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back to article Headaches, delays plague Windows Store, dev claims

Microsoft needs apps. The success of the new, touch-centric Start Screen of Windows 8 and Windows RT depends on building a thriving app ecosystem to compare with the iOS App Store or Google Play. But if one developer's experience is any indication, actually getting an app into the Windows Store is a lot harder than you might …

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Alert

A distant echo of Symbian app development

There the problem people had was generally with the security and installer systems rather than app store curation but the overall picture feels familiar: you write the app but can't get it deployed and the feedback is too cryptic to usefully move you towards success.

In the Symbian case it was so bad that a popular website was www.whythefuckwontmysisfileinstall.com which analysed an uploaded app to report what of the many possible misconfigurations were leading to a bland "Installation failed" message. This sort of misery coupled with the need to pay for code signing certificates and a idiosyncratic toolset (or more truthfully: a shitty toolset) surely helped to choke the flow of good apps. The one thing we grunts knew was that Balmer's "developers! developers! developers!" was actually true, and we persistently failed to provide an environment to lure them in

So it's ironic to see Symbian's final resting place (Nokia) depending upon the success of another "ecosystem" that seems to have forgotten to smooth the developers' pathway.

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Anonymous Coward

They

Want apps that do not fail, that are of good quality not fart apps, beer apps, speaking animal apps, compromised apps, malware aps.

Sadly that's all there is.

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Re: A distant echo of Symbian app development

The whole of Windows 8 is about what Microsoft wants. Not what Users want, not what developers want, only what Microsoft wants. Why else would there be such a huge push towards apps and services that only really help MS?

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FAIL

Experience

"We are committed to delivering a great experience for our developers."

Indeed...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Experience

""We are committed to delivering a great experience for our developers."

The operative word in that sentence is "our" - as in "Microsoft's developers, who's apps will continue to profit Microsoft and to insure the Microsoft monopolies forever".

All other developers are "not ours".

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i wouldnt worry about it

nobodies checking the Microsoft app store anyway

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Mushroom

Re: i wouldnt worry about it

Millions will be soon - Windows 8 and Windows RT just be came available at retail. Surface tablets are sold out for weeks, and Windows 8 has been top of the Amazon best sellers list for weeks too...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: i wouldnt worry about it

Millions is probably being a bit optimistic, as over 500,000 new computers need to be shipped first. Even then, how many will be downgraded?

How can Windows 8 been at the top of the best sellers? Since it wasn't for sale, it couldn't be sold and thus shows you the best sellers is not accurate. You can't count a pre-order as a sale as you can't charge the credit card until you are ready to ship. Thus, a pre-order is not a sale.

As for Surface being sold out for weeks. How many are they selling, that is the real number. If you have 10 people wanting one and one a week is produced, then you have a backlog of orders to take 10 weeks fulfill. That 10 weeks sounds great until you see what the number of people on the waiting list.

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Anonymous Coward

Amazone Best Seller

Windows 8 has been top of the Amazon best sellers list for weeks

Am I the only one to suspect that this is actually a slot you can *buy*?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Amazone Best Seller

"Am I the only one to suspect that this is actually a slot you can *buy*?"

I wouldn't give it another thought - it's just one of RICHTO's 'facts'

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How short is our memory

The different Zune flavours made the Amazon top seller list too. Even the brown one.

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Re: How short is our memory

The different Zune flavours made the Amazon top seller list too. Even the brown one.

What a coincidence. Windows 8 is another 'brown one'.... a big pile of it

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Stacking up against the stack rankings?

Best I can figure is that some testers are required to meet metrics that say if they haven't rejected a certain number of apps a certain number of times or in a certain period they won't rate in the company employee stack ranking.

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In 3 years it will all be sorted

and then MS will be trying to work out why developers are pissed off because they've drm'ed their source code and can only develop on a surface with boxing gloves on.

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Anonymous Coward

"I have given my app, and even my source code, to multiple people within Microsoft."

So you have to give the source code to M$ to get your app approved... The memory of WordPerfect for Windows comes back to haunt me.

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Slow Learners

So all this time playing catch up with Apple's app store, they learned absolutely nothing? They didn't read any of the complaints about Apple being slow and arbitrary and say, "Hey, we can be better than that!"???

The Win8 launch was kind of sad and cringe worthy, watching the execs struggle to make their laptops do anything useful, needing repeated attempts while pretending the trackpad was just like a touch screen. Even Ballmer couldn't work up the energy to do a monkey dance. I was hoping he'd go Gangnam Style. The CNET commentary ended with "well, that was an anticlimax."

So in three year's time we'll see if there's anything except Angry Birds in the Win App Store.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Slow Learners

> They didn't read any of the complaints about Apple being slow and arbitrary and

> say, "Hey, we can be better than that!"???

I think that's exactly what they've done: they've observed that Apple's app store has been successful and they've copied all of its features, making them "but even more so" wherever they could.

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No Learners

Why should Microsoft want to learn. If you look at the AppStore fiascoes and take a step back, you will notice that the concept itself is flawed, not just the execution.

If you allow simple payment you will attract a bad crowd, people who just hack together some primitive "farting" app to get rich in $1 increments. Therefore you'd need to be in good contact with your developers and weed out the ones you don't want.

However once you have a market, you will have to deal with a lot of developers, each one completely disorganized from the others. You suddenly have company barriers. You cannot just talk to the developers if you are inside the company which checks the apps and runs the market.

