It’s been a little over a year and a half since the Windows Phone Marketplace opened for business for developers to create and publish apps. Without a doubt, there have been a few hiccups, but the great thing about the Marketplace team is that they have responded to multiple points of feedback and have acted on it. In fact, I just found out that joining the Marketplace as an individual publisher has become a whole lot easier!
When the Marketplace opened, there were a large number of traditional Microsoft platform developers that signed up for accounts so they could publish apps and games for Windows Phone. Since then, the health of the app ecosystem has consistently grown stronger with each passing day – the Marketplace actually now has over 50,000 apps and is growing at an increasingly faster clip. This is a feat in of itself that none of our competitors can say a year into their phone platform being commercially available.
Since then, the Marketplace product team have tweaked the experience for publishers to make it easier and more valuable to invest in the platform, with growing the number of markets that apps that can be sold in, abolishing the need to fill out a paper-based W8BEN US IRS form to get the revenue from your apps (there are still some things you need to do according to US tax law, but this process has become much better).
And just today, I found out that individuals signing up for a Marketplace account are no longer required to go through the GeoTrust identity verification step to finish your Marketplace registration (companies still do, however). This is good news as it means that you don’t have to wait to submit apps to the Marketplace for certification anymore. Once you’ve signed up, your account status will appear as “Account Pending” until you actually submit your first app for certification. Once you’ve done that, then your account goes live.
This isn’t breaking news, but it is something that I found interesting!