Microsoft Streamlines Windows Store App Certification, Management

Version 5.0 of the app certification requirements is also out.

Microsoft is giving Windows Store app developers more control over releasing, publishing and managing their apps, in response to user feedback.

The changes were announced on the Windows App Builder Blog, in a post written by Keith Senzel, Principal Group Program Manager, Windows Store Dashboard.

One common request from developers was more granular control over app release. There were previously just two options for releasing an app: 1) As soon as it finished the certification process, or 2) A specified future date. Now, the hour and time zone for release can be set, along with the date. In addition to more options, it's now possible to change the release date while the app is in the certification process, rather than having to re-submit it for certification if the release date changes.

Those certification requirements have also evolved, and version 5.0 has been released. Perhaps the biggest change is the easing of just what's considered a requirement. Some items that used to be requirements are now suggestions, such as ad placement locations in an app (to use Senzel's example). Other requirements have been combined into other categories, slimming down the overall number.

The other major Windows Store change is to app availability. If a developers wants to remove an app, they now have the option of deleting only the app's listing, rather than the app itself. This makes it easier to restore the app after maintenance or some other update. "It's important to remember that removing an app's listing means that your app is no longer available for new customers to download," Senzel blogged.

Finally, developers can now remove Windows 8-only versions of an app. This was a request from those who want new users to only have the Windows 8.1 iteration available. In practice, removing the Windows 8 version is similar to removing an app's listing: rather than deleting the entire app, the Windows 8 listing is all that will be deleted. If a developer decides to make it available again in the Store, it's just a matter of re-implementing the listing.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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