Windows Phone 8.1 may allow developers to directly respond to store feedback

Developer Response

A week from now we’ll be packing our bags and getting ready to head to San Francisco. This is where Microsoft’s 2014 Build conference will take place. The focus is on developers and upcoming product innovation Microsoft is making for them. We’ll see what Microsoft has in store not just for developers, but consumers as well, when they unveil Window Phone 8.1.

Not only will developers be treated to an updated mobile operating system with new APIs and features, but we’ll also see changes on the backend. Changes to the Windows Phone Dev Center are expected to come as well.

The ability to reply to a user review in the Windows Phone Store is one change we’re sure a lot of developers would like. It’s easy for consumers to leave a bad review in the Windows Phone Store if they don’t read the app description. Developers would probably like to engage directly with consumers who prefer to leave feedback in the Windows Phone Store vs. other mediums like email, Twitter or UserVoice.

Our friends over at Windows Phone Daily spotted an interesting change in the Window Phone Store. You’re redirected to Internet Explorer if you try to report a concern over an app in the Window Phone Store to Microsoft. Here you’ll help Microsoft understand what the issue with an app is. You can mark ‘offensive content’ or ‘poor performance’ as the reason you’d like Microsoft to look into a given app. However a new option is the ability to select ‘Inappropriate developer response to my review’.

Last we checked, developers couldn’t respond to review in the Windows Phone Store. This could be an upcoming feature that Microsoft plans to support with Windows Phone 8.1 and updates to Dev Center.

Any developer out there looking forward to direct engagement with customers? Sound off below.

Source: Windows Phone Daily



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mrnavkhan says:

Thats a great change....

rodneyej says:

Change?... In just 9 more days some of our devices might be changing❕

Aaahhhh.. I can't wait!!!!!!!

Quickly tell me a way to make a week feel like 7 seconds! I've tried playing Halo SA, MC4, Asphlat 8... nothing helps.

trmnrs says:

Go into a week-long coma?

Tell me a way to do that without harm. You'll be greatly appreciated.

Sarang68 says:

Listen to Daniel Rubino speaking! (:-D

PJ Suresh says:

Listen to Rahul Gandhi speech :D

rodneyej says:

Just keep reading that list of features over, and over.... Wait, no, don't do that...

simphf says:

That's how I get through the weekend.

Michael300 says:

Freez yourself like Carman did waiting for nintendo Wii. :)

stui83 says:

Rodneyej you are an excitement troll! The suspense is unbearable!

rodneyej says:

Troll, I am... Can't deny that❕

coldfilter says:

I hope you have a benevolent carrier that will upgrade your phone in the first few weeks. My understand is that although 8.1 will be available to all WP8 devices! It will be down to the carriers to actually roll it out.
Its not really in there interests to roll out a major OS update from a minor player to phones over a year old.
They want you to sign new contracts and buy new phones. They have zero interest in breathing new life to the 920s or the 925s of this world

mlcooper54 says:

Actually, with US carriers subsidizing phones on contract it's really in the carrier's best interest to have us keep our old phones as long as possible.

coldfilter says:

Can't comment on the States but in Europe the cost of the phone is factored into the monthly payment! With contracts typically ranging from 18/24 months over that period you pay considerably more for the phone than you would if you bought it direct from the supplier

Alex Mason86 says:

You need to look at O2 and their refresh contracts. The phone and the mobile plan are split, you have two contracts to sign. I currently pay some money for the phone and a smaller amount for the tariff. If I want to I can pay off the phone tomorrow and just pay the tariff for the remainder. Makes upgrading very easy.

Additionally, they didnt seem to be charging me anything over RRP for the phone. On the contract the phone was listed at its RRP and monthly cost devised by substracting the upfront cost (£130) and then division of remainder by 24 (2 year contract). Not sure what is in it for O2 if they are not adding interest to what is effectively a loan. 

rodneyej says:

That makes sense... Actually makes a lot of sense.

TJWINS says:

I agree. Carriers want consumers to bring their own devices. They make money on service not subsidized phone sales. T-Mobile started this and everyone is following in their foot steps.

rodneyej says:

Yeah, but as big as the 920/925 is to the platform they, they being MS/Nokia/Carriers, most definitely are gonna get their top phones updated first.... Interestingly enough, I've noticed with the GDR updates that the HTC devices got updated first in the past... Sprint, and Verizon are usually first, followed by the rest of the world, then T-mobile, and finally AT&T.... At least that's what I've noticed.

