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Microsoft working on reduced certification times for Windows Phone apps

Windows Phone Developers

Making apps for Windows Phone? Then you’re a developer and we’ve got some good news for you. Microsoft is slowly rolling out a redesigned certification workflow that should help you, as a developer, see reduced times for certifying a Windows Phone app. It’s been one of the most requested piece of feedback that developers have given Microsoft and it’s now being implemented. More details below.

The rollout for this new process started out a few weeks ago. It’s not immediate, but some slowly going out to all Windows Phone developers. Apps that have gone through this redesigned workflow have seen turn-around time of less than one day, some even saw just an hour of turn-around.

Certifying your apps faster isn’t all that Microsoft has done with these changes. Microsoft has also improved how certification results are delivered and presented. Instead of the PDF attachment, devs will now be sent an email notifications that contain the complete App Review results that are available in the Dev Center Dashboard. The format has been updated to make it easier to read the results.

These changes are slowly rolling out right now and Microsoft expects to get the entire Windows Phone developer community in the new workflow during time. These are just some small changes MIcorosft

Are you a Windows Phone developer? Have you already started noticing faster cert times for your apps? Sound off below!

Source: Windows Phone Dev Blog



There are 135 comments. Sign in to comment

rubenbest says:

It looks like ms wants to get serious with mobile. And i think they are doing a great job with all these changes.

rodneyej says:

I see that as well, and they're doing a great job... But, they should've hit the ground running this fast in 2010...
Hopefully Satya has a better since of urgency........

Nik Rolls says:

Shoulda woulda coulda. I don't disagree with you, you're absolutely correct. But they made the decision to re-use the CE kernel rather than start on the NT kernel, and that meant an immense amount of work to change things once they realised they needed to. They're doing a pretty good job now, considering.

rodneyej says:

But, it's that kind of un-insightful thinking that's scary.. I mean look at BB... I'm just eager to see how fast MS responds to the market under a new CEO... Not saying that Ballmer did a horrible job at all, but almost, almost, missing out on mobile is a huge mistake....

Nik Rolls says:

The decision was made back in 2009, five years ago. A lot has changed since then, in fact almost the entire set of decision makers has been shuffled around. And they've been pretty solid over the last two-three years when it comes to good decisions. There is still risk but I'm pretty confident that the bad decisions are largely in the past.

rodneyej says:

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking as well.

djgreedo says:

With WP7 I think it was more important to get a product out on the market as quickly as possible, which is why CE was used over NT. To the end user it makes little difference and means that Microsoft had a modern phone OS much sooner than if they had jumped right into WP8 (NT kernel).


I think Microsoft's speed has been admirable, but of course when you're ~3 years behind it can never be fast enough.


The biggest annoyance to me as a developer is that the WP7 APIs weren't updated to allow for some WP8-only stuff, especially in-app purchases.

Whodaboss says:

Please direct me to your BILLION dollar company?  Please show/provide the link.  I'd like to know which BILLION dollar company you run so I can do a littlle bit of research to see how you're making your business decisions.  I'm sure it's in Forbes magazine?  I've been subscribing to Forbes, Money, Inc, Entrepreneur for years I'll be more than happy to go through some of my old mags and see if your company fared well in the past years. 

Unless, if you're in the business rooms of Microsoft you have no idea what could or couldn't be done.  I'm just tired of reading post of people sitting at home thinking they know all the decisions of what a company should or should not do.  And what they supposedly did wrong with absolutely no knowledge of how a particular business works or what internal decisions were made and why.  Oh I get it, just because you can think it or state it therefore it can happen by magic.  Wow, I wish I had to power of know-it-all.


rubenbest says:

Dude relax he wasnt even saying anything negative. Plus i think he is right. Windows mobile was getting old they had to move quick. But since wp8 they have been moving rather quick and the growth of wp is showing that.

Nik Rolls says:

Yeah, from our point of view things have been going a bit slow, but this latest update is proof that they can actually move as fast as they do with their desktop OS, they were just handicapped by a requirement to move kernels. Most people don't realise what a mammoth task that is (and even when they think they do, they still don't).

