The Windows Phone Marketplace has proven to be a great place for developers to make bank. Back in April, we reported that indie game developer, FourBros Studios, was pulling in about $1,000 a day from their Windows Phone 7 game. The potential is there for even more success as long as Microsoft keeps up with curation.
As part of that curation, the Windows Phone team has announced some improvements being made to the Windows Phone Marketplace that should make it easier and faster to developers to get their apps on Windows Phone. The team is hoping to have some major work finished on the marketplace later this summer, but they have some minor improvements that went live yesterday.
App Hub is the Windows Phone analytics page that lets developers know how their apps are performing. It's recently been returning time-outs for developers who have extensive app portfolios. Microsoft has improved the performance of App Hub to hopefully deal with the problem. They claim that time-outs should now be a thing of the past.
A big fix has addressed the problems with unlocked phones. Developers may receive an unlocked phone to develop on at an event that was unlocked by another account. In prior cases, it was found that only the App Hub account originally associated with the unlock could renew the phone. Updated rules now allow developers to register a previously unlocked phone to their own App Hub account to avoid any frustration in the future.
Windows Phone is riding the coattails of another Microsoft product that should more developers in more nations bring in those sweet advertising dollars. Microsoft Advertising announced that pubCenter would be coming to 17 new markets which also means that that those 17 new markets will be able to bring in advertising dollars through Windows Phone apps. The new markets comprise various countries throughout South America, Eastern Europe and Asia.
All these are great, but mean little if app publishing times are slow. Fortunately, Microsoft has managed to improve those as well. The time it takes for an app to appear on the Marketplace after being submitted has been decreased by about 30 percent which means that it now only takes about three to four business days.
Microsoft has the most to prove out of the major players in the smartphone business. The fact that they're willing to push out incremental updates as they occur while working on a much larger overhaul signify that the company at least cares about getting developers on board and publishing apps for Windows Phones. I like to think that apps are a major selling points for smartphones these days and Windows Phone needs to kick it up a notch to compete with Android and iOS.