Unusual approach to a “next billion dollar business”

I have read some articles about Microsoft loving developers and somehow implying that although v1.0 of WP7 isn’t perfect we developers can make it grow. As a developer I would like to tell you something about my experience with submission of an application to a marketplace and give you a sneak peak to Microsoft approach to a “next billion dollar business” and how Microsoft is “helping” so that together we can make it best platform ever.

I have submitted my game to a Marketplace as required by certification process. After 3 days I got report that submission failed. There were 2 issues. For one there was very detailed description what is wrong and it was very easy to fix. BUT for the other…I could only stare at it. My application failed on “Content and application name are original” requirement. The biggest problem of all was that there was no explanation what is not original. Since name of the game consists of word that doesn’t even exists, and all the content was created by me from scratch…you can imagine my surprise. Also if you think about how many different things can be in the content of a game, how on earth do I know what they think is wrong?! But that’s not all. Contacting support to get more information on the issue was unsuccessful. No one is responding to any support requests! Can you imagine paying 99$ for some subscription and not having any support for it? People, we are talking about Microsoft here, not about some guy in the basement that is selling something!

So if you think about it, how can company as big as Microsoft think about WP7 as next billion dollar business and at the same time fail to have adecvate submission process for Marketplace that they also think is the most important for success of any mobile platform?! On some forums I have learned that I wasn’t the only one with the problems. There are examples of failed submission with completely empty document that should state where is application failing. Also, there are some applications that failed the first time, and some changes that were not related to an issues made application pass the certification process. Some applications showed on the Marketplace but there was no “Buy” button, so they could not sell. The fact is that WP7 Marketplace can’t even pass as a beta product and their processes for submitting application to a Marketplace are maybe in alpha faze. I must say I am very disappointed because I spent great deal of time to develop a game and I can’t do absolutely anything about making it pass the certification process. For me all this is very unexpected. I really thought Microsoft will take this platform seriously. But it looks like that only big companies get needed support.

So Microsoft, you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?