MS Stops Inflated App Counter with Policy Change

Posted by at 2:02 pm on June 4, 2011

Microsoft took a step to make its Windows Phone 7 app growth more realistic on Friday with an outreach to developers. App certifications would now be capped at 20 per day. Developers will still have the option of submitting as many as they like all at once, but any more than 20 will be staggered over the course of multiple days, the company’s Todd Brix said.

Users had been complaining that many very similar titles from the same publisher had been crowding out other releases in the store, something Brix hoped would be discouraged. “While these apps meet our certification requirements and give consumers a wider selection of content, we’re also finding that publishing them in bulk degrades our customers’ experience,” he said.

The cutback came just days after unofficial data showed WP7 cracking 20,000 active apps, making it larger than BlackBerry App World and virtually all other app stores besides Android Market and Apple’s App Store. Until now, however, concern had existed that Microsoft was taking a lax policy to get larger numbers and muster support from developers worried about low volumes.

Microsoft has still claimed some advantages over other app stores. In its short history, WP7 has shown an iPhone-like tendency to encourage paid app sales and has more high-end apps and games than a platform like Android, where elements like ringtone and wallpaper bundles count as apps.

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