Windows® Marketplace for Mobile Developer Strategy Announced!

When Windows® Marketplace for Mobile was originally announced on February 16th, we indicated that additional information would be available soon. Well, the waiting is over. Today, Microsoft announced the developer strategy for the next generation of Windows® Phones, which includes a number of key benefits for developers. In our previous post, we discussed how Marketplace addresses the challenges of distribution and monetization for developers with an easily discovered, on-device application that can distribute your applications to millions of users. Today’s announcement builds upon these benefits by providing developers with additional insights into how they will be able to participate. Let’s look at some of the specifics in greater detail.
What is the revenue and distribution opportunity for developers?
  • Developers will earn 70% of the revenue generated from sales of their applications.
  • Applications can be priced and sold in 29 markets using targeted pricing strategies to maximize revenues. This is a great opportunity to tap into a broad international customer base.
  • Applications can also be distributed through the Marketplace for free.
Tell me more about how to participate…
  • In the spring, we will release the registration process for you to sign up.  Application submissions will be accepted beginning this summer.
  • Developers will be able to submit up to 5 applications to the Marketplace for the annual registration price of $99.  Each additional application within the annual period will have a cost of $99.
  • For students enrolled in the DreamSpark program, the registration fee will be waived.

How do I get my applications into the Marketplace?

  • We want developers to focus on their core competency of developing innovative applications. At the same time we will work with developers to ensure that their applications run optimally on Windows phones. We will accomplish this by running a rigorous certification and testing process before applications go to market.
  • Developers will be able to see detailed feedback during and after the certification process of their applications on the Windows Marketplace for Mobile developer portal.
What do I need to get started?
  • You can utilize familiar tools and technologies like Visual Studio and the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 to build great applications.
  • Get the Windows Mobile 6 SDK and everything you need to get started at

As I mentioned, you will have access to all details once the registration doors open in the spring. Subsequently you will be able to start submitting applications later this summer. For now, check out the press release, and watch this interview with Marketplace Product Manager, Inigo Lopez.



Please feel free to send us your questions or feedback. We look forward to hearing from you!

Comments (18)

  1. Jeremy says:

    Where does the current M2M program fit into all of this; Designed for Window Mobile, MS Certified Software Catalog, M2M digital cert (via Verisign/GeoTrust)?

    All of that has been a painful (and expensive) experience, personally.  GeoTrust’s drivers didn’t even work on Vista x64..that alone killed my excitement for the whole process.  Their terrible customer support didn’t help matters, especially considering the $350 cost.

    I hope that Microsoft’s "rigorous certification and testing process" will cover all of the above, relieving me from having to deal with it anymore.

    Feedback appreciated.

  2. Aleksandr says:

    Very good question concerning new certification process – how it will works, are there any additional hidden yet $$ to spend? Also, I want to know when 6.5 emulator images will be available? Alerady existing programs must be at least checked and tweaked against 6.5 before submitting them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    That is the worst possible development. Why should developers be captives to Microsoft money extraction terms, just to place an application in front of their users? On Windows I could place an application out there for everyone to use and place it for free on one of some repositories, such as, and without any hidden costs. I thought that Windows was an open platform, on which everyone can develop and create his/her own market and profit. Why should Microsoft get part of that? Just because Apple did it (successfully), just because Nokia will do it, just because Rim will do it I guess the same way, does not mean that Microsoft should have done it. How do I get now for example Windows drivers to be certified on Windows Update? Do I pay 30% of my hardware revenues? Do I have to pay Microsoft 30% on every mouse I sell or on every printer, just because the driver is certified, i.e. passed through a rigorous process like now you propose for Windows Mobile applications? Why this move? Just because it makes you richer? Imagine the ecosystem you are creating, imagine 20 years from now when mobile phones will be used for everything that a computer is not. Imagine the harm you are doing to start-ups and especially in this economy. I want to sell a simple yet long to develop application for Windows Mobile, an application that took say a year and a half to develop, to the wider possible audiance and so I choose to price it relatively cheaply 50$. Now with this horrible decision what am I left with? Only 35$ out of the 50$? Why? So, you know what you will force us to do: raise our prices. Imagine now the harm to users. The increased pprices. The increase in pyracy because of that. Many people might by a 50$ application. Increasing though the price to cover your new Microsoft tax and your registration fees etc, might make many users run away. I thought that only Apple made you pay the Apple Tax. Now it seems you are imposing the exact same thing. Unlike your open history on the desktop, you want control here. Just because Windows Mobile would be more profitable that way. Ok then 30% of developers is time perhaps for them to switch to Google, where no such fees are required for the Android Marketplace. You have a long history with Windows; do not ruin it now. Imagine only how outragious such a decision would have been on Windows Vista Marketplace. Make the right choice!