Whodaboss says:

Slow? Oh forgive me.  You're a programmer at Microsoft.  Or Maybe you're a programmer that run a billion dollar business that has multiple and many platforms that you're attempting to evolve.  No my bad.  You must obviously know what it's like to run such a business therefore you know exactly Microsoft have been twiddling their thumbs just to be slow.  I didn't realize you guys were so great programmers and in the know.  Maybe Microsoft just haven't heard of you yet.  I'm sure you can send them your resume and show them how you can speed things up for them.  Again, my bad.

Nik Rolls says:

Did you even read my comment after the first half a sentence? I'm fully in support of Microsoft and actually praising how fast they're going. I said it can appear slow to people outside the company, especially people who aren't developers, but anyone who actually has experience can see that they're going very fast considering the circumstances.

You need to get off your high horse. For your information I am a developer, and I know how much they would have had to go through to convert WP7 to WP8. So don't talk to me again until you have read my comments fully and are prepared to talk reasonably.

rodneyej says:

Wow❕.. This dude is trippin.

Whodaboss says:

I'm sure he's referring about me.  :)

Whodaboss says:

No high horse here.  I agree with your current statement.  If I seem somewhat defensive it's because sometimes some people make it seem as if this is so easy.  It's like really, Microsoft is purposely going slow so they can lose in this consumer space.  Well I'm looking forward to all the future updates.  Thanks for the discussion.

Nik Rolls says:

Ok, respect and all that. I was caught off guard by the way you were saying it to me, when I was making the same argument as you. All good though, water under the bridge so to speak.

rubenbest says:

Matter of a fact... I am

Mike Gibson says:

Actually, the people at MSFT (you know, the multibillion dollar business) say that they've been slow to respond to mobile and that Win8 is a serious problem. Why do you think that the top two people responsible for Win8 are gone (Sinofsky and Ballmer)?

Having previous success creating a billion dollar business doesn't give you a lifetime free pass on avoiding questions.


Whodaboss says:

Yes, the company that was in the mobile space way before iOS and Android was slow.  No, what Microsoft is referring to is that they underestimated the touch screen era of mobile devices.  And yes once they realized it was the future they made changes to rectify that.  But since the onset of WP they are pretty much right on par with the other players in terms of where they are currently in the evolution of WP.  It's called evolution and progress.  That's right iOS didn't start with everything the currently have.  They did have a iOS 1.0, 1.0.1, 2.0, 2.0.1, 3.0 etc.  Android had many phases of food updates.  Microsoft is ensuring their total eco-system develops correctly.

Mike Gibson says:

They are/were so slow that even with a 5-10 year head start they got blown away in mobile! Then, when they finally bought a vowel, instead of tweaking what they had (Win32), they threw it in the trash and wasted valuable time developing a completely new API and app framework. Did we need new file and directory APIs? New HTTP APIs? Nope. What we needed was a simple, scalable UI API.

And now, with WP81, we have two more app frameworks: Silverlight 8.1 and a WP version of WinRT. User i_says is absolutely correct when he says that users don't give a crap about how much a developer works.

MSFT's cash cows, Win32 and Office, covered up their mistakes for 20 years. What's going to cover up their recent mistake of killing Win32?


i_says says:

just because they have excuses for going slow doesn't mean they're not going slow.
why do you have to run a bullion dollar business or develop for MS to know if they're releasing consumer facing features fast enough to keep up / catch up with competition?

just because they're working hard doesn't mean they're getting meaningful changes into the hands of customers quickly.

Nik Rolls says:

My point is that the 'excuses' are fairly reasonable when you think of it from a developer perspective. Maybe only developers can appreciate how much work is involved in a kernel change.

I'm basically saying that there's a reason they took 4 years to get to WP8 GDR3 level and then suddenly release something like 8.1 six months later. It's because they had some incredible hurdles to overcome (granted, some were self-inflicted) but now they've been overcome they can actually work very quickly.

i_says says:

Why should I, a consumer of their product, care that they had tech-debt that slowed them down?
I rate products based on how useful they are to me, not how hard the developer tried.

