Microsoft’s rules of Mango for developers, you do not talk about Mango

By Tom Warren, on 29th Jun 11 10:55 pm with 29 Comments

Microsoft has taken the odd step of binding Windows Phone Developers to a confidentiality agreement for access to the Mango beta.

The software giant issued beta bits of Windows Phone Mango on Wednesday but eager developers will need to agree not to talk about Mango as part of the terms of installation. Microsoft provides a number of tick boxes prior to developers gaining access to the beta bits. One of the rules, mixed in-between a number of warnings to backup devices, states the following:

“8. Confidentiality: By participating in this program, the developer agrees to not publish any content, screenshots or comments in any media in advance of the official launch of Windows Phone ‘Mango’.

The remark is followed by what appears to be a standard confidentiality agreement warning “You agree to be responsible for the actions of your contractors and any breach of this Agreement by your contractors will be deemed a breach by you.” It’s not immediately clear why Microsoft has imposed such strict rules on Windows Phone Developers. The company previously made a number of handsets available to media organisations, including WinRumors, prior to the developer release. Media outlets were not subject to any ongoing NDA agreements. One theory amongst several Windows Phone Developers that WinRumors has spoken to, is that  the company wants to limit any negative reactions from Windows Phone Developers.

WinRumors has reached out to Microsoft for comment but at the time of writing the company was unable to provide a statement.

  • http://www.sheeds.com.au Sheeds

    Source for the article Tom ?

    • Bnlf

       readme from microsoft that you get with mango install instructions, etc.

    • http://www.sheeds.com.au Sheeds

      Thought it may have been this ;)
      http://www.sheeds.com.au/blog/?p=1383 posted earlier.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      No actually I noticed it on the check list here actually http://s.winrumo.rs/83BQ

    • http://www.sheeds.com.au Sheeds

      Sweet – NP tnx for clarifying.  Same wavelength, same time :)  Not sure why small fish get silenced by MS, other than MS looking after their major media outlets? What do you think ?

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      I have a feeling it’s because devs are typically more critical.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      I have a feeling it’s because devs are typically more critical.

    • http://www.sheeds.com.au Sheeds

      Nothing like censorship – especially when it might block critical – or constructive – feedback ;)  Then again, there are a lot of haters wanting this platform to fail.  I just dont see Dev’s being amongst them (or ones that paid $100 bucks to play with WP7)…

    • http://www.windowsobserver.com/ WinObs

      Not censoring them because they could still provide that critical and constructive feedback through the Connect site – they are just being asked not to discuss it publicly.

    • http://www.sheeds.com.au Sheeds

      Sweet – NP tnx for clarifying.  Same wavelength, same time :)  Not sure why small fish get silenced by MS, other than MS looking after their major media outlets? What do you think ?

  • http://twitter.com/TechDudeGeorge George S

    Like Apple and iOS5 … it’ll still get talked about.

  • Anonymous

    It might very well be that devs get a more recent build than the press got.

    In fact, I think the press got a somewhat polished build, and devs are getting a more recent but somewhat ‘raw’ one.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      They are identical :)

    • Mikehc

      They are not… but I can’t comment on that =P

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VGQMRQOQYPZHFOGRIZ53F646KU Not ice_fusion.

    First rule of Mango: You do not talk about Mango.

    • Mestiphal

      The second rule of Mango is: you DO NOT talk about Mango!

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      Both of you talked about Mango.  … I talked about Mango!  Oh snap! ;)

  • http://twitter.com/charms55 Mark Richey

    It is ridiculous to slam MS for a confidentiality agreement, which really is quite standard to many industries, etc. It is not “censorship.” MS owns all rights and will be changing deleting and adding features throughout this period. Developers are being granted access to an OS still in development to help them be ahead of the curve and have native apps ready for delivery when Mango is released. This is highly sensitive and one would guess that many, if not most of these developers work across other platforms. The opportunity for risk and damage to MS is tremendous. Obviously, what has been shared publicly by the company is the shiny veneer and the huge bells and whistles. These developers will have far more information that should not be shared publicly at this time.
    Seems simple.

  • Morgan

    why do they even bother? Every screenshot I have seen contains the “Shhhhhh lets not share our hard work”. Unless they lace every screen with an identifying watermark this will get leaked plenty and often. Even a watermark won’t stop text reviews or leaks. The only true way they can prevent this is to leave out features.

    • http://twitter.com/RobertCFP Robert Wade

      Umm, the screenshots you’re referring to were for WINDOWS 8, not Windows Phone 7.  Get your operating systems right.

    • http://twitter.com/RobertCFP Robert Wade

      Umm, the screenshots you’re referring to were for WINDOWS 8, not Windows Phone 7.  Get your operating systems right.

  • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

    Why has Microsoft has become so secretive all of a sudden?  Should front facing camera support really be that top secret?

    They were pretty open up until WP7 was released and now it’s like they’re turning into Apple…

  • Anonymous

    As if this is going to work.
    They may as well have written in 8pt font “Oh yeah and don’t tell anyone lol *wink*”
     

  • http://twitter.com/RobertCFP Robert Wade

    While I don’t have a problem with M$ requiring an NDL from developers, are they really that naive to think there won’t be “leaks”?  I mean, seriously.  If they wanted to be that secretive (which I think is a huge mistake given the bad publicity and track record for WP7 at this point) they should have just chosen to NOT let develolpers load the beta. 

  • http://twitter.com/Ben_Lowe Ben Lowe, UK

    So I can install the SDK, build whatever I like, deploy to the Emulator, screen capture and blog to my hearts content,  but if I do the additional update to my wp7 device then I have to agree not to make any comments about it?  Are we only not allowed to publish images of it running on an actual device but in the emulator is fine?

  • http://twitter.com/Ben_Lowe Ben Lowe, UK

    Just received tweet from Cliff Simpkins (Product Manager for WP7 at Microsoft) saying:
    “the confidentiality point is intended more around sharing of the pre-release of the ‘Mango’ OS and the tools to update to it”http://twitter.com/#!/cliffsimpkins/status/86462471099002880
    Looks like an updated statement is on the way.

  • Sheeds

    This has been clarified by MS now.  NDA only applies for ROM/APP sharing.  Blog posts, screen-shots, previews etc are all OK and were never meant to be an issue.

    http://www.sheeds.com.au/blog/?p=1388  Link with quotes/updates.

  • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

    Wait, so press can talk about Mango but devs can’t? LOL Oh Uncle Ballmer, don’t be silly!

  • http://twitter.com/Ben_Lowe Ben Lowe, UK

    Microsoft change confidentiality wording in Mango survey: http://bit.ly/mp2AIZ  We’re free to say and show shots of whatever we like, just not allowed to distribute the update mechanism ourselves.