Global reach

The reach of Windows brings tremendous opportunity for app developers. In this post, Aayaz Bhorania, Lead Program Manager for our Store Services team, provides some additional depth on our approach to geographic coverage.

At our Windows Store Preview event on December 6, we announced our initial plan for geographic coverage for upcoming milestones in the new Windows Store. This announcement has generated a lot of interest and excitement, but we also understand that developers in some markets have concerns about the path to market for their apps. We wanted to provide some context for our plan to increase the depth and breadth of the Windows Store’s presence worldwide.

At general availability of Windows 8, the Windows Store will enable developers to sell apps in more than 200 markets, with support for local currencies in over 70 markets, and developers can localize their apps in more than 100 languages. We’ve accelerated our investment in globalizing the Store and are expanding geographic support for developers. At general availability of Windows 8, we will support app submission from 41 markets, up from the 27 markets that we originally announced. And our support will continue to increase—more local catalogs, more markets that support developer app submission, more local currency support—as we expand the Store service beyond general availability of Windows 8.

As one can imagine, there are a number of dimensions to localizing the Store. For consumer experiences, we consider the localization of the Store client, the apps and app catalog, payment options, editorial curation, and customer support. For developers, we factor in the localization of the developer dashboard and app submission experience, app certification, the markets in which we can offer paid apps, the currencies in which a developer can get paid (so-called payout), documentation localization, and developer support options. We have to consider local laws, and local business and tax regulations. Our goal is to provide a localized experience across as many of these dimensions as possible, and we are moving in stages to ensure quality in each dimension and at each stage.

In the next few sections we’ll provide more context and details on the Store’s global reach plan from the point of view of developers selling apps and consumers buying apps.   

Selling apps

App submission markets

For each of our app submission markets, developers can submit their apps using a localized developer dashboard. Developers will be able to pay the account registration fee using a local payment method in their local currency. Microsoft will also provide developer payouts in the local currency. At Windows 8 general availability, we will support 41 app submission markets.

However, we know that no balance of factors satisfies developers in markets that can’t submit apps in a given period of time. This will be the case for as long as there are unsupported markets, and that continues to motivate us to increase our support over time.  

Signing up as a developer

Before you start selling apps, you need to register with the Windows Store and create your developer account. You have two choices here:

  1. Register as an individual: This is appropriate when you have not formed a business entity specifically for the purpose of developing and selling apps. This requires that you live in one of the developer markets that the Windows Store supports.
  2. Register as a company: This is appropriate if you have a business entity specifically for the purpose of developing and selling apps. You must have the business registered in one of the developer markets that the Windows Store supports. We verify the identity of every business.

Additionally, if you intend to sell paid apps or plan to use the Windows Store’s in-app purchase platform, you must specify how you want to receive payments. The payment methods available depend on the market you register from. You are also required to submit the necessary electronic tax forms to receive payment from Microsoft.

Understanding your customers’ experience

As a developer you’ll be able to sell your apps worldwide. We understand that customers value apps that are tailored for their needs, including languages and content that is specific to them. So, before you invest in building apps targeted to customers, you need to first understand your customers’ experience.

The Store will automatically detect a market based on a customer’s settings in Windows. This market will determine the apps the customer sees and can acquire from the catalog. Many markets will have a unique catalog of apps. For any market in which we don’t offer a unique catalog, we’ll have a catalog we call “rest of world,” or ROW. In this way, we ensure that customers worldwide have a deep catalog of great apps to choose from.  

The customer’s market also determines the currency in which the app price will be listed. As a developer, you can localize your app to target any of the more than 100 languages supported, and you can also set the price in your local currency. Your customers worldwide will see this app in their local language, if the app supports it, and local currency, if the Store supports it. The Store will handle currency conversion and local tax (sales tax or VAT, where applicable) for you. Please note that in some markets, customer purchases may be subject to an International Transaction Fee (ITF).

The Windows Store will determine the language experience based on the customer’s preference and will find the content and apps available in the market that best matches their stated preferences. As a developer, you can choose to localize your apps into the languages spoken in the market where you want to sell them. It’s in your best interest to provide the most relevant experience to your customers, and localizing the app is an important step toward achieving that. This can lead to better engagement and a warmer reception of your apps. 

Targeting a specific market

As a Windows Store developer, you can choose to sell your app in any of the over 200 markets we support. Simply select the markets where you want to sell the app at submission time. However, before you decide to sell an app in a particular market, here’s a list of important considerations. 