I don't care that their excuses are reasonable if they fail to deliver value to me.

edit for clarity:
I'm a software dev at a major tech company. I UNDERSTAND why it took them long, but that doesn't make it ok.
but my point is that your qualification for critics isn't reasonable or necessary. I don't have to be a chef to know the food is bad.

Nik Rolls says:

I didn't say you should. I meant that as someone technically minded (which many people here are) there are valid reasons for the delays.

But if you're only looking at it from a consumer's point of view then feel free to continue not to care about those facts.

i_says says:

I think we're mixed up here... I was agreeing with you, and disagreeing with whodaboss. He seems to think that you need to know how to fix the problem in order to recognize that there is a problem.

the reason for a delay is nice to know, but it doesn't change the fact that there was a delay... which is the important part. features (or lack thereof) determine how a product is recieved, how useful it will be, and by extension how successful it will be. the reasons for feature delays have no impact other than to satisfy our curiousity. its not good to put too much weight into viewing the product from the developers' point of view, because you'll be pulling the wool over your own eyes.

Nik Rolls says:

Haha, I think this whole conversation got mixed up :D

Whodaboss says:

I was going to post all the iterations of iOS and Android and where they were development wise in the same amount of time in their development as WP.  But I decided not to.  I figure you have the internet you can do your own research.  But if you're convinced MS is slow on the up take go ahead and believe that. 

i_says says:

It'd be fine if they didn't have to prove themselves in the market.
but they need to be better and faster in order to make people switch from the competition.

You are absolutely right. They indeed do need to be better and faster than their competition. But, at the same time, must not make mistakes and take their time while bringing lots of features at a steady pace. In my opinion, it is a terrible position to be in and why it was declared virtually impossible to establish a third platform in such a market. I have to say Microsoft has done quite well all things considering. It hasn't been a flawless run to get WP where it is today but few companies would get this far and even fewer to go all the way. It may be a slow and difficult climb, but how fast will things go when this OS does finally get past the mountain blocking its path to growth?

rodneyej says:

⬆his.. I completely agree.. Well said..
Now, do you think that MS is going to continue to provide the same amount, more, or less Lumia device options in the future❔That's something that has been worrying me... Also, does MS plan to disclose exactly what their plans are for future Lumia/Asha devices❔... IMO the answers to these questions hold the fate of WP.

rodneyej says:

Are you done❔

Whodaboss says:

Yes I'm done!  Thanks!  I see there are many people here passionate about the progress of Windows Phone.  We all have different perspective on the evolution of where WP should be.  This is the beauty of freedom and free speech.

rodneyej says:

Lol... Ok. It's all good...
I just think we're all impatient because WP is always in a state of major change, and nothing ever seems constant.. We're always waiting to see if the next major move will finally put WP where it needs to be, and the waiting frustrates us.... But, it's Microkia's game, so it's not really worth us arguing amongst ourselves over...
We should focus more of this energy towards communicating with MS..

Rishicash says:

Please direct us to you BILLION dollar company that your opinion is any more valid. 

Studio384 says:

They didn't want to use the CE kernel for WP7, they just sticked with it because back then, the NT 6.2 kernel wasn't good enough for smartphones (to much energy comsumption, to much space, etc.).

Zulfigar says:

Problem is change too. Mainly about all those little bits (in coding) that has to change. Sadly, it isn't over-night, but I will admit this has been a little slow (maybe because of the awesome people who are behind 8.1 are now under different areas as 8.1 is almost finalized?).

neonspark says:

if they are just now getting serious one has to wonder what they were before? joking? because it still feels that way.

Also we need to expand the store options like video preview for aps.

adrian1338 says:

dont forget manditory patch notes

wps81 says:

+1 Annoying to see un-noted updates from time to time.

dda_k says:

Wow, thats actually a great idea.

Devmer11 says:

Keep up the great work loving the changes and updates

klose91 says:

Wow that's great news.

deluksic says:

Thats BIG news! Means I won't have to wait 7 days to fix a minor mistake in an app.. :D I hope they also make downloads updates at least twice a day..