  4. alcedes says:

    I’m excited!  I’ve got lots of questions to ask but as you said details are forthcoming, so I’ll contain my exitement and my questions for now.

  5. Daryl T says:

    I echo the comments made by Jeremy regarding the current M2M mess, the methods of code signing that never quite seemed to be ironed out leading to confusion, complexity and a huge added expense in time and money.

    This new marketplace certainly sounds good, but we have heard similar promises on so many occasions in the past.  I would like to be a believer, but holding off on my excitement for the moment.

    A 30% cut is totally acceptable, given that the marketplace will be on every 6.5 device, the question however is how prominent will it be?  Will it be as easily discoverable as the Apple App Store from the device?

    The past has shown so many similar attempts at doing this, where the WM ‘app store’ by various vendors is buried somewhere that only a techie would find making the whole idea pointless.

    I’m hoping it is as exciting as they make it out to be.  WM is still a great platform with a lot of hope if things are done right, I’m just not entirely convinced of it yet.

  6. Jeff says:

    I agree, the codesigning should be either greatly discounted or free, and come up with a free testing tool like they are going to use with Windows 7 certifications(supposedly)….

    The innovateon program allows these certs for free, but for independant developers, this program requires a Microsoft Partnership.

  7. alcedes says:

    @Daryl T

    From what has been seen the discovery of the Mobile Market Place will be be wasy since it will be preinstalled on the Windows Mobile 6.5 Image.

  8. Jordan Mills says:

    So far, this is total fail.  I really hope it’s not done yet.!86E0371A36435FA2!2155.entry?&_c02_vws=1

  9. So a few questions:

    * Will Compact Framework 3.5 DEFINITELY be installed in WM 6.5?

    * Will SQL CE 3.5 be installed? Will it be SP1?

    * Will you be providing emulator images and SDKs to us developers BEFORE you launch, so we can ready our apps?

    I’m very concerned about the push towards using the WM6 SDK when we know how things tend to change in memory mapping, calls, and so forth from one version of WM to the next. How can we be sure the app runs if we don’t get a preview before you launch? Please help us in this regard 🙂



  10. DarkAngel says:


     Having problems to register to the market place, and didn’t find any "contact us" so I’m giving a try here ^^

     I did pass the first step, I put a zero VAT number since I’m an individual and dont have one (FR000..0). On the last step, where you have to pay, there is a mandatory billing address but it looks to be locked on "US Address"! I cannot change the contry to France. Any idea ?


  11. John Bruno says:

    Thanks for your question DarkAngel, and thanks for signing up! Unfortunately, we are not accepting currency in all countries at this time. We will be adding support for other currencies soon. Please stay tuned. Thanks!

  12. Manbolo says:

    Hi John,

    We’re also french developpers and would like to sign up to the windows mobile market as developper. We’ve also look for a contact section on the web site, but did’nt find it…

    My problem is when I try to register, I have to provide a ‘bank account number’ and a ‘bank routing number’ but with my french account I’ve only had an IBAN.

    What should I put in those two sections, it seems only to accept numbers…

    Thanks !

  13. matt says:

    Everytime I complete the registration process it takes me back to step 1 and I have to start all over agin. I’ve done this 4 times now and guess it’s time to give up on WM.  

    It’s unbelievable that I can’t even sign up…can’t imagine the problems WM will have waiting for me if ever do.

  14. I do not think this marketplace will get popular in individual developers or small firms. And it will certainly not beat Apple’s App Store.

    For every application submitted, a developer is required to pay 99$, and if submission fails he is again required to pay 99$ for retesting. And that is when Microsoft is going to take 30% share of the revenue as well. Apple never charges anything for submissions and resubmissions.

    I think it will suffer the same fate Nokia’s Ovi is suffering, paucity of apps.

  15. Nakul Moudgil says:

    Hi John,

    I’m developing an application for Mindows Mobile and I want to upload it on Windows Matrketplace. Microsoft just released the guidelines for application submission. There is one point in guidelines regarding Bundling Applications which says we can’t bundle more than one executables in one bundle. Now my application needs a background service which updates the data at user set time. I have a seperate exe for this background service which I want to bundle with main application.

    Now how can I go forward on this? Because this is a show stopper for my application. Thanks!

  16. Seth Steen says:

    How about themes and skins? I’m a theme and skin developer and I think for my inexpensive products there isn’t much chance I’ll make much money or even lose money on some products if it costs me $99. I’m guessing due to that there won’t be much variety of products and other sites such as Handango will still be a better bet and much more popular.

  17. Mack says:

    Please post a link where we can sign up to be a developer for the Windows Marketplace for Mobile.  I can’t seem to find out how to get this process started.


  18. MSDNArchive says:

    Mack, check out Right now there is a Marketplace Registration link on the Distributing Applications tab.


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