updated 08:55 pm EST, Tue February 14, 2012
System tries to making pushing apps out easier
Microsoft has defined a detailed process to help developers submit their apps that they've created for Windows 8. With it, the software company hopes to simplify and streamline the steps developers must follow to make their programs available to users through Microsoft's Windows Store. Ultimately, the objective is to make sure that the apps work, are properly rated for a targeted audience, and the content fits in with Microsoft's corporate image.
The process has two components, submission and then certification. Initially, a developer must follow eight steps to get their app into the system. These include naming, providing marketing input, identifying target audiences and age groups, adding a brief description, as well as providing certain technical information.
For the second stage, certification, the developer is more of a spectator while his app is subjected to security testing for viruses and malware, technical compliance, and content compliance. If an app passes these tests, it's then released, digitally signed, and published.
The first stage is driven by the developer, so it comes at his own pace. The certification process can take up to a week or more, not unlike Apple's App Store. The most time-consuming step is the content compliance. This is where Microsoft testers manually review the app to make sure that the content is within Microsoft's proscribed guidelines. This can take up to five days.
The process is much like not just that for Apple but for Windows Phone. Microsoft has been hoping to replicate the polished, accessible experiences of its main rival Apple on its devices and, since Windows 8 ARM tablets will be treated more like mobile OS tablets than PCs, wants to create the same consistent experience.