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Trouble For Microsoft Developers With the Windows Store 232

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the if-it-works-for-apple dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This blog post from an un-happy Microsoft developer highlights many of the problems that developers are having with submitting to the new Windows store. His app, that won 2 App X challenges from Microsoft, has been rejected 6 times over 2 months with no clear indications as to the cause. This is even after going through a rigorous early-certification process. With Windows RT relying solely on apps from the store, and there being just over 7,000 apps total, Microsoft could have a big problem here."
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Trouble For Microsoft Developers With the Windows Store

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  • by wardk (3037) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:06PM (#41773935) Journal

    that's only like 3 per RT user?

    the horror

    • This is just like the console wars of the 80s! My console has over 500 games, yours only 100! HAHAHAHAHA!
    • that's only like 3 per RT user?

      Unless the pirates steal a couple of thousands, in which case it'd be even less.

  • by Chas (5144) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:09PM (#41773947) Homepage Journal

    Uhm. The OS is released and there's major dumb-fuckery going on in their online store, the ONLY place you can buy apps from for certain versions of the new OS.

    That's not a "could have a big problem" thing.

    That's a "HAS a big problem" thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by socceroos (1374367)
      I see this tablet/phone foray as one of Microsoft's last rolls of the dice. If this doesn't work then they'll be marginalized sooner rather than later. I know its been 'heralded' for too long, but we are actually seeing a shift in the primary use of computers. PCs, like it or not are fast heading towards niche status.

      I advise you to now swallow a few grains of salt.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by caballew (2725281)
        I don't see MS and/or PCs being marginalized simply because business won't adopt Win 8 RT if it means their in-house software as well as other specialized software can't be used unless MS approves it in their App store. This might affect individuals but not business clients from small business to enterprise clients. With these restrictions, development for Android will only grow while development for Win 8 RT will whither after the initial rush of early development. Sorta like how SPARC and DEC lost out in
        • by gtall (79522)

          MS has an intel based tab due for delivery in 2 month and apps for it can be side-loaded. Businesses will probably suck on these, unless winders 8 proves to be too much of a pain in the arse.

      • by epine (68316)

        I know its been 'heralded' for too long, but we are actually seeing a shift in the primary use of computers. PCs, like it or not are fast heading towards niche status.

        You mean like The Beatles after Kurt Cobain? People under the age of 25 have this peculiar habit of assigning anything that's not the automatic topic of conversation to niche status. Such as the internal combustion engine in the era of alternative energy. Gasoline is pretty niche these days. And this is almost true: it will never again be

        • I appreciate your well described strawman. However, I believe you've missed my point. 'Smart' devices (read: tablets/phones) are already outpacing PC counterparts in terms of raw sales. Their relevance increases as more people use them more frequently than their PCs. Now, what has this got to do with my suggestion of Microsoft being marginalized? Well, they're not in the game, are they?

          Am I saying you won't be using a PC when you head into work tomorrow? Nope. Was that what I was suggesting...at all? Nope
          • by gtall (79522)

            I do not think it is clear how much the new smart devices are cannibalizing PC sales. They seem to be but I do not think there are any really good studies yet. Once we know that, we can see how much PCs will be taken down a peg....or not. In the PC world, MS will still dominate by hook or, more likely, by crook. What scares them is a new product category based on computing devices but so far devoid of their malware.

      • by fm6 (162816) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:22AM (#41774295) Homepage Journal

        Why do you think that another mobile failure will marginalize MS? None of the previous ones did. Are you under the impression that everybody's going to throw away their PC and start using a tablet? That's not what's happening. PC sales are stagnant because the market's saturated. Tablet sales are booming because it's new use case that users are just beginning to move to. One is not being replaced by the other.

        It's true that this is going to hurt MS. But they'll still collect a tithe for every non-Mac PC sold, and they'll still sell a lot of server licenses. As these markets saturate, they will cease to make MS uber-profitable, but these markets are still big, and will remain so — as will Microsoft.

        • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Friday October 26, 2012 @04:26AM (#41775313) Journal

          Are you under the impression that everybody's going to throw away their PC and start using a tablet?

