Windows Phone Developers Get New App Hub Features: Mango app submission just one month away

Windows Phone Developers Get New App Hub Features: Mango app submission just one month away

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This week marks another significant developer milestone on the path to the release of Mango and also gives me a chance to talk about where we’re headed.

We know there’s tremendous excitement among the developer community, with tens-of-thousands of you already using the beta tools and a significant increase in new developer registrations over the past couple of months. More importantly, we’re hearing from you directly and learning about some of the new and creative ideas you’re bringing to life through Mango. The combination of new platform capabilities such as multitasking and hardware accelerated IE9 with the new opportunities that come from our partnership with Nokia and expansion to twice as many consumer markets is attracting a new wave of Windows Phone developers. These are also some of the reasons that firms like Gartner are *forecasting end users open OS sales in excess of 600 million units by 2015 for Windows Phone.

Today we are officially announcing the rollout of the new App Hub developer portal with key new functionality, multiple enhancements and support for several new markets. For those of you who are new to Windows Phone, App Hub is where you manage your account, change settings, submit applications and stay up to date on Windows Phone. For Mango, we’ve updated App Hub to give you:

1. More geographic markets for developers, consumers and advertising coverage.

2. New private distribution options.

3. Enhanced application and account management capabilities.

New App Hub functionality and geographic expansion:

1. Geographic expansion: A large part of your success in Marketplace hinges on your app’s discoverability and reach. I’m excited to announce a number of new consumer and developer markets to help get your app in front of more people.

  • 19 new consumer markets. Starting today developers can publish their apps to consumers in 19 new countries, in addition to the 16 that Marketplace already supports. The 19 new markets include Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan.
  • 7 new developer markets: Also starting today developers from 7 new markets (Welcome!) can register in App Hub and submit apps. The 7 new developer markets enabled include: Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, South Africa and South Korea.
  • In a couple of months (early fall 2011), developers will also be able to register from China. We will also expand the registration support already available in India.
  • App Hub localization: App Hub is now localized for Korean and Simplified Chinese in addition to English and Japanese.
  • Updated price tiers: Periodically (such as with the addition of new markets) we modify price tiers on a country-by-country basis to adjust for fluctuations in global currency exchange rates. The goal is to maintain consistent application pricing (net of applicable taxes) across markets. During the nine months since our initial launch, some currencies have gained and some have lost strength relative to one another. The changes made this week bring global prices more closely in line with the values established 9 months ago. We’ve also added more pricing tier options below (US) $5 to give you more flexibility in pricing.
  • Upcoming mobile in-app advertising market expansion: The international availability of Microsoft pubCenter remains a priority so developers can receive mobile in-app advertising revenue in their local currency. To this end, Microsoft Advertising pubCenter will support Windows Phone 7 app developers in the following 18 countries by the end of 2011: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

To enhance developers’ long term success with ad funded Windows Phone 7 apps, we continue to offer more effective ad monetization and expand overall demand.

  • Earlier this week, two developers used their apps to compare which advertising platform helped them make more money - Microsoft Advertising or another ad platform. After a nearly three week period, the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7 drove a 71% higher yield, producing greater overall gross revenue earnings and fill rate.  See the blog post for more details.
  • Last month we announced the availability of Windows Phone 7 in-app inventory to all demand sources (e.g. ad networks) on the Microsoft Advertising Exchange for Mobile in any of the 17 countries where the Windows Phone Marketplace is currently live. Over a dozen new demand sources, including ChoiceStream and Suite 66, can now bid in real-time for this valuable in-app inventory increasing bid density.

2. New private distribution options: Developers can now choose to distribute apps privately to users using two new options: beta and/or targeted distribution. Apps distributed through these private distribution methods can only be downloaded by users using a deep-link and the apps cannot be discovered via browsing or searching in Marketplace.

  • Beta Distribution: Enables developers to distribute pre-certified applications to a group of up to 100 access controlled beta testers for up to 90 days. This distribution method gives you the opportunity to test apps with a hand-picked set of beta testers more quickly and build high-quality apps before publishing them in Marketplace.
  • Targeted Distribution: Enables you to distribute applications through Marketplace in a hidden state, where they are not discoverable via browsing or searching Marketplace. To enable targeted users to access your hidden app you simply share the deep-link to the app with the users you want to have access via e-mail, text or other mechanism. Unlike beta distribution, you may distribute your app to as many users as desired and publish publicly in Marketplace at any time.