Samst22 says:

Hope this helps xbox games certification too

TLRtheory says:

Hope this means they'll also come to their senses about mobile Xbox Live so that devs can make Xbox games without a publisher, and don't have horrific wait times on update/release approvals. They're getting their ass kicked by Apple's GameCenter and Google Play Game Services because they won't adapt to a flexible model.

Chris Coyle says:

I've had apps certified in 20 minutes. Beats five days.

Sledgehamma says:

5 days? That's a real pain in the ass!

venetasoft says:

Apple takes one week, this is a world record :)

Nik Rolls says:

Wow, that's impressive. Automation FTW! I just hope they have done the automation well so that they can still detect malware accurately.

kingjah says:

Is this supposed to mean something?

kromci says:

Yeah. The author of the article should correct that.

rockstarzzz says:

Sam what did you just do in the end of article? :o

"These are just some small changes MIcorosoft" ?!

Jackalneck says:

There's a lot of typos in this article.

Nik Rolls says:

Since this is a thread about spelling/grammar -- it's 'there are' or 'there're' ;-)

WilsonBlaze says:

Now we can publish apps faster

k0de says:

This is great news.

Faster and easier Xbox live integration?

Rick Smits says:

Cloud saves for ALL games to OneDrive also.

Eas195 says:

...on April 2-4.

Alex Mason86 says:

Reduce certification? Maybe they should concentrate more on quality. There is some absolute dross in the store and it should be cleared out. Some of the stuff posing as apps beggars belief.

rodneyej says:

That's really not a issue considering that other stores have 10 times the garbage that WP has... And, that in WP8 apps do somewhat get prioritized by good reviews, and popularity....
It's especially no big deal when you realize that you have the option to not install apps that you don't like on your device... ;-)

Alex Mason86 says:

Yes the other stores are equally full of crap. IMO this is something MS should use to differentiate themselves. Why allow their store to become cluttered with complete horse shit? The other stores, at the moment, have enough good apps that the dross doesn't clutter the place up. On WP, the numbers are different and it can be a bit tedious trying to sort wheat from chaff. 

I note there seem to be a number of apps where reviewers are saying the app specifically asks for a positive review before you can continue using the app. Nice, coercing people into giving crap apps good reviews. Shouldnt be allowed. Its getting in the way of the time old tradition of the cream rising to the top.


I know I dont have to install the apps, and I dont. Its the time it takes to do the digging about just find out the app is shite and has a load of false positive reviews that annoys.

rodneyej says:

Understood.. I can agree with that.

i_says says:

they need a good sorting algorithem for sorting out all the garbage.

for example, sorting by rating/popularity in small markets is useless. I see many "new and rising" apps with no ratings. thats just in canada

rodneyej says:

Maybe a category simply named "garbage".... Lol❕

I've been slowly going off my lumia recently but every little detail that is released and news like this makes me hang on a little bit longer ! Looking forward to the next few months!

rodneyej says:

What have you been using instead❔

I float between my lumia and HTC one x . I have to admit as good as some 3rd party apps are i miss the official google apps.

rodneyej says:

I have a One x too... It doesn't work though... It has a perfectly good, brand new screen, so if you need a spare......

rodneyej says:

I've actually had a few developers tell me that they will not be developing their apps for WP because MS makes it to hard to port their apps over to the platform.. One developer said that he didn't like the fees involved, and the rest said that the whole process is to tedious...
It's frustrating thinking that we can't have certain apps because Microsoft doesn't run their process as well as iDroid.....
Is ⬆his true, or are these just sorry excuses that developers are using to avoid WP❔

k0de says:

With out a doubt. Sorry excuse to avoid WP....

rodneyej says:

Are you sure❔.. Please explain further.

Seems like a pretty easy, straight forward process to me.
Although I've never dealt with iPhones certification process.

rodneyej says:

Really❔. I wonder how much it differs between platforms... What about Android❔

AndyCvr says:

In my opinion developing a WP app is far easier than developing an android app, we have a better IDE (Visual studio is the best) and a faster simulator (android simulator is really slow).

rodneyej says:

What about iOS❔

AndyCvr says:

I don't know, I have no experience on iOS app developing.

rodneyej says:

What about Android❔

k0de says:

I agree with AndyCvr 925%.

