updated 03:50 pm EST, Mon November 29, 2010
Windows Phone 7 app writers face tool, pay issues
Early Windows Phone 7 developers have reported mounting problems with a lack of proper tools and even pay. GoVoice app writer Nick Yu recently said that Microsoft's analytics tools for the mobile OS aren't working, making it impossible to track how many copies had been downloaded or most other details. Without knowing how much money had been made, it was difficult to justify adding push notifications or other features when there might not be enough profit, Yu explained.
The issues were echoed by Justin James, who added both his own similar problems as well as complaints about pay. Microsoft not only hasn't paid developers but won't give them their first payments until February, he said. Analytics and better pay handling were reportedly coming, but all developers will have gone without direct income without pay for the first four months after the European launch in October. The discrepancy was enough for James to accuse Microsoft of rushing a product to market well before it was ready.
"Microsoft is essentially allowing people to pay to participate in what is still a beta experience, and the results are a disaster," he said. "If people did not have to pay to submit applications, it could be swept under the rug, but once you are formally a paying customer, you have every right to expect better."
Microsoft's decisions may hurt its image and make it difficult to sustain its rapidly growing app library if developers decide that iOS or Android development is more rewarding. It could also provide a clearer reasoning Microsoft's decision to pay guarantees to those porting apps, since these developers wouldn't know for certain whether their apps would merit continued support for months.
Other platforms have been criticized for policies, such as Apple's at times inconsistent approval guidelines and the lack of anti-piracy safeguards from Google, but most services launched with established tracking tools and payments that either happen once a month or else when the app reaches a certain minimum pay level. [via BGR]