3. Enhanced application management: For Mango, we’ve also heard your feedback and made lots of improvements, big and small, to App Hub to give you better account management tools, a streamlined application submission process and enhanced reporting capabilities.

  • Better application management: By selecting ‘Edit catalog details’ on the app ‘Lifecycle’ tab you can now change the app metadata without submitting your app for re-certification, thus reducing the time to update and publish new information.
  • Enhanced developer dashboard: Now from a single location, when you sign-in you can quickly see all top app performance metrics, payout status, distribution reporting and all available ratings & reviews on your app(s) on a per language basis.
  • More detailed reporting: You are now able to select between ‘Summary’ and ‘Detail’ views of all reports and export them in an Excel-compatible format for offline data handling and analysis.
  • New ‘Crash Count’ report: App Hub now enables you to retrieve data on crash counts and stack traces for each of your apps to use in debugging publisher updates faster.
  • Streamlined application submission process: Developers no longer need to upload artwork files one-by-one. By clicking the ‘Browse’ button, developers can bulk select upload multiple artwork files all at once during the app submission process. The App Hub will automatically detect the image sizes of all artwork and place them in the correct artwork locations for developers to edit or delete before final app submission.
  • New App Categories: To make discoverability of apps easier we have added 3 new top level categories (education, kids & family and government & politics) and several new sub categories. In addition, during the app submission process, developers can now select categories and sub-categories for all languages.

What Should You Do?
As you can see we’ve acted on your input and continue to improve and expand the Marketplace opportunity and experience for developers and consumers alike. Here are three things developers can do today to take best advantage of these new opportunities:

1) Increase your global distribution opportunities today. Starting today you can publish any of your existing applications (but not Games, see below) to the new Marketplace markets to increase the availability of your app. For apps that were previously published with “Worldwide Distribution,” and for anyone wishing to extend their current distribution, you will need to select the new consumer marketplace by clicking on the “Edit catalog details” on the new app Lifecycle tab. Without this step, previously published apps will not be available for distribution in the new consumer markets. Mango is coming soon, so make sure your app is there when it arrives.

Game developers please wait just a little longer. The App Hub is adding functionality to support game ratings and allowing developers to upload the associated rating certificates. Please be ready to publish your games to new Mango Marketplace markets in late August. We will be in touch shortly with more information.

2) Review app prices. We recommend that developers review the country-by-country prices for their existing apps to determine if they want to make any changes. Adjustments can be made either by changing the price of an application in its default currency (which will result in changes to the auto-generated prices for the other countries in which the application is available) or by submitting a different version for each country in which an application is offered and separately choosing the price for each country.

3) Submit Mango apps in August. We’re just about a month away from enabling developers to begin submitting Mango apps to App Hub. Developers will need to use the Windows Phone Release Candidate (RC) tools that we expect to make available in late August to finalize their Mango apps and submit to App Hub. In the meantime, developers should get the free ‘Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2’ here.

We appreciate your patience as App Hub comes on line. Developers can report any issues between the beta tools/emulator and production phones on the App Hub 'tools for wp7' forum.

I hope you find this information useful and the resources give you what you need to be Mango-ready in August. It’s time to put the finishing touches on your Mango apps and have them ready to submit in August. Finally, thank you for contributing more than 23,000 apps in just 8 short months and making Windows Phone one of the most vibrant and fastest growing mobile ecosystems in history.

Todd Brix

*Source: Gartner Inc., Forecast Mobile Communications Devices by Open Operating System, Worldwide, 2008-15, Roberta Cozza, April 5, 2011).

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  • blinkk2
    2 Posts

    When will the dev market be available in Romania. Consumer market is here, why can't the dev be also?

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    21 Posts


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  • when marketplace and developer get to indonesia? i'm really waiting for that :D

  • jmenard
    1 Posts


    Is/Will it be possible to offer for free an existing paid application for a limited time and after this time to change again the price of the app to its original price ?


  • How do I access marketplace in India, I changed my default live account to the one I registered for India, the market place say no support for your country / region please help

  • Hi,

    I'm also interested to know when will Romania will be included in the list of supported countries.

