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From the time of our very first conversations about the Windows Store, we’ve been determined to deliver a global service – one that scales in every dimension. We want to support developers regardless of where they are, and give customers apps that match their interests, including local offerings. We’ve designed the Store to provide both developers and customers with flexibility and familiarity in their transaction options. We’ve seen millions of Consumer Preview app downloads, by people in more than 200 markets, which just confirms our responsibility to deliver globally.
But when you’re building a service at the scale of Windows, it needs to grow gradually and deliberately. Running the Windows Update service with hundreds of millions of client connections has taught us a lot about building, scaling, and securing such a service.
Up to now, the Consumer Preview Store has supported app submissions from developers in five markets, each with a dedicated app catalog (France, Germany, India, Japan and the United States), plus China. Customers outside of those markets see our “Rest of World” catalog. This is a start, and we’re pleased to have served so many millions this early in the release.
In the next significant preview release of the Windows Store service, we will significantly expand our global coverage. We will add 33 additional app submission locales for developers, bringing our total to 38 supported markets for submitting Metro style apps for Windows 8. We will also expand the number of market-specific app catalogs, from 5 to 26.
In addition we will expand the localization coverage of the pre-release developer portal as well, adding 7 new languages. When we release the next update to the Store service, you’ll be able to submit Metro style pre-release apps in any of 109 languages, as long as the app also includes a version in one of 12 app certification languages (an increase of 7 languages from the Consumer Preview).
In each dimension of the Store – developer portal, app submission markets, app certification, app languages, app catalogs – we are increasing the number of languages, consistent with our goal to keep improving and growing the service. All of this growth is, of course, still within the Windows 8 pre-release timeframe, so for those of you developers still waiting to see support for your locale, we appreciate the interest and will just continue to grow rapidly, as we have done since the Consumer Preview.
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been downloaded by millions of customers, and we’ve gotten a lot of feedback and telemetry data that has helped us prepare for the final release. Soon, we’ll describe design changes we’ve made to the Store to address some of the early feedback. As part of the engineering transition to the next pre-release phase, as of April 16, we are no longer accepting Consumer Preview apps into the Store catalog.
The Store will continue to offer all the existing Consumer Preview apps and these apps will of course continue to run on the Consumer Preview build. This will help ensure we support developers in the transition to the next pre-release version of the platform.
During this preview timeframe, only select partners can submit Metro style apps to the Store. If you are not already working with us directly on an app, you can become a candidate for preview Store submission by attending one of our Windows Dev Camps. The camps have already started, and hundreds more will run throughout the world over the next few months. They are free, designed and delivered by developers for developers, and will give you the information and tools you need, in a hands-on setting, to prepare your Metro style app for submission.
We’re excited to welcome developers from these new markets. We look forward to seeing you at a Dev Camp, checking out all the cool and interesting apps you come up with, and getting them published in the Store.