Novron says:

Verizon updated the 928 the day the GDR's amber and black released.

rodneyej says:

928❔.... Don't you mean 927???❔

Alex Mason86 says:

Indeed. I'd like to see MS take a more Apple like approach and control the software updates for their devices themselves. I.e. It is Apple who push the updates to their devices, it is not left up to the carrier. IMO iOS is all the better for this and its one of the reasons Android has ended up as such a hodgepodge of OS versions. 

Thankfully, I think O2 (my carrier) are pretty on the ball with most things. Although my Lumia 1520 came out the box with the black update, the small update we got not so long ago was pushed to the phone within a day of release. Hopefully this bodes well for WP8.1

OMG55 says:

I've already changed my work device to the icon and it one solid device. I'm really hoping for a surface phone disguised as a Lumia soon : ) this will be my personal cell

OR_ion says:

hopefully they launch a global version of lumia icon( with wp 8.1) 

JotaKa says:

Yes, seems faster!

dkxs says:

Cool! Emailing is way to slow and ineffective for communication

RyanAMG says:

I knew it we went back in time. Is it 1995 this time?

Dean McCrae says:

Plus, most users don't bother mailing. They use the store feedback which is pointless when a developer cannot respond.

Why do I always have to say this?

"The amount of people that confuse too and to is damn two high!"

Kasper M says:

Yes this will be much appreciated,, because unfortunately it is mostly people that are unhappy with your app that are more inclined to rate them, and some of that is just pure stupidity.. Like I have one app where a user gave it 1 star because when they tried to log in it said wrong username or password and then they tried to make a new user and it said that user already exists... Would be nice if I could just reply and tell them to click forgotten password..

RyanAMG says:

It would be helpful for users that may need guidance or just give a bad review because they are the problem and don't realize it ;)

iyae says:

+1. I get the ocassional 1 star review with no constructive comments. Would like some real feedback from these people apart from just "rubbish" ha

taymur says:

They should make it as a small social network, where everyone can respond to anyone, more like reddit, up vote, down vote, and interact with each others....


Oh wait, APP Social does that, way to go nokia, realizing needs way before they accur.

Dean McCrae says:

Yes but 99% users do not use AppSocial.

taymur says:

Yeah I meant the idea, why not implement it in the store? Would be extremely helpful.

eshy says:

Amazon has the "Review was useful" feature. You can use that not only to move those one word unhelpful reviews to the bottom but also to give them less weight in the app rating

Yes, you right and also there should be another option for users to reply on user ratings because i have seen many misleading ratings even if the app is good

Dean McCrae says:

Agree. I find it totally frustrating to read about someone stuck with something, because they didnt find the setting in the Settings page that can give the behaviour they want. And they refuse to just click the 'comment' button in the app, that allows them to put this question to me directly.

BTW, any devs finding this: if you provide a UI to allow users to mail you (which just lanches the email client with a subject you provided). Do you receive a lot of empty mails, where they just hit 'send' without writing anyting? Almost as though they accidentally clicked the 'mail' button in my app, then accidentally chose the email client they want to use as well, then were surprised to see a new email open, and found it easier to hit send than to hit the back button. Very strange. I get like 20 per day.

Kashyapjani says:

lol Some people are plain idiots

theomodsim says:

Yep, I've received plenty of blank e-mails from users. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one receiving them.

TechFreak1 says:

Here I thought chain forwards were annoying i.e "forward this to 10 people and your wish will come true" - incredible people fall for that crap lol. Getting spammed with empty emails is even more annoying lol.

snakechia says:

It is important, I'd user complaint my WP app don't have an uninstall button. ....

mpt15 says:

OMG! That's sad. People need to use their head more. WP is fairly simple to use.

aitt says:

Huh? WP doesn't require an uninstall button. It's the easiest way to uninstall on an OS.

This was much needed , people comment and leave negative rating without reading the description , many have bugs and leave low rating , great now dev can respond to comments just like play store :p

TechnoTim says:

It's about time. Look how effective seller's responses are on Amazon and Newegg. It not only gives developers a voice bit also potential customers can see if the developer responds to feedback. Most of the time people leave bug complaints in reviews, not the best place for it.

irsyadhhs says:

Maybe, we will see on store tile if dev reply to our review

RyanAMG says:

That would be helpful so the user can change review when problem is fixed of if they were the problem and now understand the app.

morpheus1982 says:

1240? What phone is that?

spazinvader says:

May be 720 and 520? :-D I am also guessing here :-)

irsyadhhs says:

1220, next underbudget phablet:P Jk

aaa6112 says:

Fantastic idea!

