Developers angry as Windows Phone Marketplace rankings broken for two weeks

By Tom Warren, on 31st May 11 9:06 am with 10 Comments

Microsoft’s Windows Phone app rankings have been stuck for around two weeks, prompting angry responses from developers.

The issue first started on around May 18 says one WinRumors reader. A developer based in Italy, who wishes to remain anonymous, says the Windows Phone Marketplace ranking system has been frozen for around two weeks. “Marketplace visibility entirely depends on ranking,” he says. New applications will “never surface to the public” he adds. Microsoft’s ranking freeze hurts developers as any rankings do not get recorded in the initial phase of the app or game release, an important way for other Windows Phone users to discover apps.

Windows Phone developers have taken to Microsoft’s forums to complain about the issues. Unfortunately some Microsoft support personnel have deleted the threads or simply stated that the App Hub does not look after the Application Rankings. “One or two days would be bad enough,” says the developer. “Ten days and not even an answer, it’s making me and other developers anxious whether this platform still needs a lot more maturity.”

One thread, created on May 27 and remains alive at the time of writing, was started by Elbert Perez. U.S. based Perez recently went full-time developing Windows Phone 7 apps. Perez revealed last week that his total revenue so far from creating Windows Phone 7 apps is nearly $30,000. “The App rankings have been stuck for 1 week now and I have not seen any official response from Microsoft on this,” said Perez. “This is really hurting everyone as releasing new games/apps is not recommended right now because you just get stuck in the rankings.” The thread created a number of responses from angry and frustrated developers. “I’m astonished by the lack of answers and the poor stability of the system,” said one developer.

Microsoft appears to be struggling to fix the issue, one developer who wishes to remain anonymous shared the following email with WinRumors from a Microsoft support person:

We have not been able to locate the contacts that own the rankings process but are escalating this issue. The issue is getting considerable attention in the forums as we have seen, but is not part of the App Hub Marketplace program. Our escalation is intended to help push the rankings updates more often than they are now, or at least on a regular basis.

WinRumors reached out to Microsoft for comment but the company has not yet responded.

Update: Microsoft appears to have started to rectify the issue early on Tuesday morning according to several developers. Still no official word from the company on the two weeks of rank issues.

  • Wheezle

    Anticipating a post on TechnoBuffalo about this. It’s negative so they’ll be all over it.

  • sarkis chamelian

    backend issues and updates i suspect…. why people get upset over a stupid thing….these worse happening in the world the whos top rank….please !!!

    • Andy

      No one gets upset over “stupid things”, not even when these “stupid things” strongly affect how an app that you may have been working for months gets launched.

      What is wrong is the lack of  an official statement from Microsoft.

    • RedStarDev

      Nicely stated Andy

    • Andy

      Thanks. It’s fixed now, so let’s hope they keep it that way, although by digging in the app hub forum one can see that it already happened twice, roughly every two months.
      They also say we should post a support ticket (were ?? app hub ?) as soon as we notice it.

    • Bnlf

      thats because you dont developer anything. that was an ignorant comment. the popularity of an app is directly associated to his position in the rank. Most ppl dont search apps, they just scroll through the list and the top ones are the most probable to get more downloads.

  • Tim

    Excellent my apps near the top of its category at the moment so it’s nice to know it might stay their for a while.

    However without any confirmation that their is an issue, unless somones written down all the apps in order and noticed that none of them have changed place, I don’t know how anyone could tell. The top apps stay at the top due to them getting more advertising than anything below so just glancing at the list every day isn’t likely to show many changes over 2 weeks.

    • Andy

      About 15 days ago the ranking server stopped working. It resumed working after 2 days, since then no application changed rating in the last two weeks. There are many tools to check current rating and some that can report the whole trend for the last weeks.
      If you check the marketplace, there is never the same order for two subsequent days, let alone a week or two.
      So, yes, the rating system has been broken, that’s certain.

  • RedStarDev

    And this is why I am stopping my App development for this turd of a OS, been a waste of time and money for all involved.   Poor Nokia will experience the error of partnering with MS too.  ;(

  • RedStarDev

    And this is why I am stopping my App development for this turd of a OS, been a waste of time and money for all involved.   Poor Nokia will experience the error of partnering with MS too.  ;(