    I have developed an awesome silverlight Game which I can't wait to submit.

    Please make some efforts to include Romania into the supported countries for developers and also for buying apps.



  • Any idea when Ireland might be added to the list? It seems an unusual omission, I mean, EU country, same region as UK, why no love?

    I'm hoping to release soon, and not being able to use local support to generate buzz is a major disadvantage.

  • Where can I leave messages about Mongo bugs?


    1.) SIP "number" has changed and does not display "," instead of "." in Germany

    2.) appointments.SearchAsync delivers wrong data for all appointments extending over more than one day

  • still not turkey? well, just sad to see.

  • Hi,

    So marketplace is accessible to consumers in India now? How do I access the India marketplace?

    I have a Dell Venue Pro which doesn't have any apps till now!

    There have been no news stories in the Indian media regarding this till now.


  • @brix Global Publisher Program is just pain stupid. It is for developers form unsupported regions targeting supported markets! I ask you one simple question: why should I publish app designed for Croatian market that no one can buy?

  • Rhadoo
    2 Posts

    Come on guys, really...

    1. Please include Romania in the supported countries list. And please also add support for XBOX 360 games, not just WP7 apps. I have a lot of projects which are near completion and which cannot be published because of this (and no, I do not want to use a third party to publish my apps). You have offices open in Bucharest for several years, so please make it work.

    2. Please change the way we receive payments. No non-US developer wants to spend more than 2 months and a lot of money to send in some forms back and forth just to hope that we can, in the end, get payed by Microsoft for our work. Add the electronic forms already, please, cause I really love my WP7 phone, but to me it really feels like you guys either do not see the potential, or don't care about the future of the phone or Microsoft, for that matter, since you don't take care of the most important aspect that concerns every developer (receiving payments for their apps).

  • Nice to see more countries on the list, but what about caribbean?? I live in Aruba, it's a small island that belongs to the dutch kingdom, but most people here uses microsoft products, like home computers etc, atleast make the US marketplace compatible here, afterall here in Aruba we all can speak and write in english.

  • cmiuc
    1 Posts

    I don't know, but i have treated like s...t wtih apphub.. have had a ticket open since  june with no resolution.. these people play ping pong with geotrust and now xbox coz their website has/had problems with dream-spark...

    so they are a disgrace to microsoft at present and until i get  a resolution instead of more political crap... it will never shine...

  • @Todd. Hello there. I must say that it's nice to hear that the small WP7 wolrd will be expanding dev-market-wise and advertising-wise. However - I have the same concern as Huske, my country was left out in both cases  (Poland) - which seems kind of weird.

    I'd like to point out that in order to get paid I still need to go through the complete W-8 form process + an ITIN process (which isn't 100% guaranteed to work + getting certified true copies of my passport each time costs me money + an IRS acceptance agent tells me that there still might be an issue with the MS letter - but they don't give me any specifics). Until you make lives significantly easier for devs that live outside of US - I cannot consider the WP7 marketplace worth my time.

    Myself and a few of other colleagues are bristling with ideas, however until we see that we can actually benefit from what MS provides - we are reluctant to get to work.

    Oh and btw, I've checked out the appamarket site, tried to register - only to find out that Poland isn't in their list either. Way to go.

    If possible I'd like to request a comment on what is being done to address the issues I've outlined above.

    Best regards.

  • Is good news, as soon as possible to support China's development is very good

  • Todd!, i'm very thrilled that the app hub is available in Chile now!, thanks for the work done.

    Does new developers from Chile and the new supported countries be able to test mango in their unlocked phones with the beta 2?....any chance to receive the connect beta invitation? thanks!

  • @Todd: Not including In App Purchasing is a huge let down and disappointing.  Microsoft has been behind the 8 ball ever since anouncing Windows Phone.  Now, this puts devs in a bigger whole, especially those that indie, smaller devs.  And, if the list was so small, you have had well over 2 years to work on that feature.  What a pitty.

  • @ Timotei & Arthur:

    I also wanted to know when Romania would be supported but the standard reply was pretty much that it is unknown when and if Romania will be supported. Therefore, it seems like we'd have to go through some 3rd party publisher and incur lots of overhead costs. Going through a 3rd party publisher is by no means comparable w/ publishing directly to the marketplace and in fact is a "show stopper" for many, I'm sure.