          Nope, but I ain't gonna buy any PC/Laptop/Tablet/Smartphone with Win8 either.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          but once profits start to drop, Microsoft might be profitable but investors will start to walk away, and the share price will drop, and that will make people panic, and then Microsoft executives (who have millions of shares and will see the red) will start to do crazy things.

          Look at Nokia for an example - symbian and feature phones are hugely profitable, yet the CEO says "they're sh*t" and next thing you know, they're not selling anything and are heading for ecven more layoffs and probably a takeover from M

      • by Chas (5144)

        I see this tablet/phone foray as one of Microsoft's last rolls of the dice. If this doesn't work then they'll be marginalized sooner rather than later. I know its been 'heralded' for too long, but we are actually seeing a shift in the primary use of computers. PCs, like it or not are fast heading towards niche status.

        I advise you to now swallow a few grains of salt.

        Uh yeah...no. This is just a vaguely redressed "The PC is dying." argument.

        The PC has been "dying" for the last 30+ years. It's harder to kill than my grandmother (had a bunch of major strokes back in the mid-80's and a host of doctors over the next 15 years told her she didn't have 5 years left, she outlived all of them and didn't die until late 2011).

        PCs aren't heading towards niche ANYTHING.

        As a primary productivity platform, with one in front of just about everybody on the planet, there's no longer ro

        • Ah but the growing markets (China, India, Africa, South America) are not buying PCs but ARE buying Smart Phones and Tablets.

          The pie is getting bigger every day and PCs are not keeping up.

          • by Chas (5144)

            Ah but the growing markets (China, India, Africa, South America) are not buying PCs but ARE buying Smart Phones and Tablets.

            The pie is getting bigger every day and PCs are not keeping up.

            Honestly. Smart phones and tablets are essentially media "consumption" devices.

            Not everyone needs the full functionality a desktop or laptop PC gives them.

            That's fine. But it doesn't mean these devices are going to kill the PC. They're simply going to push out their own market niche, with some overlap.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:28PM (#41774049)

      That's a "HAS a big problem" thing.

      Problem, n.: A feature. -- The New Ballmer Dictionary

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:42PM (#41774109)
        I've been working in the same building as the group developing the Windows Store, and this is a bit surprising. They've been putting a *LOT* of work into it for quite some time, and it seems well-organized, but I'm not a developer myself so that's just my impression.
        • by Chas (5144)

          Well, there's the whole "No plan survives contact with the enemy." thing going on.

          They can do all sorts of studies and modelling and focus group testing and STILL have stuff get broke all to hell by the general populace.

          And, organized or not, there's always the possibility that the development and implementation teams quite simply didn't fully grasp the product they were trying to deliver nor the processes required to deliver it in a usable format.

          So you get things like "Your apps is great! It's stellar!

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Quality over quantity any time.

      However too little quantity is not good - both Apple and Google have about 100 time more apps in their stores... MS has a long way to go.

      And somehow I hope they make it. Not that I care much about MS as such, it'd be great to have a third viable competitor in this market. And MS Is pretty much the only company that I can think of that could pull that off.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Meh, this is all part of the plan!

      A few people will buy the Surface and they'll say "My God! Tablets are just awful! I vow to stick with PCs and never look at anything else ever!" Problem solved.

    • Uhm. The OS is released and there's major dumb-fuckery going on in their online store, the ONLY place you can buy apps from for certain versions of the new OS.

      That's not a "could have a big problem" thing.

      That's a "HAS a big problem" thing.

      Are people scooping up Windows 8?

    • It's not exactly hugely encouraged for arbitrary apps - it's supposedly for dev/test and for organization-specific internal apps - but any Windows 8 or Windows RT device can sideload "Metro"-style apps just fine. They don't make it easy; you have to use the command line (Powershell, specifically) for both the "developer unlock" and for installing the apps (at least, that's the easiest way that I've found), but it doesn't cost anything.

      I don't have any idea how this guy would respond to a suggestion that he

    • The Surface was dead before it ever launched. The reason is that there is no tablet market, there's an iPad market.

