Microsoft to offer free merchandizing slots to Windows Phone developers

By Tom Warren, on 4th Apr 11 7:18 pm with Comments Off

Windows Phone Marketplace

Microsoft said on Monday that it plans to offer free merchandizing slots to Windows Phone developers.

The slots will allow Windows Phone developers to get their application featured on Microsoft’s marketplace. Microsoft informed Windows Phone 7 developers in its regular Developer Communication email. There’s three types of slots according to Microsoft:

  • Panoramic – Puts the app’s panoramic imagery across the entire marketplace including a featured slot
  • Featured icon – Presents an app icon and title along with 3-6 other apps
  • Featured list – programming which prominently displays apps icon and ratings in a vertical list

All the various slots give a lot of visibility to applications. Microsoft says that when an application is featured in any of  the slots, developers see “dramatic increases in their app’s daily downloads.” Microsoft says it’s looking for “great apps” for free merchandizing slots in what the company is calling the “Spring Cleaning” project:

“For the next three months, we are going to give you a chance to let us know that you think your app is great and that you think it is deserving of prime placement in the Marketplace. Once you let us know you think your published app is great, we’ll expedite review of it for a merchandizing placement. Placements are not guaranteed, and we won’t be able to tell you ahead of time if your app will or will not be featured; but we will review every published app you tell us about.”

Microsoft has laid down the following rules:

  1. There will be three different opportunities: April, May, and June 2011
  2. Your App must be published to the Windows Phone Marketplace by the 15th of each month (by 11:59 PM PST)
  3. Your App must work as promised
  4. Your App must be new to the Marketplace or be a new version with substantial, new features or capabilities as mentioned earlier
  5. You then email the following information to
    • Your App Hub Live ID
    • Application ID
    • New App or Update to Existing App?
    • (if update) What major new features have you added?
    • Uses Live Tile: (yes or no)
    • Uses Panorama: (yes or no)
    • Uses Pivot: (yes or no)
    • Why does your app delight users?

Microsoft says the best apps that combine functionality, features and great Windows Phone UX will be selected and scheduled to be promoted in the following weeks.