencies within the os and it does not look or work as polished.
    The photos app, notification menu and everything lags at time for no reason and sometimes auto close with showing an error.
  • If you don’t like the design of them, I have news about Sun Valley. Microsoft is pushing WinUI. You’ll see it more and more, and even in Win32 apps.
  • No one is going to use it then. Most people will shift to alternatives and then Microsoft will make pikachu face wondering what went wrong, why people not using their apps
  • And bad chaotic UI :(
  • I've been developing a game for the last two years. I can't imagine putting it on the Windows Store based on my experience as a consumer. When I owned a Windows Phone, I invested in a bunch of apps for Windows Phone, and that investment is now worthless because MS abandoned the platform. I invested in a Band, Zune, etc., and all of those investments are worthless. As a developer, there's no way in $!#@$!@#$ I would invest time creating something for the Windows Store knowing Microsoft's penchant for abandoning things. I don't have to worry about Steam going anywhere. For those developers who chose to invest time and money getting their apps on the Microsoft Store, well, everyone knows that MS's commitment to a given product or service varies with the wind and the time of day. Those developers went into it with their eyes open, so I don't have a lot of sympathy.
  • First there is nothing like Steam for the apps. Second I would say that all developers here started to work more than 5 years when you were a happy Windows Phone user. Finally there is no such thing as investing for Microsoft Store or Steam. You make the app/game. Making it available for some specific store is 0.1% of overall work. You can release your game on Epic or Microsoft Store without some big additional work. Good luck with your game. Most small developers earn less than thousand dollars when they release a game on the Steam, and it doesn't sound like a good money for two years of work. But I do have a sympathy for you as I like people that try and fight. And you did not have your eyes open if I read what you wrote above so I guess it counts too.
  • Just for the record I do think that it is better to go with the Steam for games than with the Microsoft Store, though I would consider both. I did say that small developers don't earn some big money on the Steam, but that probably doubles for the Microsoft Store. It just sounded bad on how you think some other developers are stupid and they get what they deserve, while smart developers like you don't have such problems. It is really not that simple and I guess you will learn it the hard way.
  • Since when is msft store as easy as clicking buy?
    Constant installation erorrs have frequently required a clean windows install because their drm is cancer.
    No way to restore previously installed apps/locate apps etc.
    Msft store is terrible for everyone.
  • I was featured in this article so felt it worth adding my perspective to these comments. The article perfectly reflects the frustration and disappointment I feel towards Microsoft Dev Center and the challenges and discrepancies i have found with the analytics data but I do not share the strength of negative feelings towards Microsoft as others. I have used Microsoft products as a System Administrator, A Database Administrator, IT Manager and Programmer and I have broadly been very happy with them; I have earned a reasonable living by selling my UWP apps on a global market that would not have been available to me were it not for the Microsoft Store and whilst the peak of my earnings was about 3 years ago I am grateful that users can easily purchase my apps in the store. In terms of the incorrect app listing visits; a user cannot purchase any app without visiting the app listing so having had more than 6 sales in one month I can confidently say the data is wrong. Prior to this issue I (and many other developers) were receiving thousands of hits per month to the store listing pages so, from my perspective, it is worth developing Windows Store apps. So, I will continue to develop UWP apps as my own experience of earnings potential is positive but I just wish that Microsoft Dev Center would correct their data, overhaul their support processes and priorities and help loyal developers like myself to earn a living without spending hours trying to convince Dev Center there is a serious issue only to be thanked with the unresolved ticket being closed a month or so later.
  • thanks for your insight mate
  • Great feedback. Thanks for the input into the conversation.👍😎
  • From my experience, the MS Store is mostly good for 3 things: Touch-based Apps, UI Tools, and Streaming Apps. I've found some really good Apps that work great with 2-in-1 laptops like the Surface Pro, such as Drawboard PDF and Xodo, which don't exist in x86. These apps are the majority, thanks to better Touch APIs required for UWP. Other Apps I use are mostly for improving Windows 10's basic functionality, such as EarTrumpet (sound mixer) and Ditto (Clipboard Manager) etc etc. The last category is video and music streaming, such as the official Netflix App. The only reason to download these is they offer the best quality that x86 and browsers don't seem to be able to deliver, so you're forced to use them despite their bad interface. It's ironic that Touch UI oriented Apps are the best part of the MS Store right now, when MS themselves seems to have almost given up on Windows 10's Tablet UI functionality. The problem is simple : MS is not at all interested in hearing both the developers' and consumers' feedback when it comes to anything related to Windows.