  • viyano
    1 Posts

    Your in-app advertising market expansion left out Austria even though Germany, Italy and Switzerland are included.

    Could you please provide an option so that we can participate via the US PubCenter (in the same way that we get payments from the marketplace).

  • AtomD
    1 Posts

    Any news on when consumers in the 19 new markets will be able to access the marketplace?

  • I am also interested in knowing when my country - Romania - will join the dev market.

  • timotei
    1 Posts


    Any plans to include Romania in the developer Marketplace any time soon? :(

  • andycted
    43 Posts

    Not even a mention to when we can expect to be able to publish to the Germany / NZ / SA / SK / Brazil game market ?

  • @Todd,

    When are the changes regarding Electronic submission of the W8 Form & US Tax File Number for international users coming? You mentioned these in the features "Coming In July" during your talk at MIX, so just wondering if they're still coming?

  • @brix that's horrific news.... Wait 6+ more months for that functionality? Probably a year? Massive disappointment. You make developers sad inside.

  • BNID
    6 Posts

    @Todd I can definitely see how IAP is a major addition. I'm hoping from what I see from MS Beards and Beaks game that it's ready and the API's are included in Mango and just needs some final changes/tweaks on the back end.

    I am also hoping that MS doesn't create a bunch of games that have it included, or give priority to xbox live games to have it included first and leave the indie developers waiting.

  • Todd Brix
    85 Posts

    Thanks for all of the input.

    @mutuware, @techknackblogs; Regarding OS 7.0 apps vs. Mango apps in Marketplace; end users will see the applications that are appropriate for their OS/phone. Developers with existing 7.0 applications can either update their existing app for Mango, or create a second Mango specific version of their application.

    @BNID, @Justin Pitta; In app commerce has been on the short list of features we’d like to enable, but unfortunately it did not make the cut for Mango.

    @Huske; Marketplace supports a large number of additional regions through our Global Publisher program. Bosnia and Croatia are serviced by AppaMarket:

  • Will developers have to update existing apps in the App Hub to target these new countries? Living in Sweden I have waited a long time to at least get access to free apps with my "real" (Swedish registered) Live ID instead of the temporary (UK registered) I have used so far.

    Today I reset my phone after having read this but I still can't install most apps, "this application is not available in your region". I can't even find the apps I used to have, probably because they have not been targeted for Sweden yet.

  • Huske
    2 Posts

    I have to say that I am getting really bitter. There are also 190+ countries in this world that have developers. When I wanted to develop apps for iPhone there was no Bosnia in the list, I was really happy to hear about Windows Phone 7 hitting the market because I thought Microsoft would be more open minded than Apple... and then you do the same. If you don't intent to put Bosnia, Croatia or other country in the list at least try to make some form of alternative registration for us so that we can share our applications with the rest of the world. I have couple of applications which I cannot share with the world and it is getting really frustrating.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    BTW now that we are so close to mango can we have a month when it will be released,rather than just saying fall

  • KR
    503 Posts

    Does this mean Microsoft willl release the mango to unbranded phones by begining september and at the same time to carriers for testing scheduling and delivering??

  • hades32
    21 Posts

    No  idea, why they didn't mention the date here:

    """@joebelfiore Devs... we're dying to try your Fast-App-Switching apps! #WP7 Marketplace opens to Mango submissions 8/22."""

  • New developers from Chile will be able to test mango in their phones with the beta 2?....

  • CAVX
    14 Posts

    These changes sound great. I was wondering if this has also shed any light on profile creation/verification/management issues that have been seen all too often.

  • How Microsoft will differentiate between WP7 and WP7 mango app? there will be restriction for the same??

  • Yes - IAP is an absolute must. I hope it's some sort of surprise Mango addition last minute. Not having it this late is really starting to urk me... We devs NEED THIS basic functionality.

  • techieg
    25 Posts

    I am sure Mango will take advantage of the new updates ot the apps for fst resume support but may be ignored when the same apps are running on pre-Mango.

  • BNID
    6 Posts

    Was hoping the ability to set in-app purchases was going to be included in the updates. In-apps are a must for indie developers who can't compete with the big guys.

  • Some big changes there.

    How will the marketplace handle Mango? Will developers need to create two versions, one for 7.0 and one for Mango?