  • If you are a developer registered in the United States, all of the proceeds you receive for app sales made anywhere in the world qualify as taxable income, and you will receive IRS forms documenting your earnings from Microsoft annually.
  • If you are a developer outside the United States, you are responsible for reporting any revenue applicable for taxation to your local taxing authority. For sales made in the United States, you will receive an IRS form annually from Microsoft which documents your US-sourced earnings. Depending on the tax treaties with the United States that apply in your market, a percentage of your earnings may be withheld by the United States Internal Revenue Service.
  • Microsoft calculates and remits sales tax and VAT associated with app purchases for your convenience in many markets. This includes EU member countries, plus Switzerland, Norway, the Unites States, and Canada.
  • If you register as a developer in a market outside the set of markets where Microsoft remits tax, or you have an existing business registration in any market outside of this set of remittance markets, you are responsible for calculating and remitting any sales tax or VAT associated with your app sales in those markets to the local taxing authorities. Microsoft will provide you with detailed sales reports to calculate the appropriate tax amount.

Buying apps

Now let’s consider localization aspects from the perspective of the customer interested in acquiring paid apps. For app purchases using the Store’s transaction platform, we require registration of a payment method. Customers don’t need to register a payment method to acquire free apps.

Buying paid apps

To buy an app that uses the Store’s transaction service, customers will need to provide a payment method registered in the market that they have selected. Supported payment methods vary from market to market. Most common forms of payment include credit cards (such as Visa, MasterCard, or AMEX) and PayPal. In addition, we are constantly working on expanding local payment support to introduce more local payment options to more markets.

Local currency

For Store markets that don’t support local currency transactions, the Store catalog will list all paid apps in United States dollars (USD) or Euros (EUR) depending on the customer’s market setting. Apps in this scenario can be purchased using an international credit card. The issuing bank may apply International Transaction Fees (ITFs) for making a purchase in foreign currency. We understand that ITFs can be a nuisance, and we’re working hard to add support for local currencies in as many markets as possible.

What’s next?

Windows 8 Beta will give us the opportunity to test and scale our Store platform, and it also provides a great opportunity to receive feedback. We’re inviting a select number of developers from a few markets to submit apps during the Beta. We will use this limited set of markets to pilot test our model and validate our services. In addition, our First Apps contest extends the submission opportunity to developers beyond the initial invitation list.

See our Global Support page for more details.

–Aayaz Bhorania

Comments (20)

  1. It is good to know that there will be an option to have apps available world-wide, however, it seems you may have missed something when it comes to localization. Let's say an application is available in English and French and I live in Spain on the French boarder. If I am browsing the world-wide application registry I would probably see the description in English, but I would probably prefer seeing the description in French instead.

    Basically what I'm saying is that for localization of language there needs to be an option to specify my second or third most fluent languages so that if the description isn't available in my primary language I can see my alternate language instead of a default like English.

    Providing a menu where I can pick alternate languages for application descriptions is nice, but when browsing an application catalog it would be undesirable to have to change the language for each application or even for each load of the Marketplace.

    This probably would also occur when in an application. In the previous example I might install that application and English would be shown, but I might want to see French. Even if there is a way to choose my localization per application, it would be nice if Windows could keep track of my preferred languages and automatically select languages I might prefer in the even that my primary language isn't available.

  2. Pranav says:

    We don't need free listing service for desktop apps…you are uprooting the concept of  legendary windows for a 3 year old tablet market…we want windows store to be a direct purchase platform for consumers..imagine you direct the reader to the developers website and there again you have to give all your info and then pay them and download and install…….

    this is where apple may get an edge..don't give them… give consumers liberty for apps(desktop/metro)

  3. Sandor Nacsa says:

    @Antoine Leblond and  Aayaz Bhorania

    Thanks a lot for the very positive resolution of the Windows Store developer access for Hungary.

    I've already distributed the good news among all kind of developers in my country. Thousands of people are informed today about this positive attitude on Microsoft side. The best PR for the company among the developers here.

  4. Don Mopoldo says:

    @Antoine Leblond how can you say that you have Global reach when you don't allow Developer accounts and app submissions for the Philippines. We have a huge community of individual developers here (about 500+ not including corporate developers) who want to create Windows 8 Apps but sadly we are not part this this "Global reach" effort. I have heard that Microsoft Philippines has been conducting local contests for developers here but I don't see that this can benefit the developers unless you allow App submission from the Philippines. What I don't understand is that why you allowed Philippines to be part of Windows Store consumer market and pay in local currency, but you did not allow our country to be part of the list of countries that can submit apps.

    Please do something about this.

  5. Constanzo says:

    I'm still waiting for to be allowed to submit apps from Argentina… Thanks for nothing, genius.

