App Excellence Labs – The path to Windows 8 Store

We are excited to announce that the App Excellence Labs are back again for developers in SA. The App Excellence Labs is the only channel for SA developers to gain earlier access to the Windows Store. And of course, gain valuable feedback and advice around enhancing your great Metro user experience and much more.

The lab is a 1-hour engagement with a trained Microsoft Services Engineer who will run your app through a series of tests based on a quality checklist to ensure your app is (or will be) in top-notch shape when you submit. You will also get a chance discuss ways to make your app even better and you will get answers to any questions you might have.

If your app meets the criteria then you will get a token to register your developer account and (once you have been verified and all that) you will be able to submit your app to the Windows store.
If your app does not meet the criteria, nothing is lost. You will still end up with a much better app and you will be able to submit it when registration opens for all developers.

Location Date Registration Link
Microsoft, Johannesburg 30 July – 3 August 2012 Click to Register
Microsoft, Johannesburg 27 August – 31 August 2012 Click to Register

These labs can be attended virtually so you do not need to come to Microsoft’s offices. Please note these labs are by invitation only. Please register using the above links and we will contact you to discuss your application and reserve your slot.

Before attending the following steps need to be performed:

1.      Build your application in release mode, Only applications built using Windows 8 Release Preview will be accepted.

2.      Create an APPX in release mode (you need to bring this to the lab)

a.      Using Visual Studio, you can package a metro style app by right-clicking on the project and select Store -> Create App Package.

b.      Some versions of Visual Studio 11 have a Store menu item on the top toolbar.

3.      Perform the WACK test on your application

a.      Can be found by typing “Windows” when at the Start screen (Windows Application Certification Kit)

b.      MSDN article -

c.      Save the generated XML – needed for the Survey

4.      Navigate to

5.      Login

a.      Create a user account if you don’t have one yet

6.      Add an Application Profile if one does not exist

7.      Complete the Survey – link found in the Application Profile

a.      Add the XML generated in Step 3

b.      Answer all questions to the best of your ability

8.      Don’t forget to bring the APPX built in release mode to the Lab.

Due to limited capacity missed appointments may not be rescheduled.

Comments (3)

  1. Pierre Henri says:


    I registered a week ago, but I haven't been contacted yet.

    Is there any way to know the status of my request?


  2. Pierre Henri says:

    Never mind 🙂

    I just received the confirmation.

  3. Peter Munnings says:

    I haven't received anything yet – any way to know if the request is being considered?

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