Microsoft announced today that developers are now getting more control over the way that their app shows up on the Windows Store.
First and foremost, developers can now set a specific date and time for their app to “launch” on the online storefront, and so long as an app is still in the certification phase of getting accepted to the Windows Store, developers can change that date and time. That means it’s now easier for developers to ensure that their apps can show up on the Windows Store right on time for a big PR push or a simultaneous release through another storefront. Previously, it was only possible to set a launch date, not time, and once a developer had set their launch date, it couldn’t be changed.
In addition, developers can pull their app from sale on the store, either temporarily or permanently. That’s a key feature in the event there’s a serious issue a developer is dealing with but hasn’t patched yet. While existing users will still be able to re-download their copy of the app, the new feature will help developers contain the damage in the event they accidentally introduce a bad bug.
In a similar vein, it’s also now possible for developers to stop supporting Windows 8, and only allow users who have upgraded to Windows 8.1 to purchase their app. For developers who have started using new features only introduced in Windows 8.1, this will allow them to focus on developing for only the latest version of Microsoft’s OS, rather than having to worry about maintaining backwards compatibility. Like the
On top of all that, Microsoft has also changed the certification requirements for getting an app listed in the store. Of particular interest is the fact that Microsoft has now removed the requirement that prevented developers from using “description, tiles, notifications, app bar, or the swipe-from-edge interactions” to display ads. For more details on the change in policy, check out the requirements’ revision changes here.