      Most people have no use for tablets. There are niche uses (the in medicine) but by and large there just isn't a real use for tablets. People are not going to be able to get rid of their computers because tablets are lousy for content creation, even basic content like writing an e-mail or forum post. However they aren't portable like a smartphone so you don't take it with you all the time. They

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by homsar (2461440)

        I've yet to meet someone that has dumped their smartphone or computer for their tablet and as such they really don't need it.

        I've yet to meet someone who has dumped their smartphone or computer for their toaster, guess they don't need that either.

      • by Bongo (13261)

        They try to fill a niche where your smartphone isn't large enough for what you need, but your laptop isn't portable enough. There is almost none of that in a normal person's life.

        I guess you use your laptop on the sofa, but my wife and I much prefer using an iPad on the sofa and at the kitchen table. Basically it is for ergonomics. People don't sit a book on their knees to read, they tend to hold a book up a foot or two away from their face, so you can have a "big view on a small screen". Laptops still usually need a desk, and even there people want stands for the laptop just to get the screen higher. Maybe your eyesight doesn't need that, maybe you're thin and can work leaning forw

      • Android are doing good. In strongest Apple market, US, Android tablets are half of all tablets sold. http://www.droid-life.com/2012/10/02/pew-research-android-up-to-48-of-u-s-tablet-sales-ipad-drops-to-low-of-52/ [droid-life.com] It is reasonable to expect dominance of Android tablets will only increase, especially outside US. People will soon expect to have great IPS tablet for $100, and there is little Apple (or Microsoft, or even Samsung) can offer there.
      • by JDG1980 (2438906)

        The Surface was dead before it ever launched. The reason is that there is no tablet market, there's an iPad market.

        I don't see that as being the case. There is a tablet market, it's just that the iPad was the first tablet not to suck, so it got first-mover advantage on top of the cachet of the Apple brand name. Now that we're starting to see decent, and less expensive, tablets from other vendors (Nexus 7), sales are starting to pick up.

        Most people have no use for tablets. There are niche uses (the in med

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      Yeah, looking at the whole app approval failure, it seems the problem is that they are trying too hard to copy Apple.

    • by Stalks (802193) * on Friday October 26, 2012 @05:53AM (#41775745)
      This is one guys story about a single app. I think I will reserve judgement.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:09PM (#41773949)

    First they reject apps on their own store, now they're rejecting apps on Microsoft's store! When will the insanity end?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by M. Baranczak (726671)

      Well, MS already copied everything else from Apple. This shouldn't come as a surprise.

  • by PlusFiveTroll (754249) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:11PM (#41773961) Homepage

    I tried to submit and app called the Windows Store but it was rejected because it duplicated the existing functionality of the Apple App Store.

  • Developers (Score:5, Funny)

    by PPH (736903) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:12PM (#41773965)

    Developers! Developers! Developers!

    Developers?

    [sound of crickets]

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      They're all working on Android and iOS already!

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      This blog post from an un-happy Microsoft developer highlights

      Developers! Developers! Developers!

      Developers?

      [sound of crickets]

      Are there any happy Microsoft developers?

      [sound of crickets]

  • by TWX (665546) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:14PM (#41773973)
    ...honestly, but between Apple's psychotic terms and Google's loose terms leading to virus problems, I really just don't care. Someone will come up with a third-party installer that won't require any kind of permission or certification from Redmond, and since the bulk of people who'll have a snowball's chance in hell of actually noticing this deficiency will use that third-party loader, it won't really matter. If anything it'll allow for a separation between the mundane, boring user and the geek, techie, nerd, what have you.

    Is post-geek a label? As in, one who used to pay attention to the excessive details of digging deep into how something works, but now has graduated into the realization that one can do whatever one needs to do with just about any tools or platform or system and no longer has a need to scrutinize so strongly because one's skills are good enough to weather any circumstances regardless of the technological changes?
    • by wvmarle (1070040) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:25PM (#41774021)

      In between those I strongly prefer Google's terms.

      First of all the Play Store has little virus issues. No idea on numbers, but it's not that I hear often about viruses in apps. Certainly the more popular apps are generally safe. And Apples app store is also not 100% clean, the vetting process is far from perfect.

