Microsoft is already behind the proverbial eight ball in mobile. And, given that its smartphone market share is stuck below five percent, every little stumble hurts.

So, we can’t imagine that the company is too thrilled with the glitch it discovered this week in which some Windows Phone customers couldn’t install apps.

“We’ve run into an issue with the digital certificates used to sign apps, and this is preventing some phones from installing some apps published during the last couple of days,” Microsoft’s Mazhar Mohammed wrote on the Windows Phone blog today. As a result of the bug, Mohammed writes that the company has decided to temporarily stop publishing new apps in the Windows Phone marketplace.

According to Mohammed, the issue only affects phones that upgraded to Windows Phone 7.5 from an earlier version of the operating system. Those phones that came with Windows Phone 7.5 preinstalled do no appear to be affected. Most of the more than 100,000 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace are installing without issue.

However, the issue is impacting some recently updated apps, in particular apps from the New York Times, What’s App and Translator from Bing.

“If you get an error message while installing or updating an app, the best thing to do is wait for us to correct the problem, which we’re working to do as quickly as possible,” writes Mohammed. “I don’t recommend uninstalling any apps on your phone, since you likely won’t be able to download them again until the issue is resolved. Also, you’d lose any saved data for that app.”

In a separate blog post, Microsoft’s Todd Brix said that the issues are tied to the company’s rebuilding of the backend infrastructure of the Windows Phone Dev Center.

“In an earlier post, I mentioned the possibility that we might encounter some hiccups during this complex rollout and changeover. Today we did,” he writes.

[Hat tip to The Verge]

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  • Guest

    Thank you to Microsoft for identifying the problem, communicating clearly, and prioritizing a solution. That’s all we as consumers ask of you.

  • giddyer

    Sounds like a wacky upgrade bug. MS, you have my sympathy.

  • Guest

    Translation: we’re focused on WP8 now, which is why we didn’t bother fully testing the impact of recent changes on WP7 devices.

    How does Apple run a far larger market and deal with an order of magnitude more users without constantly running into issues like MS? MS has really become an embarassment. Everything they touch is sloppy and poorly executed. Just die already. This decade plus slow suicide is getting boring.

    • Stonetip

      They owned up to the problem and it only affects a few apps and not all phones. How did Apple (along with Amazon) make it so easy for hackers to wipe a guy’s iPhone, iPad and MacBook? Everybody runs into issues and I’ll bet Apple will have bigger problems with security than MSFT will with its stores in the coming years.

  • Nathan O

    Well that explains my problem, thank you MSFT for addressing this issue and thank you to geekwire for covering it.

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