Apple will be shutting down its iTunes Connect developer portal for the holidays this year as it always has, but Microsoft has decided that some of the Windows Store app approval team will stay on hand to keep apps flowing — albeit slower.
[quote_box author="" profession=""]From December 22nd through January 1st, the Windows Store team will have fewer staff on-hand, as team members spend the holidays with their families. We’ll continue to review and certify your apps during this time—it will just take a little longer.[/quote_box]
Microsoft has urged any developers that are developing holiday-specific apps to submit them to the store as soon as possible. To help the app certification process go smoother, Microsoft has also asked those that don’t have time-crucial apps to please hold off on submitting them.
This decision from the Redmond corporation definitely shows that they are not taking their feet off the gas with their new baby platform. With the Windows Store finally showing some numbers exceeding ten-thousand, it would be foolish to completely shut down the app submission process for so long with a platform that is so fragile. Microsoft undoubtedly wants to win over developers hearts (or even just a little attention) so that the Windows Store can continue to grow, and hopefully flourish this holiday season.
[Windows Store Blog]
That didn’t take long. Piracy is probably not far off from ravaging the Windows store, just as it has with Android. BetaNews is reporting today that a tool has been released that allows you to download a trial version of any paid Windows store app and turn it into a full version. The hacking package, named Wsservice_crk, was released last month on the My Digital Life forum and has since been updated several times. The kit contains programs to crack Windows Store applications, load unsigned apps, as well as extra source code and documentation.
[quote_box author="" profession=""]
Many paid applications in Windows Store are available as trial versions that you can try for a seven-day period before you need to make a buying decision. Developers do not have to offer their products as trial versions in the store, but they are encouraged to do so to make their apps available to a wider audience.
A recently released hacking tool takes advantage of the feature to turn trial versions of commercial Windows Store apps into full versions. Wsservice_crk was released on October 30, 2012 on the My Digital Life forum and updated several times since then by its author. The package includes programs to crack Windows Store applications, sideload unsigned apps so that they can be run on Windows 8, as well as source codes and documentation.
Although developers are not required to release a trial version of their apps, not doing so would probably lead to a decline in sales. This leads to making a decision: allow trials and try to keep sales high (but enable pirates) or remove the trial version that prevents piracy. This situation is unique to this platform, and in hindsight, it may be a reason Apple has been careful to adopt a “trial” model with the iOS App store.
The author of this software had better hope they have protected their identity, because Microsoft has a proven track record of trying to maintain a “genuine” user base. Microsoft has undoubtedly seen the affect piracy has had on Android and knows that something similar would be detrimental to an even more fragile platform. In my opinion, the software maker behind Wsservice_crk being prosecuted is a matter of when, not if.
Win App Update tracks the number of currently available apps in the Windows 8 store, and has reported via Twitter that the store likely passed the 20,000 app mark earlier this week. The Next Web covered the Windows 8 store on November 5th, coming in at a total of roughly 12,895 applications. That leaves today’s milestone to mean almost 8,000 apps have been added to the Windows store in a just under 3 weeks.
It’s worth noting, however, that not all apps are available in every region. Overall, Win App Update says that there are over 20,000 apps in the Windows Store, with roughly 18,000 of those being completely free. 13,000 of those are available in the US, oddly 1,000 more than that are available in Canada, and 11,000 are available in the United Kingdom.
This may seem like a huge milestone until you realize that Apple got a significant head start — the App store hit 1,000,000 available apps just 4 days ago according to App tracking service Appsfire. Microsoft has a lot of work to do if they want their store to become as successful as their direct competitors. Yes, they’re behind, but Microsoft did a great job of launching their new Surface-Windows Phone 8-Windows 8 ecosystem this month. They definitely have some great products, but they have to convince developers they’re ready.
[The Next Web]
Over the past few weeks, we noted that popular third-party Twitter client Tweetro has been “completely crippled” because of Twitter’s new 100,000 token limit for users, forcing the developer to pull the app from the Windows Store. And after attempting to negotiate with Twitter about the issue, Tweetro has been unsuccessful at resolving the problem; in other words, Twitter is holding tight on their new API restrictions. Unfortunately, this means that Tweetro — just like Tweetbot for Mac — has decided that it will reintroduce its app on the Windows Store as a paid version to compensate for the user limit.
Tweetro will provide a notice to its free users that they will have to upgrade to the paid app if they wish to continue using the service. While it’s an unfortunate situation for Tweetro’s current user base, it’s really Twitter that is to be blamed. In an attempt to shift users towards its official clients, Twitter is choking third-party clients in what seems like a very unprofessional manner. It’s truly a shame. Anyone that is disappointed with these circumstances is encouraged to get in contact with Twitter and voice your opinion, since enough negative press about what the social network is doing might convince them to at least lighten up on their new policies and give third-party Twitter clients some breathing room again.
A few days ago, it was discovered that Tweetro, a popular third-party Twitter client, had been completely crippled by the effects of Twitter’s new strict 100,000 token limit for its API. Twitter is trying to direct all traffic to its official services instead of those built by the third-party developers that made the company what it is today, which is quite disappointing.
Winsyde now shares a tweet from Tweetro stating that the third-party client has been entirely removed from the Windows Store while it works with Twitter to resolve this issue; however, it does not appear that the firm will have much luck. This is a very frustrating situation for both Tweetro, but this isn’t the first nor is it likely to be the last Twitter client affected by the new API changes introduced last August. Fortunately, at least existing users can still use the platform.
[Tweetro via Winsyde]