      I don't use third-party stores, but I have installed software directly from an app vendor's site. And have installed my own apps directly on my phone, without any issues. Having these possibilities is great. Being limited to a single store, and not being able to easily install apps in any other way, that just sucks.

      Even if the Play Store started vetting their apps, then still not much lost as you're not limited to that store. There are alternatives. Unfortunately MS decides to go the Apple way - forgetting how the openness of Windows is part of what made the platform so ubiquitous.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:33PM (#41774065) Journal

      Is post-geek a label? As in, one who used to pay attention to the excessive details of digging deep into how something works, but now has graduated into the realization that one can do whatever one needs to do with just about any tools or platform or system and no longer has a need to scrutinize so strongly because one's skills are good enough to weather any circumstances regardless of the technological changes?

      Not everyone's skills are good enough.
      But TWX (665546), you're not alone.
      There is hope and there is help: Ask Slashdot: Rectifying Nerd Arrogance? [slashdot.org]

    • by deblau (68023) <slashdot.25.flickboy@spamgourmet.com> on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:43PM (#41774111) Journal

      You aren't post-geek, you've just graduated past the larval stage. :P

    • Is post-geek a label? As in, one who used to pay attention to the excessive details of digging deep into how something works, but now has graduated into the realization that one can do whatever one needs to do with just about any tools or platform or system and no longer has a need to scrutinize so strongly because one's skills are good enough to weather any circumstances regardless of the technological changes?

      No, it's called maturity. It can happen as early as your late 20s, but typically it takes until the mid-30s to manifest. Other symptoms include being in bed by midnight, not being as good as you remember at first-person shooter games, and drinking coffee with a reasonable amount of sugar and creamer rather than dumping the lot into every cup and having a quarter-inch of sludge at the bottom.

    • by sincewhen (640526)

      "post geek" - Interesting. But in my own case it is more like "too old and too cranky to put up with time-wasting crap any more".

    • by LordNightwalker (256873) on Friday October 26, 2012 @04:57AM (#41775477)

      Is post-geek a label? As in, one who used to pay attention to the excessive details of digging deep into how something works, but now has graduated into the realization that one can do whatever one needs to do with just about any tools or platform or system and no longer has a need to scrutinize so strongly because one's skills are good enough to weather any circumstances regardless of the technological changes?

      Indeed, if you're more obsessed with your tools than with your work, you might want to reconsider your priorities. Still, doesn't mean you have to be content with inferior tools. Just realize that in the end what matters is that they allow you to work more productively and deliver better quality; if your search for a productivity boosting tool results in not getting anything done, you're doing it wrong.

  • by hessian (467078) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:50PM (#41774139) Homepage Journal

    Most computer users don't want a Wild West computer experience. They want a safe, functional one where the computer interface is as inobtrusive as possible. They want as little burden on their consciousness as possible, so they can focus on what they want to use the computer to do in the first place.

    When you have an audience like that, expect tradeoffs. Less flexibility, more stability. Fewer options, more consistency. And now, the days of downloading random bits of code are over.

    For 90% of the users out there, this will be a great experience. The rest will dual-boot...

    • Most computer users don't want a Wild West computer experience. They want a safe, functional one where the computer interface is as inobtrusive as possible.

      I dispute that. Once they get mildly comfortable they hear about things they can do and WANT to do them at any cost. That's when installing X software comes in. If you can assure them that every type of "X software" will be available in their app stores, I guess they won't have a problem. But if the app is somehow there but out of reach, I think you

    • That is mostly false. People want features they judge useful and are not that worried about eventual crashes, as long as they are not too frequent or too critical. The success of IBM PC desktops and Windows is a proof of this.

      More often than not, the common user will get much more distressed when he sees an application that does something he wants and does not run in his machine than he would get by a buggy program.
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:56PM (#41774163) Homepage

    "Swipe or scroll through a continuous collage of all your photos, dynamically generated as you browse. The layout is different every time, bringing your attention to new photos each time you browse a folder."

    Nobody is going to miss that.

  • MS's effort to emulate the iWalledGarden has been a partial success. They have a more impervious wall than Apple does. Too bad MS can't grow anything useful inside their wall.
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday October 26, 2012 @03:27AM (#41775059) Homepage

    How apt: belief based development.