What should be done would be to go closer to the "distribution" model. Where everyone is responsible for their packets and there are publicly discussed rules. And if you, as a user, find yourself to disagree with the rules of one distribution/repository, you simply switch to another one.

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Anonymous Coward

So Windows will never be in the app store then?

Microsoft will never be able to sell Windows in the app store. We all know that Windows crashes and thus, that excludes Windows from the Windows store.

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It's a free app..

So why go to all that bother? After all the developer gains nothing, MS does. Maybe that's it- their cut from £0 is £0.

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Re: It's a free app..

The same reason free to play games exist. There may be a more elaborate paid version down the road or the developer is seeking publicity for their ability as a talent for hire. Showing up in a setting like the Android/iOS/Windows, etc. stores carries an impression that make more impact than a site like Download.com.

Shareware sites were once a good venue for resume/CV enhancement, today it's the app stores.

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Windows

Maybe...

Now, I know I'm playing a bit of devils advocate here but even so....

Microsoft is all about creating extra revenue for itself. I can't help thinking that the current approach could also be bound to push some developers right into (paid) Microsoft support for getting their app "fixed". This guy obviously knew what he was doing, and sure of his cause.

But what about all the new(bie) developers this whole environment is bound to attract ?

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Anonymous Coward

Well...

Bought Windows 8 Pro and a new SSD for my laptop. Did the dirty deal and now I am writing this with Windows 8. What is obvious is the folks in Redmond rushed this puppy out the door minus a whole bunch of fit and finish. Where do they say you will find the Product ID? Why, on the back of the box ...er... well, that where it used to be anyway. Now its on a handy little key card, but ya see the devs wouldn't know that unless they actually talked to the packaging people. Next up, let's try to activate Windows with said key because the activate screen is quite imposing.. what's this? Activation HQ in the cloud says its the wrong number? How can that be? it installed with that number... Why, yes.. for it to work properly would require that ruddy communication thing again. This time between production and activation. Production generates the numbers then tells activation what they are, so when a customer activates HQ actually knows what they are activating. This new 2 headed beast reminds me of the kitties with 2 heads on Youtube. Kind of grotesque, but you look anyway. Maybe this is all Windows 8 really is. One big expensive game of " Made ya look".

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Apple bias alert

Dear Lord, pls make this wretched wretched Microsoft an Windows 8 thing fail, otherwise, Jobs forbid, this wreched wretched program stop that unstoppable rise of Apple.

Let's all join our virtual on-line hands and say "Windows 8 is bad Windows 8 is confusing Windows 8 is rubbish" and Amen, Apple will rulez the world!

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FAIL

Epic Fail

This fella wrote an application that was slow and actually did crash. Microsoft were right to reject his application so many times. Yes, the feedback could have been much more helpful but ultimately this was down to coding errors on the devs part. Time for him to be a bit more humble and put his hand up and say this wasn't down to Microsoft being difficult or harsh, it was faulty code! Based on this I'll be avoiding his apps, he only improved it because they kept rejecting it, otherwise I suspect he'd have been cramming more unstable slow features into it.

BTW: Upgraded to Windows 8 pro on the release day (at £24.99 for burn your own ISO it was worth a look). My SSD based laptop now boots in less than 4 seconds from a cold boot, after BIOS post (so about 8 seconds from pressing the power button). So amazingly fast I had to keep doing it to make sure it was real! Win7 boot took about 22 seconds (differed quite a bit from boot to boot). You know, that's faster than my iPad boots from a cold boot (not that I ever do that)!

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WTF?

Re: Epic Fail Indeed

Well done for completely failing to understand what the article was about.

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Shouldn't he be used to it?

I mean on Windows some applications simply don't run on some boxes. It's normal. I once had to deploy some real-life Windows software on 2 equal Windows 7 boxes. Both freshly installed, both exactly the same hardware. It worked on one, it mysteriously crashed on the other. After a re-install it worked on both.

The box checking the app might have been one of those odd ones which fail to run certain applications, maybe it even has a defective graphics card or something, who knows, who cares?

Microsoft doesn't need to care. Their success won't come from the Windows Store, it'll come, as usual, from hardware companies pre-installing it on their computers, and ARM computers locking out competitors via secure boot.

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"We are committed........

.................to delivering a great experience for our developers."

The sort of Orwellian Newspeak habitual with MS employees. No wonder nothing works.

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LDS
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Thumb Down

While MS needs apps badly, they locked out most third party compilers

Most native compilers are locked out Windows 8 applications because they can't call some APIs VC++ runtime can (and only it is allowed...). Thereby or you use Visual Studio, or you use some .NET tools. If you want to develop native apps without VS you can't. Maybe Apple could bound everyone to XCode (but even Apple AFAIK released this constraint, allowing other compilers), but when MS desperately needs apps for its store, why forcing people to get VS? Let them fill your store with whatever compiler they like - or your tablet market share risks to stay at one digit only

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Anonymous Coward

Micro Serfs

All your source code are belong to us.

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Did they not talk to anyone in the Xbox department?

There is a section at Microsoft that has plenty of experience interacting with third party developers: the Xbox crew. Did they not ask any of them for input on how to establish this infrastructure? Not that the Xbox operation is necessarily perfect but it's been ticking over pretty smoothly for about a decade now. Most notably in the area most comparable tot he Windows Store, the XBLA games download service.

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