Microsoft Developers Frustrated with Windows Store App Qualification Process

For Windows 8 to be successful, it needs a robust selection of apps. The very nature of Windows 8 demands it. As Microsoft is quick to point out time and again, its new operating system is Windows re-imagined, and a big part of the re-imagining is the Windows Store. It's a place where desktop and Surface users can go and download apps for easy access via the touch interface. Ironically enough, filling the Windows Store with apps may be more difficult than it needs to be.

We don't want to make a mountain out of what might really be just a mole hill, but at least one developer is frustrated with Microsoft's app submission processor. Developer Jeffrey Harmon posted his ordeal in great detail, describing how he's been trying to get his app Memorylage into the Windows Store, only to have it rejected half a dozen times for various reasons.


"I first submitted my app, Memorylage, to the store on August 29. Since then, it has failed validation 6 times, and I still don’t know what is causing the failure," Harmon explains.

Harmon describes how he attended a 3-day App Excellence lab that Microsoft hosted in its Waltham, MA office, which he used his vacation time to attend. He won a contest there and scheduled a meeting with a Microsoft Field Engineer to review his app for early access to the store. There were three issues that came up during the 60-point checklist they went through, which Harmon says he resolved, but he's still been unable to get his app approved.

Memorylage app

One of Memorylage's failure reports contained the following information:
  • Requirement 1.2: The website linked in the app and listing page was not finished
  • Requirement 3.2: The app crashes
  • Requirement 3.8: Performance
  • Requirement 3.10: Failed the Direct 3D test

Fair enough, except Harmon says the lack of details in the failure report is maddening. He has no idea when Microsoft observed his app crashing (at startup, during a certain task, random, etc), what performance problems it noted, why if failed the Direct 3D test, and so forth.

"I still think that Windows 8 is a great opportunity for developers, but as it stands, they are in for a world of hurt in trying to get through that last hurdle. As a long-time Windows developer, I really hope that changes soon," Harmon says.

On the bright side, even though Harmon's own experience has been negative, he says that everyone he's talked with at Microsoft has been helpful.