  6. Thank you for the new post…

    Left out, again. 🙁 Developers from Macedonia still won't be able to submit applications. There is no logical reason to leave us, and other markets out, again. You don't have to pay us in out local currency, EUR or every other currency would be just fine.

    Many around here, especially us, the students, are hoping very much that you'd allow us to submit applications. Nothing would prove more supportive from you guys, than directly allowing us to make a living by releasing interesting, high quality, designed-with-love applications on your store (after all, our university (just an example) was very Microsoft-developer-focused)).

    Please consider adding our country to the list.

  7. Klimax says:


    So, law in your country is identical to the one already covered? Doubtufll…

  8. Daniel says:

    So you support Czech Republic and Hungary, but not Slovakia? I don't get it why…

  9. @Klimax

    Don't know, but since developers can publish to GamersGate, Steam, Android's store, and many other places, I don't see why Microsoft would be excluding us.

  10. Amir Napster says:

    Microsoft will never support Iran in App Submission or buying apps(but always supports Persian language) because US companies can't import from/export to Iran. But how about free apps? Why we can't submit or download our free apps? If Microsoft wants to reach 75milioon Iranian people or other Persian language countries like Afghanistan(30M) and Tajikistan(8M) and many Iranian people worldwide, I can help here for advertising, teaching, testing, translating and…

  11. Romania is also NOT in the Developer Accounts list. I am very disappointed.

  12. Klimax says:


    Problem is, each company first has to ensure that they (can) comply with the law – and that takes time. For example until autumn 2011 Czech Rep didn't have official Xbox Live. It is not like they don't want you, but until laywers are finished, country is not on the list… (Apparently the work they did for WP 7.5 store eased work for this store as far as CZ goes)

    (Same was with Steam, iTunes or any other service – nothing unique to Microsoft)

  13. I Just really hope, the payment method can go into local currency, oh the payment methods too i hope it can go into local. I hope it's not like the current Microsoft points, case: i play AoEO i'm willing to pay for egyptian booster pack i have money, though it support very little payment methods. Microsoft points is HARD.

    As the topic says 'Global reach', i think what matter most from reaching global is 'Localization'.

  14. Redtalon says:

    Being from the UK, I was disappointed that the competition was only for a few countries.

    For anyone outside these initial markets, its not a good message.

    I hope MS will extend the competition or run one for those who have not had chance to compete and rapidly add all markets for the beta stage.

  15. vantsuyoshi says:


    from Indonesia here…

    on windows phone, i can not register

    now on windows 8, i can not register too ? that is pity microsoft

    and don't use global app publisher, read the requirement, the revenue sharing of yalla or appPort must pay to submit free apps, etc,

    its crap

    fyi, people here can submit to apple ios app store and android market

  16. Danila George says:

    Greetings from Romania!

    The reason I got a Windows Phone 7 last year was because I really wanted to get a couple of apps out there but even today I am unable to register as a WP7 developer with Microsoft.

    I'm am really excited about Windows 8 (already started working on a Metro App to have one ready for the official release of the OS) and I can only say how disappointed I am about not being able to register as a developer for Windows 8 as well.

    Respect your developers Microsoft, they are what make you great.

  17. chrismsf says:

    Sorry of topic: why doesnt window 8 look like this…/doesnt-windows-8-141886

    for the store please allow user to use air time/data/text/voice cell phone carriar credits to buy apps globally since its will easier for users to actually by call credits, the same way they top up their cell phones to make calls, they can buy apps using those credit on contract or top up models. this work in places around where credits cards have reached critacal mass or usage is stricted because econimcal reasons, personal or gloabl etc.

  18. Extending the initial supported country list for developers to 41 is very good news.

    But, sadly, Romania is not included yet.

    Also, on a related topic, Romanian developers cannot develop apps for Windows Phone yet, and Windows Phone users are not even allowed to buy apps in Romania.

    Xbox Live is still not available in Romania, and it's more than one year since you last updated the supported country list.

    Too slow, Microsoft. Too slow.

  19. We appreciate that developers are looking for a path to market and recognize that, until we fully support every geography, we’re going to have certain groups of developers disappointed. It’s why we remain committed to extending our support as aggressively as we can. We haven’t yet launched and we’ve increased support, and we will continue to do so as quickly and responsibly as possible. In the meantime, there are listing services that support app submission to store catalogs. The terms vary by service, and of course the business terms are between the developer and the service provider.

  20. Stefan P. says:

    How come Windows 8 Store will accept payment from Romania but not for Xbox and WP7 ?