Windows Phone 7 Private Distribution, Marketplace Policies Unveiled at TechEd

Microsoft is making several announcements at TechEd this week that developers should be sure to catch, like the introduction of our new Windows Phone Marketplace policies. We’re also providing more details about some developer features, one of which I think is worth exploring more closely; private beta distribution through Windows Phone Marketplace.

Windows Phone 7 Private Test Distribution

The public model enables developers to market and distribute applications to all phone users globally or based on a particular geography.  In contrast the private model enables developers to use the same Marketplace service to distribute applications to a defined set of people that you select for beta-testing. Developers will identify their beta-testers and then upload their application to the developer portal.

For more information, see Hey, You, Get Off of My Cloud by Charlie Kindel on the Windows Phone 7 Developer Blog.

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace Policies

Windows Phone Marketplace policies that will govern the application submission and certification process as Windows Phone 7 comes to market. We’re taking the next step with Marketplace to attract a much wider range of developers, from large software companies down to students and hobbyists.

The full list of Windows Phone Marketplace policies is now available here.

Brandon wrote up a post with links to details on what’s changed here but in summary:

  • Annual registration fee of $99
  • No limit to the number of paid apps submitted.  5 free apps per registration, $19.99 each after that for free apps
  • Free registration to DreamSpark students (same unlimited paid and 5 free apps applies)
  • A new optional push notification service to help developers stay engaged with customers
  • A new optional Trial API - trials mean more customers try your app, and less likelihood that they return it. The length or type of trial is fully controlled by the developer
  • The ability to publish to all available Marketplace markets through a new “worldwide distribution” option, allowing developers to pay once and distribute broadly
  • Wider range of business models; free, paid, freemium and ad-funded

Equally important to many developers is what isn’t changing:

  • Revenue share of 70/30
  • Developers manage their business with Marketplace via the self service portal
  • Payout takes place monthly for developers that have earned more than USD$200 worldwide
  • Developers can make ad funded applications
  • All applications go through a process of technical and content certification
  • Marketplace offers support for credit card commerce, and where available mobile operator billing.
  • Microsoft continues its practice of publishing policies, guidelines, and submission process details to developers so they understand exactly how marketplace works.

Business Case for Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 is positioned for businesses and for your line of business applications.

Demand for Smartphones that play as hard as they work is fueling the continued growth for new devices, with IDC projecting 31% growth in Smartphone units in 2010 and another 22% in 2011.

More than 90% of our target customers for Windows Phone use their Smartphone for business purposes and 61% use their phones equally or more for business than personal use.

Windows Phone 7 to combine a smart new user interface with familiar tools such as PowerPoint, OneNote, Word, Excel and SharePoint into a single integrated experience via the Office hub. Integrating these business capabilities along with rich email, calendar and contacts into a mobile platform that supports compelling business applications enables increased productivity.

For more information on the business impact, see Windows Phone 7 Means Business.

Getting Started with Windows Phone 7

For those considering developing for Windows Phone for the first time, we hope you see a fresh opportunity to create truly unique and exciting apps and games. For those who have already published apps to the Marketplace, we hope you find this new direction exciting. Be sure to download the Windows Phone Developer Tools preview, check out what Marketplace has to offer and tell us what you think.

In addition:

Videos of ISVs on Windows Phone 7

About TechEd

Some 10,500 customers, partners, and staff are on-site in New Orleans, Louisiana, ready to immerse themselves in four days of learning opportunities and collaboration with Microsoft innovators, third party leaders, and thousands of their peers.


Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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