Microsoft cuts down on Windows Phone Marketplace bulk publishing

By Tom Warren, on 3rd Jun 11 7:20 am with 23 Comments

Windows Phone Marketplace

Microsoft revealed on Friday that it plans to limit the number of apps a developer can get certified to 20 a day.

The move follows criticism that Microsoft is simply bumping up its Marketplace numbers by allowing application developers to “spam” the Marketplace with multiple versions of their apps. “We are reaching out to the companies who most recently published a large number of apps with similar functionality in a short period of time,” said Microsoft’s Todd Brix. “We’re offering to work with these developers to explore how they can better take advantage of the Windows Phone platform to improve the functionality of their apps and reduce the need for large numbers of similar apps.”

At the same time, Microsoft revealed that they are imposing a limit, effective immediately, that will stop publishers crowing out other apps in the Marketplace. The limit will be set to 20 apps per day per developer for certification. “Developers creating a large number of apps can still submit all of them for certification,” said Brix. “They will be certified at a maximum rate of 20 per day rather than all at once.”

Microsoft has taken the steps to stop its popular “New” Marketplace list being flooded with similar applications, pushing out other new apps. Microsoft calls the process bulk publishing. “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,” said Brix.

Micrsosoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace recently passed 20,000 applications, thanks in part to a number of duplicate apps. The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace has taken 219 days to reach 20,000 apps since launch. Apple’s iPhone App Store took 215 days and Google’s Android store took 419 days.

  • Jamie Davis

    Oh thank God for that. I don’t think I could have taken more ”Real Estate”, “My Member of Parliament” or anything else of that type. It was making browsing new apps basically impossible.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      Indeed, was pretty crazy. Good to see them move quickly though.

    • Anonymous

      Limiting a developer to 20 apps a day isn’t moving quickly.  Two apps, and subsequent apps require approval is probably what it will take to really stop spam.  Also, I’m sure these “developers” could easily open a second, third, fourth, and fifth account and get back to 100 or more apps a day.

    • Anonymous

      Limiting a developer to 20 apps a day isn’t moving quickly.  Two apps, and subsequent apps require approval is probably what it will take to really stop spam.  Also, I’m sure these “developers” could easily open a second, third, fourth, and fifth account and get back to 100 or more apps a day.

    • Andy

      Totally agree. Unfortunately this move gives almost less hope than no move. It seems to me they haven’t understood how the marketplace and its spam work.
      I’m sorry to say this, but -as a very personal opinion - this is a huge setback for wp.

      It would have been pretty easy to just say this: no spam apps. they haven’t.

    • Guest

      Correct and you do not keep quality legitimate developers long behaving this poorly.

    • Andy

      I expressed my doubts and feeling in the wp dev blog post by Todd Brix. I would encourage anyone feeling the same way to do it

  • http://twitter.com/PeterKremzar Peter Kremzar

    This is a very good move for sure. does anybody know how’s with that at the other major platform like iOS or Android? Do they also have such duplications? If yes, then a number of applications like 280 thousands for iOS is a nonsense.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

       iOS and Android both suffer similar problems. Apple was originally blasted for allowing multiple apps in a similar way whilst it was building the App Store.

    • Mike Randall

      As someone who came from owning an iPhone to the HD7 I can safely say the app store has many, many, many apps that all do the same thing. Such as “flashlight” apps.
      Also most apps have a demo version, which is great, but obviously bumps up the number of apps in the app store. I personally don’t think “lite” apps should be counted.

    • Andy

      We’re not talking about similar apps, maybe by different devs. We’re talking about people making some (usually) very simple and crappy app and make 100 versions out of it, just changing content and name, in a way which is far from productive. The same content could be embedded in a single application.
      This to avoid mentioning the fact that usually these apps are just-plain-spammy-crap.

  • http://twitter.com/Wheezle211 Wheezle

    Why on earth can’t these people just integrate all functionality into a single app? Are they that terrible at programming?

    • POPEYE

      The more APPS even if they are basic the same the greater chance for visibility.   They are simple spamming the marketplace with APPS.  

  • Anonymous

    20 a day is still too much and it appears Microsoft is not really minding the app count getting spiked from spam. So it now it will take a month of spamming the marketplace instead of a week to overrun it with real estate apps. I would say 10 a week but developers could submit to increase that but knowing that will not be granted unless there is a compelling reason for it.

  • Anonymous

    It is a good move but google and apple also artificially inflate their numbers by allowing this and worse things to go on in their appstores. for instance google inflates their number by allowing trial apps and payed apps to be submited separately, so does apple. Clearly google and apple don’t care as long as they can brag about 300 thousand apps, even if it is all duplicate crapware. who would blame them? app count is the next Mhz race…and just as pointless.

    however perception matters. wp7 cannot be allowed to be perceived as having less apps for long. therefore while this is in good spirit it may do more harm than good. blame apple.

    • Andy

      I personally don’t agree. Microsoft explicitly shifted the attention of people and developers on quality. You can’t change mind midway and hurt so many devs

    • Andy

      I personally don’t agree. Microsoft explicitly shifted the attention of people and developers on quality. You can’t change mind midway and hurt so many devs

  • http://adamhaider.com Adam Haider

    Microsoft should be more worried about the app selection, it’s abysmal right now compared with other platforms. They should be doing all they can to work with companies in releasing apps “exclusive” to WP7 that take full advantage of XNA and Silverlight.

    I just don’t get how they could approve so many utterly appalling apps. Regardless of the OS, if the marketplace isn’t solid and competing on the same level in quality not quantity as iOS and Android then the product is going to fail.

    I hope when Mango is pushed to devices developers start taking this seriously, every marketplace MS ever built ended up containing rubbish, let’s hope it changes and fast before it’s too late.

    • Andy

      I think people don’t realize how bad this is. This could single-handedly kill the platform

    • PowerTrader

      It just shows MS just does not get it, it about a quality ecosystem not quantity but they stuck with WM 6 for way to long and now they are in such a hurry trying to catch up they are missing what matters.  

    • GP007

      MS is in a catch 22.  They want to brag about how fast APPs are growing in the marketplace while trying to keep legitimate developers happy.   It appears they will sacrifice the developers so they have the marketing numbers.   

  • http://adamhaider.com Adam Haider

    Microsoft should be more worried about the app selection, it’s abysmal right now compared with other platforms. They should be doing all they can to work with companies in releasing apps “exclusive” to WP7 that take full advantage of XNA and Silverlight.

    I just don’t get how they could approve so many utterly appalling apps. Regardless of the OS, if the marketplace isn’t solid and competing on the same level in quality not quantity as iOS and Android then the product is going to fail.

    I hope when Mango is pushed to devices developers start taking this seriously, every marketplace MS ever built ended up containing rubbish, let’s hope it changes and fast before it’s too late.

  • HeatherL

    First they brag about how many Apps they have now they are telling us most of them are phony, It is going from bad to worst with this product.  The call for Steve’s head was the right call.