Talk4Lig says:

Also there should be uninstall button and redesign of the store is needed. Look at google play store, how colorful and beatiful is, while wp store is pretty boring

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

ronty says:

Yes, I agree with you. To some extent, it is the same case with the Windows Store too. I've seen some images of the Mac App Store, & it looks really beautiful. Actually, WP needs colours throughout the OS, not solid colours but shiny & glowing ones(I can't seem to find a proper term).

adrian1338 says:

Some people seem to have missed the last 3 years in software development

Jan Tomsic says:

If you want kitchy colors and ugly fonts, get a samsung. I like WP BECAUSE it's minimalistic and to-the-point, so you don't have to hunt the correct button, because it'd get lost in all the color and beauty..

An uninstall buttons would be okay to have, though it's kinda pointless because there's quicker way to do it, I'd rather have the 'open' button once it installs or recently installed apps highlighted, like whats supposedly comming in 8.1

Forc3 says:

Bullshit reply. WP got extremly boring lookwise. devs need inspiration to design apps, microsoft delivers none. Ever tried to find good material on designing WP apps on windows dev page? Lackluster at best. I design apps I know how hard it is to come up with a unique design. People hate those black and white apps, people hate the storedesign.

camu says:

Nope, I like the minimalistic store design. Go get an android if you don't like it. Don't clutter my stuff. Thanks

Ronnet says:

MS has a very clear design that can be found in all their firstparty apps. If you dont like it then maybe WP isnt for you. Personally its the reason why I switched. Naturally there is room for improvement but the design is clear. MS provides a lot of material to help you get started.

Android is soo cramped up, windows phone store has all the things sorted up. I don't what's boring

Aashish13 says:

the conference wont be live right. Or any site or link where we can watch its live streaming

Stay tuned on wpcentral

Aashish13 says:

Yeah coz i might be requiring wifi connection for that and the update too.

I believe they are planing to stream it to: http://www.buildwindows.com/ judging by when you tap the "modify your registration button" it goes to a page asking you to login but also says "Didn't make it? Keep Calm and Watch online" so I guess they're planing to stream it!

Aashish13 says:

Yeah thank you buddy.

Aashish13 says:

Emailing on wp is the best who it is slow. Let us know bt describing?

I didn't get you ? .....

Hoorstiii says:

I hope there is a way for the reviewer to opt out of this. As a developer I appreciate this feature, but can imagine some people not reviewing an app at all because of this. Options are always a great way!

kurotsuki says:

Err ... What do you mean by reviewer opt out of this? So the reviewer can leave their review without any reply?

If yes, that's one hole to exploit. What if the reviewer IS ignorant users (which is many) and leave any misleading review? Even some of them use harsh wording? If this kind of reviewer can opt out from getting response, the devs also need feature to delete this unreasonable reviews to counter it. Guess what? Another hole to exploit where devs can always delete any review they don't like.

Ability to reply reviews is great to tackle those two exploit. Users need to behave when leaving reviews and developer can response when occasionally exist a review that need direct answer to prevent misleading continuously exist.

iyae says:

You so mean reviewers with no valid feedback can opt out. I mean they are the only people who would be scared of a reply.

derDaniel says:


Bob101910 says:

I'd prefer updates to apps that I've reported. There is at least one publisher (Gamehot) that copies name and description from popular free games on other platforms. They charge for the apps too. The worst part is that they aren't even playable games.

78Bytes says:

Finally! It is a bit annoying to have a user leave a bad review just because they don't understand something. It will be great to be able to respond to those reviews to alleviate any confusion. It will also be nice to respond to those users that complain about a bug to tell them that it has been fixed in the latest version. Then they can update their rating if they so choose.

iyae says:

This! I fixed a bug that had been making one of my apps unusable for a user and i have no way to let him know i fixed it for him! Ha

Wow I can't wait to see the UI changes that will fit all these awesome features!

What if a lot of consumers asking questions and if i dont have time to reply all dat...

iyae says:

Then do what you do now
...dont reply. Lol

Great job, Microsoft..

efektos says:

That's cute, but what about being able to bookmark apps in the store?! This is MUCH more needed than the ability to give feedback!

