It has been very humbling to see the developer excitement and all of the great new apps coming to Marketplace every day. As I sit here and type this, over 18,000 registered developers have signed up and have already published nearly 4,000 apps in Marketplace, providing customers around the world with a growing variety and number of certified applications to personalize their Windows Phone.
I am also pleased to share that, due to your feedback, we have been able to continue improving the experience both existing and new developers see every day. Here are some of the things we’re working on.
Payouts for Developers
Back in October I shared that developer payouts for app and game sales would begin in February. We are pleased to now announce that the first payouts for Windows Phone 7 sales will be made in the 4th week of January 2011. This payout will include payment for all sales of Windows Phone 7 apps and games that occurred after the phones became available in October 2010 through the end of December 2010. After January 2011, developer payouts will be processed on a monthly basis for all combined sales of Windows Phone 6.x and Windows Phone 7 apps for those developers who meet the minimum payout threshold limits.
App Performance Reporting Data
Also, as shared previously, we planned to provide developers with individual insights into their app’s performance within Marketplace. This is available today! Through the “Reports” link on your account in App Hub you can now access up-to-date download and transaction reporting information for all of your Windows Phone 7 applications and games. Two types of reports are available:
These reporting features include the ability for you to create custom views and apply filters, providing the flexibility to see app performance data the way you want to help make app development and business decisions. Reports can be filtered by date, country and application.
We have great tools that we believe give you the right reporting capabilities. But we’re always looking to update and improve our developer experience so we welcome your feedback for further enhancements. So, tell us what other tools would be helpful to you. Email us your feedback to email@example.com with details of the Windows Live ID and company information your developer account is registered with. Please note that we may not be able to respond to each and every e-mail but your feedback is important.
Streamlined developer registration and submissions
We’ve heard you loud and clear that the registration and submission process hasn’t been ideal and has been frustrating to too many developers. In response, we’ve made a number of fixes and enhancements throughout the process over the last 2 months, including a number of new improvements available today.
One way we measure improvement is to look at is turnaround time for common activities. I wanted to share that we have made significant improvements. Over the last month, 91% of applications have been certified and published within 2 days of submission, and 86% of the 1,000+ new developers that register in App Hub every week now have their account vetted and validated within 10 days.
Here are a few examples of some of the other fixes and enhancements that we have made recently thanks to specific developer feedback.
Mobile Ad SDK for WP7 now supports XNA Framework game development
Finally, we continue to add new developer monetization models. This week Microsoft Advertising announced that the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7 has been updated to allow ad-enabled mobile gaming apps using the XNA Framework, in addition to the Silverlight support already provided. Mobile gaming developers can now easily integrate banner or text ads into their Windows Phone 7 gaming apps while leveraging XNA game-specific features like 3D graphics support, multiple graphic blend modes, built-in game loop and much more. For more details about our Ad SDK update, read Jenifer Handler’s blog post here.
If you are a US-based mobile gaming developer targeting the US market, you can get started monetizing your ad funded mobile game apps for Windows Phone 7 by following the simple, three step process here.
As mentioned, these are just a few updates that we’re making but we’re not done yet. We’ll continue a regular cadence of updates and as always, we welcome your feedback.
If you want to really improve the app submission process then you would persist app properties like pictures and description when submitting an update. When we submit an update we usually only need to update the xap file. If the app properties are persisted then we can update the description or pictures as we see fit. That would prevent some problems. Example: I have two apps in the entertainment section. I submitted an update and failed to pay attention to the category. Now they are in the Games category under Puzzle. I have not yet needed to update the pictures or description.
Is the published WP7 Apps count is 3000 or 4000? In Bing Visual Search for Top Windows Phone 7 Apps, its showing exactly 3000 at present. http://bit.ly/e1KRD6
Thanks for making these stats available - wasn't expecting to see these for a few more weeks yet - so great to get some early stats and means we don't have to worry so much about implementing analytics in our apps anymore.
Without meaning to sound ungrateful - I do have some requests on this - as I think that the layout/functionality could be enhanced somewhat.
The most important stats I think developers writing paid apps are actually after is the total sales figures. Currently the whole online reporting system is based around getting total 'download' figures (which aggregates both trial + paid status into one).
At the moment to get total paid counts - you have to trawl through each of the breakdown pages and manually add up the rows with 'paid' status. I currently have 5 pages to trawl through (when looking at all my apps) - so it's quite cumbersome to do this.
Hence - My requests on this would be :
- Summary pages with focus on Paid vs Trial vs Total figures. (and selectable filter).
- Filter for Daily/Cummulative to show just Paid amount.
- Ability to export the paged view to XLS/CSV file for download.
- Ability to show all results in single page (there's only about 10 rows per page which is a bit of a pitb).
- Displays of 'totals' at bottom of paged views.
- Instead of count column - add Columns for Paid, Trial, TotalDownloads (there's no need to have seperate row for paid and trial count). On this would be good to see Conversion (Trial>Paid) ratios as well.
- Summary page which shows total sales amounts for each currency (given the conversion rates are wrong - ie. AUD + USD are actually on parity but Marketplace is currently doing 1.3:1.0 ratio).
- Either default the start date to be when Marketplace opened (Oct 21) - or have a Show 'All'/Last Month/Week etc type filter.
Anyhow - hope to see some improvements on this soon! (I do realize the downloadable payout reports might help with this - but since no payouts are happening yet - and they would be delayed it's not a substitue).
Also - while I'm making requests - it would be good to see it being slightly more up to date (ie. max date is about 6 days old).