Nik Rolls says:

Fees? WP Store is free, commission is 30% like all others. Approval process is nice (Android has none, but that is pretty bad to be fair). IDE is the best, C# is so similar to Java it's almost like another dialect of the same language.
Pretty sorry excuses by lazy developers, or ones who are very platform-biased and are just making up an excuse.

vkelkar says:

I need to agree about C# .. Its same as java... infact being a devleloper I love C# more then java.... Its more fluid and structured I think... My own preference and mainly in shares the same base of C and C++ ... The base of programing languages

rodneyej says:

Wow.. So, these guys are pretty much not wanting to admit that it's about market share.... Probably a buch of MS haters as well..

This should be good for app development, so they also don't have excuses about app updates.

This is good news, I'd also like to see improvements to the Dev Center app for WP.

TallAssRob says:

+1. Would like to see notifications here when an app passes/fails certification

TallAssRob says:

My last update took a little over a day instead of the usual 4-5. Great improvement.

etrosce says:

I've submitted an application a couple of hours ago and it was almost instantaneously published. I was suprised and thought it was actually a bug in app submission process... Off course, I didn't complain :).

iyae says:

I've actually already noticed this. My last 2 app updates were approved quick smart!

Shantek says:

Nice. This will be a much welcomed change

sladyrko says:

I want Explorer.. Maybe they will release Utorrent for WP. This will be great!

Aashish13 says:

Magazines and book apps on wp

Aashish13 says:

How many months it takes for Xbox live certification process?

jomarr says:

Great job Microsoft!!

Aashish13 says:

I love developing instead of developed. It makes the work and its journey of development more exciting

ChainXOR says:

If they drop the retarded Symantec process for companies as well, than we are on to something. That process is just lame. Not even Apple needs to do that, so why MS.

Its great really..really great

Looks like Microsoft is preparing for windows phone 8.1

Can it be an indication that microsoft finally dropped the idea of enabling android apps for windows phones after a great amount of oppression by the users?

If so, then it's a greater news... ^_^

Nikolaus117 says:

i hope so !

I pray that no android app ever reach WP. This will be madness

I hope so too!

But you can vote against the idea if you want. I guess we shouldn't take any chance :)

Microsoft on a roll

Gogzs says:

Last app I published got certified in 45ish minutes... couldn't believe my eyes when I got the confirmation mail. This explanes a lot :D

OMG55 says:

The DOJ locked Microsoft's hands for 10 years. Do you remember that?

RayWP7 says:

Precisely. Dev cycles for entire eco systems aren't the same as a cycle for a game or application. What's done is done, but I can't imagine a case where they could have done things differently. The explosion that was iPhones success ushered in an era and at that time MS was still the big bad ugly. MS was proficient in mobile, but not to general consumers that likes of which iOS was able to reach. I can't explain it - I honestly think it was a timing thing and a "keeping up with the Jones" philosophy that reached critical mass. Remember when Razrs were way cool and suddenly people were plopping 500+ for them? Yeah. MS worst enemy was itself battling its behemoth self. This restructuring wad needed, so lets look forward to what the leaner beast has to offer. :)

SHAYKH69 says:

Hey guyz plz help me to become a developer,,,,I want free registration..I dont have a credit card....plzzzzzzzzz

neonspark says:

wait, isn't the windows phone store basically stalled? I recall reaching the 100K mark, even getting a mug for it from MSFT and then the 200K mark came much later and I suspect the 300K mark will arrive in twice as long.

are they getting faster or just less busy? well I guess that is a plus, if we must have one. Soon the cert time will be instant as basically it will be half the volume it is today.

Brswan says:

Great for developers. Hopefully quality of checking apps stays the same.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

RogerWh says:

My update has been stuck in Certification for 2 days. Guess I have not been rolled in to the new system yet. Have to send another update for another app in a couple days. Will see if that goes faster.