Gaichuke says:

The hell it is.

morpheus1982 says:

Yes it is needed. Not.

rubenbest says:

Really why do you need to bookmark it when your there....just download it.. Or take a screenshot. Rather have the feedback option

donbreathe says:

Well, this sounds like a good one focused on user reviews and developers response but we need more for Windows Phone store. I often wonder why I need to download an entire app all over again just to update a bug fix! Instagram added lock screen support to its app and you need to download the entire app again for you to have the update, then they needed to fix the crashes resulting from the former, you downloaded the app again, and the third time there was another fix for same which meant you downloaded the entire app all over again three times....that's just not innovative enough. Microsoft of all software companies should know better how to handle it like in Google Play store. That's something to be looked into in future updates to the OS (maybe GDR1 for Windows Phone 8.1) or whatever they'll call it!

Kashyapjani says:

Everytime a huge game gets a bug fix, I have to use precious bandwidth to download the whole game again. This MUST change.

donbreathe says:

You're right, I could recall having to re-download the entire Asphalt 8 just for a bug fix, that's almost 800MB for maybe a bug fix of God knows!

Kashyapjani says:

My phone once ran out of battery while in the 'installing' phase (the huge 'bug fix' update had completed downloading) for Modern Combat 4. After switching the phone on, I found that MC4 wasn't in the games hub and the huge update had clogged storage space in the name of 'settings' app. I couldn't even download the game again because guess what, storage capacity wasn't enough. I had to remove some games to download MC4 again so as to remove the unused update data from the settings app. Then I had to download all those games again. The point is, just because of a single unsuccessful update, I had to use a quarter of my monthly bandwidth. Tell me that isn't bad.

morpheus1982 says:

Are you talking about WiFi bandwidth???

Kashyapjani says:

Yes, I have a semi-limited broadband data plan. I chose speed over quantity. So I get 10mbps but data cap is at 8GB per month which once exhausted reduces the speed to 1mbps.

Reach4zasky says:

+1520 Its so annoying and frustrating. Microsoft better do something about it.

hprvez says:

It's like that in other stores too, anyway if the bug is in (one of) the executables, you need to download the entire file again, that probably is the 90% of the app.

It's like that even in standard desktop OSs, incremental and partial downloads are hard to implement and there's not a real need for that to happen... you know providers are very happy to let you drain your bandwith to charge you more

donbreathe says:

Are you sure that it's like that in other stores? I have a Samsung Note 10.1 tablet and I don't download entire app or game when updating from Google Play. It's not hard to implement, Microsoft of all software companies know it's possible but the Internet Service Providers will not like it.

The_Lord23 says:

Even as a user, I am pained when I see pathetic, irrelevant or just plain stupid reviews left in the store. My biggest irritation is the scores of people complaining that 'Xbox 360 Smartglass' doesn't work with their Xbox One... -_-

Kashyapjani says:

Ever read whatsapp's reviews in store? They make for a good laugh, at least on the Indian marketplace. lol

We've implemented something similar in our Multi Window app, we call it User Voice. We take user comments from the store and respond to those comments in the app itself 

Andr3sfc says:

That'll be truly awesome. It adds a much enhanced dynamic to the dev/consumer relationship.

Dean McCrae says:

OK, reading this article, it is not very compelling proof that this will actually come about. It is something that could have been done relatively easily a long time ago. Microsoft have their reasons for not allowing replies - I would imagine primarliy because of the monitoring necessary to keep it clean. Just look at this forum from time to time, the insults, language and behaviour is often appalling. Noone wants to see that in the store reviews. Anyway, here's hoping they make it work...

Jajajajaja long week coma

A good way to fight aganist stupid users 

morpheus1982 says:

Yes but we do not want fighting. Constructive responses only.

Ecurb87 says:

This is good. Now if only my reviews would post. I have yet to figure out why they don't.

jaygss says:

That. would. be. great.

Especially to reviews saying "This app doesn't work"- how can you fix a problem like that if you don't know nothing.

plasmid_uk says:

Good as most of the reviews are absurd. Oh but it doesn't have colours or bubbles...

1MiNo2 says:

I AM PREtty sure that at the time of Build, Google will announce some shit news - update of Android, ChromeOS, etc., to distract the attention from MS and WP and Windows, like Google did last year.

F U C K O F F. G O O G L E ! !

Aashish13 says:

Bro build is Microsoft's conference right? So only Microsoft devices and services will be presented. Correct me if im wrong !!!!

1MiNo2 says:

Yes man, you are right. But I am sure Google will announce some "news" via Twitter and other his channels.I clearly remember what happened last year. MS was presentingsome new features of upcomming Win8 update etc. and and during the Build news from Google regarding Android update, ChromeOS, etc  started to apperar on Twitter, and other channels. I am pretty sure it wasnt coincidence... . it was purpose

Now i would like to see a Changelog page, and forced client to tell whats changed. Even if its only corrections/bug fixes.

