WP7 Marketplace Tip #3: Free app updates are free, even if they fail!

This has finally been clarified by the Marketplace team as the most current, up to date, lore on the subject of free app updates - they're free, they don't count towards your 5 free submissions, even if they fail. Here's the word for word story straight from a Marketplace PM:


Paid Developer (USD$99):

1.     Unlimited number of paid applications.   You cannot change the price on a paid app to be free.

2.     Updates to paid apps that have been published are no charge.

3.     5 submission credits for free apps

4.     Updates to free apps that have been published are no charge.


DreamSpark (free):

1.     Unlimited number of paid applications.   You cannot change the price on a paid app to be free.

2.     Updates to paid apps that have been published are no charge.

3.     5 submission credits for free apps

4.     Updates to free apps that have been published are no charge.


* the failed updates for free apps are not  accounted against the developer quota


What do I do if I get charged for an update to a free app?

Submit a support request via the portal and you should get a response within 24 hours. Feel free to reference this blog post if needed.

Comments (12)
  1. Jared O says:

    So a failed free submission will count against your credits, correct?

  2. Oren Nachman says:


    Yes, a failed free app submission will count against your credits.

    Failed app update submissions to free apps will *not* count.

  3. Jared O says:

    Alright, so make *sure* you're safe, submit and then update for the semi risky stuff.(e.g. Throwing an exception to mimic an App.Exit() call) 😉

    Just kiddin'. Thanks for the insight.

  4. Oren Nachman says:


    Actually, that's *exactly* what I would do 🙂

  5. Free app submission... says:


    I was trying to submit 1 free app, without knowing this only 5 submissions limit since Oct mid before it's even automated in the create.msdn.com site, it's still not approved and testing failed 5 times already making my free submission to ZERO (me knowing this recently) and end up paying for 19$ for 6th time, as last time. All this for a single generic error message without any specifics of test result.

    This below error never mention exactly what screenshot is having issue, exactly what's the issue, it's a very generic error message. If we need to pay, the error's should be more specific, not a generic I hope, else, it should be free.

    I can digest 19$ for 1 app and multiple testing, but, for each testing 19$ from individuals who're trying WP7 app's are ripping them off and staying away from developing app's itself. I've even submitted a forum thread also on this issue, other forum members even not able to find out what/where's the issue in the screenshot.

    I got 5 times the below same error and got failed, now I've given my card info for the 6th time. Though 6th time I need to pay, as last effort I submitted now. If it fails again, I wont' be developing anymore WP7 apps. I can't afford 19$ for each Testing. This is Total Ripping off individual / student developers.

    Generic Error: 4.6 says: "Screenshots must only contain application graphics, and must not include any emulator chrome. Graphically-enhanced screenshots are not allowed.".

    My Forum thread on this issue: forums.create.msdn.com/…/429407.aspx

    I think MS / Balmer only says in stage Developers, Developers, Developers. But, when it comes new things like Azure/WP7, they dont' realize normal individual developers can't afford 19$ per test for a Free app. I request MS need to make all Testing and any no. of testing for a Free app should be Free. Otherwise, charge 99$ and allow 5-10 app's and make 'n' no. of testing free for them. Otherwise, it's not fair for new/small developers.



  6. Oren Nachman says:


    Thanks for getting in touch. Feel free to send me an email at orena@ms[etc] so that I can get someone to look at this properly. Did you get someone from support to look at this by lodging a support request? The support request would have given you a direct line to the certification team and they would have explained exactly what was wrong.

    Looking through your forum post I see that the initial set of screenshots were not of the correct quality (they were extremely fuzzy), and should have failed, though I don't see any cause for the last set to fail (the 1px line should not have been enough). What was the certification report for the last set?

    Basically, lodge a support request (in AppHub via My Dashboard -> Windows Phone -> Support and send me an email. I'll also follow up to see if they can change the standard test failed reason to be more descriptive once I have your details and can reference your exact case.

  7. @Oren Nachman says:

    Thanks for your reply. I got the 6th round of testing also failed today, with same error message, in which i submitted just 2 screenshots which are really clear (1st and 5th one). I'm not sure what' the issue, where's the issue, even in the forum others are trying to figure out what's the issue in my screenshot's and helping me. But, I would really feel, the WP7 Testing Team shold've told this first time itself, so that all my 5 Free submission might not've been used and might' not have spent 19$ for the 6th round of Testing. I hope I get all the 4 Free submissions back and the 19$, as all these are new developments/rules, which we're really not aware till yesterday (good that you've posted in your blog).

    On top of it, there's a new error raised for the first time, never raised earlier in all these 5 rounds of testing, saying no info on the developer inside the app. This is really alarming. We dont' know what else might be our test result next time.

    pls dont' ask us to raise a support request. I've done that almost 5 times in the last 1 month, no reply for those support requests, no way to track it in the create.msdn.com site either. I'll send out a mail to you now itself on the details.

  8. Oren Nachman says:

    I'm sorry to hear it. I look forward to your email so that we can sort this whole thing out 🙂

    As for the developer info inside your app, that's been a requirement from the start (in the certification guide) but just not enforced. See my blog post from today: blogs.msdn.com/…/marketplace-tip-4-include-contact-info-in-your-next-app-update.aspx

    – Oren

  9. Justin Bonsey - Microsoft says:

    I think i was wrong. – and I  don't have a way to test this but I don't think there is a way to submit updates to FAILED Apps. someone else responded to one of my threads and said that they don't have an option on the app hub to submit an update to a failed app submission. can anyone else verify this?

  10. Oren Nachman says:


    That's right – there is no way to submit an update to a failed app, since the app doesn't exist yet. You simply submit a new submission for the same app so that you can get the app out there.

    Note that the free updates policy is only for certified applications – so in this case you will be using at least two submission credits (one for the original failed and one for the new submission to the same app).

    – Oren

  11. Justin Bonsey says:

    Thank you! for the clarification, I totally understand now. HA 🙂  Support actually references links to this blog because you give great explanations.

  12. I'm back from vacation ! says:

    @Oren – Did you had a chance to see my app, any idea what's the issue with those screenshot images…?

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