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Hi everyone. I have a number of Marketplace improvements to fill you in on today.
Back in April I outlined a number of backend changes and cleanup efforts we were undertaking to improve the short-term performance of Marketplace and App Hub. Today I want to update you where we stand with this initiative, especially for the metrics I know you care about most: app certification and publishing turnaround times.
Over the last several weeks some of you have reported slowdowns or delays in the app approval and publishing process. You’ve also reported App Hub was taking longer to perform basic functions, like generating reports.
We’ve heard you, investigated, and have made some changes to improve things. Last week we took action to trim the size of the Marketplace feed, by removing app information that was no longer used and frankly just slowing things down. Since we trimmed, the average publishing time—the period between hitting the publish button and seeing your certified app become visible in Marketplace—has improved by 20 to 30 percent. It now takes roughly 3 to 4 business days to certify and publish an app.
We’re also seeing a similar decrease in the lag time between certification and availability of your app in the Marketplace—to less than 1 day, on average. (You might experience different wait times depending on the app you’re submitting.)
These are modest improvements, but as I’ve mentioned before, we’re building a faster and more scalable Marketplace service to better handle our rapid catalog growth. Until that work is finished later this summer, it’s possible that publishing and certification times could increase again. We’re doing everything we can to prevent that, but I also want to set realistic expectations.
Improved App Hub performance
In the past week, we’ve also made changes to improve the overall performance and stability of App Hub. This has made common actions like creating reports on your app’s performance faster and more reliable. I know some people, especially developers with large app portfolios, had experienced time-outs recently and that should no longer be the case.
Easy annual phone unlock
We recently addressed another pain point around unlocked phone renewals. Some of you, we know, received handsets at developer events that had been unlocked by someone else. This became a problem during account renewal because previously phones could be unlocked only by the App Hub account holder initially associated with it.
A new fix allows developers to register a phone to their account, even if it was originally unlocked by a different account. You can now simply run registration tool to unlock the phone.
Ad payouts for more markets
If you missed it, Microsoft Advertising also announced they’re expanding pubCenter to 17 new markets within the next few months (for a total of 36 markets), meaning app developers in more countries can get paid for advertising using Microsoft’s ad solution. The new markets include: Austria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Luxemburg, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan.
There is still more work to do. These changes do not address all of your feedback and concerns. I wanted you to know that we continue to look for ways to resolve or reduce the impact of issues and provide a better Marketplace experience. I’ll check back periodically with news and information, good or bad. In the meantime, please keep giving us feedback.
Wake me up when you give us an official sideload option.
What about merging Windows Phone App Hub and Windows Store Dashboard?
I agree with pir0zhki. PLEASE give us an official sideload option! If I had 10 votes to apply toward "Things to improve Windows Phone development", I'd put at least 5 of my votes toward an official sideload option.
Perhaps you could set up a place for us to vote for things like this on UserVoice the way the Visual Studio team did (visualstudio.uservoice.com).
bmenees: Sounds like you're wishing for this site: http://wpdev.uservoice.com
Well ... about sideloading, that side are closed to prevent unprovisioned apps installed in user base devices. Android is not as stable as it should be, one of the cause is this sideloading. Users tend to sideload apps, and make the OS unstable (Android as an OS it self is quite stable actually). Like typical people. Want freedom, but reject the consequences. Want to be secured, but doesn't like to be restricted. For power user/tech geek, sure, they will ask more access to their devices. But for commoners like me, can sideload or not doesn't affect us that much. And I wonder which is the majority, power user/tech geek or commoners?
Things don't appear to have improved from my perspective. Some of our apps (certified on 1 June) still haven't appeared in the en-AU and en-NZ marketplaces two weeks on.
And when are you going to switch on XAP encryption?
Oh noes. More "JustAFan" bullshi will be coming into market.
Give users a tool to complain on apps spam!
I can understand that the certification process, which includes manual testing, takes time. The main issue with Android is the lack of certification in the google market. What I can't understand is why reporting is not up to date.
I've worked on reporting solutions for system with a lot more data. most recently in online advertising.
I'm sure the total number of app downloads per month is a lot less than the number of impressions we had every day, yet our reporting was 15 minutes behind for some reports, an hour behind at the most for others.
Having outdated reports means I can't test different price points because there's no feedback and there are many other scenarios where not having up-to-date data is a problem.
Another major issue, for us app publishers, is that you can't see your outstanding balance anywhere on app hub.
How much money did I make today, yesterday, last month, all time, totals for each app. How can you not show this info to publishers? There's no way to even figure it out (all I can get is how many users paid for the app, but I don't know at which price point and what's my bottom line after taxes)
You expect serious companies to publish apps and you don't provide the tools to help make money and see how much money your making.
performance is an annoyance, as are the many errors when loading the dashboards that throw you to the reporting page. yes, you need to fix those things and try to make the certification process as fast as possible. but bad reporting is a much bigger issue that shouldn't take more that a couple of weeks to fix
PLEASE build an AppHub app for our phones!
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.
@wieser-software-ltd: Please send a mail to us via the blog: WPBLOG AT LIVE DOT COM and put your screen name in the Subject line. We will look into your situation.
ok nice but how about removing this app that cost 499.99$ from windows phone marketplace
It's still not fast enough. I was planning to release an app by the 8th, and it's failed the first certification and is waiting for the second certification now. 3-4 business days sound short, but they're not, especially if you submitted your app on Wednesday-Friday.
My App TVerie (5e35ab76-1055-4c8a-af7d-21f43e95f7a1) is stuck after publishing an update!!! PLEASE HELP!
The Old Version 1.2 is marked as hidden the new version is published (after beeing certified) to the marketplace over 36 hours ago! But it still doesn't show up!
Support request was sent but now one reacts!
This is a comment unrelated to this post - but will winners of the Big App on Campus contest be posted? I've searched and can't find a post in March or April! The official rules said they were to be posted here. www.microsoft.com/.../officialrules.aspx
Right now when changing searching keywords it take 5-6 days before app will published.
Is there way to reduced this time?
Concidering that seaching scheme for WP7.5 is completely broken
I have to changes keywords quite often to make app visisble.
I do like everything about WP and I mean it.
In my real live i'm BSP developer but I''m spending at least 20 hours a week developing app.
Just fix the search. Current one is not good.