Publishing your app to the Windows Store puts your work in front of millions of potential customers, in hundreds of markets around the world.


Next week, I have been asked to present to a group of developers who are new to Windows 8. The group have been developing their first Windows 8 store apps and wanted me to cover the following topics.

1) Design guidelines and how make your app look beautiful
2) How to successful submit and publish your app to the Windows Store

In this blog I want to discuss 2) How to successful submit and publish your app to the Windows Store


Firstly you need to use the correct type of App developers account


Individual app developer

We use the term “individual,” but it doesn’t necessarily mean that only one person is working on the app (although that could be the case). Instead, it’s better to think of this type of account in terms of its capabilities.

With an individual developer account:

  • You can create only Windows Store apps. (If you want to create a desktop app, you must create a company account.)
  • A few app capabilities aren’t available to you. Specifically, you can't use the enterpriseAuthentication, documentsLibrary, or sharedUserCertificates capabilities.
  • Developers based in the United States don’t need an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Company developers

A company account can use the enterpriseAuthentication, documentsLibrary, or sharedUserCertificates capabilities. It's also the only way to submit desktop apps to the Windows Store. One thing to remember about company accounts: they can take a little longer to set up, because we need to verify that you represent your company.

Here are the essential differences between these two account types.

Individual account

  • Requires credit card to verify your identify
  • Restricted from using specific app capabilities
  • Cannot list desktop applications in the Windows Store
  • Costs approximately $49 USD (the exact amount varies depending on the currency of your country or region)

Company account

  • Requires credit card to verify your identity
  • Requires additional verification through Symantec
  • Allows access to all app capabilities
  • Can list desktop applications in the Windows Store
  • Requires that your company is recognized as such in the country or region in which it is located
  • Costs approximately $99 USD (the exact amount varies depending on your country or region

For more details see account types

What types of Apps can you develop?

Desktop app developers

To acquire a desktop app, a user clicks a URL (one that you provide when you list the app) that takes them to a website. From there, the user can download or purchase the app.

Enterprise developers

If you are an enterprise developer, your apps probably fall into one of two categories: apps that you want to make available to a large number of potential users, and apps that are really only relevant to individuals within your company. If you want to make your app available to as many people as possible, your best option is to list the app in the Windows Store.

OEM developers

If you’re a developer working with an OEM to preinstall your app, you must follow specific steps to get apps listed in the Windows Store or make them available for imaging on OEM PCs.

The following resources guide you through the types of Accounts types for Publishing your app to the Store 

To create an app package for the Windows Store
  1. On the menu bar, choose Project, Store, Create App Packages.

    Note Note

    If you’re running Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8, instead choose Store, Create App Packages.

    The Create App Packages wizard appears.

  2. On the Create Your Packages page, choose the Yes option button, and then choose the Sign In link.

    The Sign In dialog box appears.

    Note Note

    If you haven’t already established a developer account, choose the create an account link to display the page from which you can get an account.

  3. In the Sign In dialog box, enter your Microsoft account and password, and then choose the Sign In button.

  4. On the Select an app name page, choose from the list the App Name for the app that you’re packaging, and then choose the Next button.

    If you’re packaging an update to an app that you’ve already published, select the Include app names that already have packages check box to display names of published apps in the list.

    If no app names appear in the list, choose the Reserve Name link to open the Dashboard and reserve a name.

  5. On the Select and Configure Packages page, in the Output location text box, enter the location where the package files will be created.

  6. (optional) In the Version text boxes, update the version number of your app.

    In each field, you must enter an integer that’s between 0 and 65535, inclusive.

    Note Note

    If the Automatically increment check box is selected, the last field of the version number will increase by one each time that you package the app. However, the major version number typically shouldn’t increase unless you’ve significantly changed your app.

  7. In the Select the packages to create and the solution configuration mappings section, select the check box for each build configuration for which you want to create a package.

    The build configurations grid lists the possible platform architectures of the package (that is, Neutral, ARM, x64, and x86). In each row, a combo box displays the combination of the current Solution Configuration and Architecture choices that are relevant for that row’s architecture. The check box for the default platform is set to the current, active project platform. The combo box for the Neutral row show the Solution Configuration combinations that contain AnyCPU as the project’s platform. If no Solution Configuration combination is relevant, the entire row for that platform is unavailable for selection. One package is produced for each configuration that you specify.

  8. For each build configuration that you specified, choose the Solution Configuration that you want to build.

    When you package an app for the Store, you can specify Release or any custom solution configuration that you’ve created.

    A package will be created for each build configuration that you specified.

  9. Select or clear the Include public symbol files, if any, to enable crash analysis for the app check box.

    When the check box is selected (default), Visual Studio generates the public symbol files (.pdb) and adds them to the .appxupload file. The .appxupload file is created as part of the packaging process and contains two other files: .appx and .appxsym. The .appxsym is the compressed file that contains the public symbols of your app. When you upload the app and the .appxupload file to the Store, the Store analyzes the file and uses the public symbols to map crashes of your app. The resulting telemetry information about your app is published for you to review on the developer dashboard. For more information, see Submitting your app and Analyzing your apps in the Windows Store.

  10. Choose the Create button.

    When the packaging process has completed, the Package Creation Completed page appears.

  11. To verify whether your package meets requirements for the Store, choose the Launch Windows App Certification Kit button.

    Note Note

    This option is available only if you specified at least one solution configuration that supports local validation. For more information, see How to test your app with the Windows App Certification Kit.

For more information, see Packaging your Windows Store app using Visual Studio 2012.


Troubleshooting packaging, publishing, and deployment errors (Windows Store apps)

One or more errors or warnings might appear when you build, package, or deploy your app. The following page list the errors and warnings you may receive and provides guidance on resolution.

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