  • Consumption apps that mimic mobile applications were always the only UWP apps that made sense to me. These days though I much prefer using PWA installs made in Edge's {right hamburger menu} > Apps > 'Install this site as an app' on my Surface Book. It reduces the development costs of service providers not having to develop native client apps or get a janky cross platform app together with by-design concessions to usability. Going further, I'm hoping to the UI gods that Microsoft's weird cliq that wants to make touch desktop experiences gets removed from Windows management positions and reassigned to a new EdgeOS division that forks from ChromiumOS (like they did with the browser). That way anyone that still wants touch apps in Windows proper can just install the PWA Edge configuration from a store cross platform, and the desktop experience won't be ruined trying to turn desktop applications into giant mobile apps that are a chore to use. Everybody wins and the desktop users stop getting shafted and leveraged for poorly thought out ideas. They already have quite a lot of Linux and Chromium experience in house, have shown with the Surface Neo that they aren't afraid to ship a Linux device (and aside from some weird hardware concessions and first-release-growing-pains we all have to recognize was done rather well), and obviously want to compete with ChromeOS (which they could easily one up Google by tying in accounts to use Active Directory/Microsoft 365).
  • Why does Microsoft have it's own store? Just team up with Google or Apple.... (I vote Apple).... When ever there is disatisfaction with a product from users... and Microsoft is vague or absent in their response... It always means they are killing the product. This store is going away.... Microsoft will be adopting a partners alternative. It's not like the store receives, stores or delivers apps (content) differently depending on the OS (windows, android/linux, mac/ios/unix). They have npm as a result of their git acquisition (git had acquired npm shortly before). Maybe they are just going to reinvent the wheel and create a consumer facing software distribution from one of that? Who knows?? My bet is they team up with the Apple store.
  • Apple is not going to "team up" with anyone. Certainly not Microsoft, of all companies. Microsoft is moving towards Android and Linux. Apple has zero incentive to help Microsoft, Android and Linux.
  • Those two suggestions aren't realistic. It is not like Microsoft presses the button and tomorrow we have an app store on Windows managed by those two companies. The incompatibilities on that road are so big and on so many places that what you have asked is practically impossible. However I have always proposed Amazon. They know how to sell and they don't have a big interest in creating an alternative platform.
  • But a new store is right around the corner? Why cry about something that will be gone and have a new restart?
  • Microsoft's work on a new store will be judged against this criticism. If/When Microsoft releases a new store, it should be documented and brought up that they've failed so thoroughly and spectacularly with an app store in the past. Any developers and companies would take these very legitimate concerns when deciding if investment into any new app store initiative is warranted with these problems in mind. Personally, if they're building a new store as a frontend on top of WinGet with repositories of real desktop applications and are finally retiring the failed UWP sandbox concept, then I think they'll have a much better offering going forward showing that they've learned from their mistakes. If anything, the last decade pretty definitively has shown that users and enterprise absolutely do not want to run, build or use sandboxed mobile apps as a replacement for real desktop applications on a desktop operating system (despite there existing an obvious and petty small cabal within Microsoft that is hellbent on trying to con developers into adopting such a ridiculous idea).
  • What is going to be released is a new Windows, the code that runs on your computer. Actually I never had problem with that and neither any of us. Many problems described above are unlikely to be resolved. Microsoft will 100% keep the current support team which is the worst support ever. I don't see how they magically become responsive to the problems. The same people will work on the servers, so it is hard to expect glitches like this not to appear. Even worse it is hard to believe that there will be a completely new server infrastructure at all it is much more likely that the current will be updated with some new capabilities.
  • lol you clearly didn't read the article. this is about the BACK END which won't be updated.
  • Hey it's time to bash another MS Product. I agree, MS Store sucks so bad. Beyond terrible. Searches are not relevant, random errors. cannot download the app often times. It's just stuck there at 0%. Upgrade OUT of Windows 10 S Mode is extremely tedious. Go ahead, try searching for S MODE or Windows S MODE. Nothing comes up about it. Had to do a Google Search for it and it links to MS Store. MS Store is a steaming pile of ****, and that's an understatement.
  • This state of affairs is ultimately a leadership issue. Unless some major Store improvements are revealed on June 24th, a management shakeup, structural overhaul and/or major shift in philosophy should be considered. Apparently, I'm one of the few who visits the store frequently and is happy to support good developers. I have over 300 apps installed, many or most of them UWP apps. Of course, I can't use that many apps on a regular basis, but I'm motivated by interest in what developers are up to and comparing design/UX strategies within the same app category. On the front end, aside from long standing bugs, there are obvious design flaws that hurt developers by discouraging even the most enthusiastic potential customers. One of the worst flaws is keeping the most helpful reviews highlighted at the top REGARLESS OF THE AGE of the comment! So, even if an app has since improved tremendously, new visitors to the page see 3-4 year old negative reviews that were posted when the app was still immature and buggy. Add that the "was this helpful?" feature has been mostly broken for a couple of years and Microsoft might as well overlay app pages with a sign saying Do Not Download This App! What kind of store treats its vendors like this?