JotaKa says:

+8.1 ... It drives me nuts when an app is updated and there is no change log, what's new, etc.

milfermon says:

News is so slow lately...

avigyan says:

One more week and you will be flooded by news. :)

Aashish13 says:

Yeah will see new devices,new services maybe and new apps and Microsoft's more plans about windows azure.

milfermon says:

Said news, don't think they'll say something we don't already know about wp8.1

killer rin says:

I wonder how long before developers can generate redeemable codes for their apps/games. Would be helpful for convincing reviewers to review your app, or so a developer could do code giveaways to family/friends/loyal fans

thettk says:

+10,000 been trying to get this but nothing yet.

neonspark says:

you can easily do this yourself. all MSFT's api does is tell you that somebody is licensed for your app. You can choose to interpret the result as you wish. For instance you can check for the MSFT license api or you can check for a code they enter against your own server. then enable app features as needed and even make the trial fully functional. they can always buy the app later if they wish to support you :)

thettk says:

So I have to code a complicated workaround, meanwhile over at Apple I get free coupon codes. Hmmm...

neonspark says:

yes you have to code it, this is windows phone remember? it's two years behind.

thettk says:

Reviews should not be market specific. Right now all you see are reviews from your own market/country and I have apps in some markets where someone left an anonymous (no name) one star review with no explanation (global average is 4.3 stars) and I often wonder if this deters people in those markets from downloading. Never understood why this is so.

Dean McCrae says:

The dev center phone app now allows you to see reviews for a specific market you choose. Was quite a recent change. Helps a bit.

thettk says:

Only helps a developer. That is why I wonder what impact an unfair 1* has on a user deciding whether or not to buy an app even though the app has good reviews in other markets. The user should see it all because it is the same app everywhere.

neonspark says:

If only there was this thing called a web browser that would let people reply to comments on the internet. maybe MSFT will get around inventing it.

LTTG says:


moc426 says:

A very needed change

Still little confused.... Plz help me out...
at April 2nd wp8.1 will be available for only developers or for everyone?? And if i have developer enabled account, Will i be able to get 8.1 at 2 April??

marky_yo says:

That's what I'm wondering....hopefully if they learned from apple it will be available within the coming days I mean there have been enough leaks already so people are testing it...again I hope!

1101x10 says:

With Apple all the devs are able to install the update and test their apps against it before its released. Microsoft have only issued the new SDK to a select few.

marky_yo says:

Ahhh so that's how it works sorry for ignorance.....i thought it was sorta the same! Bummer!

Mike Gibson says:

Restricting the WP81 SDK to a select few ISVs means one of two things:

a. They're delusional and think that the WP81 SDK is a "hot" product, and holding it back from the great unwashed developer masses will generate excitement - or -

b. The SDK was in such poor shape that releasing it now would cause problems later on

My vote is (b). The pre-release docs I saw were a terrible mismash of old and new, with links pointing in different directions (WP81 links pointing to W81 targets on MSDN).

I continue to be amazed how a company with 90,000+ employees can produce a product that looks like it came from a tiny, undermanned startup.


marky_yo says:

Dumb question.....when they reveal 8.1 how long will they drag their feet to get it to the phones? A few days? Weeks?

jasonxz says:


I tell you what, I have an app in the store where someone left feedback stating "Stupid you shouldn't have to pay for it don't download".

It's a free app you freakin' troll!  I would sure like to be able to respond to that specific review.

It would also be nice if MS would remove such obviously don't provide any benefit to the app, the consumer or the store.

Jazmac says:

"A week from now we’ll be packing our bags and getting ready to head to San Francisco.."  I got pumped just reading this.  What else did you say Sam?

Sam Sabri says:

Nothing else yet! :)

rajantiwari says:

This is must have feature

danielgray says:

Well a lot of apps have no email support. So if you don't have a support email link, a dev deserves to get a bad review when there is a problem or a feature missing.

thettk says:

I thought email support was a requirement for all apps? If not then it should be part of the submission process.

gamato says:

They should add "what's new" section finally! So that apps descriptions are not polluted.

Witness says:

Great to have this feature. On the flipside, it's not just about bad reviews. I've looked for dev contact info just so I can send them an email to say I love their app. DivvyUp is one such app.

donbreathe says:

Sadly nobody has talked about the time lag between rating/review and the period it shows up in the feed. When I review apps on Android/iOS, it doesn't take forever to show up in the review feed and I can edit my review later when app performance is satisfactory. MS should just leapfrog, enough of this catch up game!