    Back in the mid 90s, I worked at a games company where we were struggling to get the performance of Direct3D Retained Mode (anyone else remember that?) up to anywhere near Glide levels on Voodoo hardware. It was "escalated" until some DirectX "evangelist" rocked up at our office to "assist."

    His "assistance" consisted of looking out of the window and telling us that we must be doing something wrong, because his developers assured him that D3DRM should perform better than anything that we could roll ourselves.

    "Look," we said, "here's the same app, showing the same scene, and the framerate of the D3DRM version is half that of Glide."

    But he wouldn't look. He literally wouldn't look at the screens. He wouldn't even acknowledge the problem. Just kept going on about how we must be mis-using it, because he had been assured.

    Needless to say, we dropped D3DRM, as did everyone else, and it died in a corner, alone and unloved. But it did give us a valuable insight into the developer and "evangelist" culture at Microsoft. I think all Windows developers learn it eventually, which is why Microsoft need a constant influx of bright eyed, bushy tailed young suckers who'll fall for the line that they only hurt us because they love us so much.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Its not just the app store that is the problem. I was about to purchase a MSDN subscription, and took a peek at the current situation with respect to license keys and installation of developer operating systems, and couldn't believe how much effort MS must have expended in creating such a confusing and unmanageable mess. They wont get my money. It is much more expedient to NOT develop for Windows. I will continue developing for various mobile platforms, and Linux, and even IOS, but MS has made everything

  • by AC-x (735297) on Friday October 26, 2012 @05:11AM (#41775551)

    Why the hell aren't Microsoft sending stack traces of crashes back to developers? Are they so incompetent that they've forgotten how software is developed?

    • by tgd (2822)

      Why the hell aren't Microsoft sending stack traces of crashes back to developers? Are they so incompetent that they've forgotten how software is developed?

      I'm not sure any of the certification processes across the various devices do that. Unhandled crashes in production do get sent back, for example, on Windows Phone applications. Given that even standard windows applications will do that, too, if you're using windows error reporting, I'm sure the modern apps do, too. That said, a stacktrace in a crash report without any context isn't very useful, anyway.

      You actually do get pretty good reports back about the certification process and what is failing, but if t

      • by AC-x (735297)

        You actually do get pretty good reports back about the certification process and what is failing, but if the failure is a generic "the application crashed", Microsoft isn't your QA department. Its not the job of the application verifiers to figure out how you might be logging, or if you crashed and YOU showed the error, or if it dumped back to the OS as an unhandled error. They're not a free QA outsourcing organization.

        Not giving any kind of indication of how it crashed, or even what environment it's being run under, doesn't seem like a good report to me. How are you supposed to fix a crash issue when you've never been able to replicate it and have no idea what setup it's being run on?

        As MS seem to run the application under some kind of automated test suite it shouldn't be too hard for them to catch the error with an automated debugger, generate a quick stack trace report and send that back to the dev with the spec of the

  • 1) WinRT apps are blocked via MS Store: i.e., you need MS' permission to distro... or do you? 2) WinRT apps can be created via Visual Studio 2012 Express... 3) WinRT apps created locally can be run locally without using the MS Store. Solution) Create Open Source distribution channel powered by Visual Studio 2012 Express to deliver WinRT apps to anyone. Since apps are compiled locally, they dont need to be on the MS store to run Catch) must be open source, funding will have to be donation-based or simila
  • This seems like a reoccuring theme....

    Another account of the issues with the Windows Phone app store is also mentioned by a Developer working for Ceton (though the posts are from his personal blog...)

    Blog post detailing the problem: http://www.motzwrit.es/post/33309406053/a-broken-process [motzwrit.es]
    Initial thread discussing delays in the process: http://www.thegreenbutton.tv/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=3093 [thegreenbutton.tv]

  • Must be because MS is diligently "re-writting" something very similar to the app trying to get published. Nah MS has never done that.
  • So, I reached out to Bob, a developer evangelist that I met at the Hackathon at the Museum of Science.

    Bob? Microsoft Bob? You met Microsoft Bob in a science museum? I think we might be on to something here...

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