Today marks an important milestone for the Windows Store as we move from preview toward the general availability of Windows 8. We’re again expanding our market coverage, committed as ever to creating a developer opportunity of unprecedented scale. We’re opening the Store up for company registrations and are now accepting paid apps. Finally, we’ve advanced the Store design in response to Release Preview feedback. Ted Dworkin, Partner Program Manager for the Store, authored this post.

--Antoine       


Starting today, any qualifying business in a supported market can now submit a Metro style app for Windows 8! Companies qualify through account registration, which includes an account verification process.

Just so you know, to upload apps to the Store, you’ll need an RTM build of Windows 8. On August 15, we’ll be making the build available to MSDN subscribers and we’ll have a trial version available via TechNet. (Keep your eyes here and on the Windows 8 app developer blog for more info.) Until then, keep building your apps using the Release Preview, and don’t hesitate to register your company account now—it takes a little time to get a company account verified. Registering now will help ensure you can hit the ground running when the RTM build is released.

If you’re an individual looking to submit apps to the Store, stay tuned—we’ll have more info to share with you soon.

More markets

Not only is the Window Store now open for company accounts, but we’ve also taken a significant step forward toward our goal of providing a truly global Store – both for developers and for customers looking for great apps. At each major milestone – Consumer Preview and Release Preview – we’ve increased language and market support. With this latest release, this trend continues with more catalogs and app submission languages, as well as increased localization of our developer experience.

Today, we add 54 new markets to our list of distinct catalog offerings, giving developers more specific market opportunities and more chances to provide truly relevant apps to customers.

We’ve also added 24 new app certification languages, bringing our total to 38 app submission languages and more than doubling the number we supported in the Release Preview. Developers can, of course, also choose to make their apps also available in other languages beyond those used for app certification, so that they'll be available in other Windows Store app catalogs. We’re excited to expand that number and give developers more language choices for submission and publication in the Store.

The developer dashboard is now available in an additional 11 languages, allowing you to choose the language you want for submitting apps, checking the certification process, and viewing analytics. And, as we noted at previous milestones, we will keep expanding.

Paid apps

Previous posts described how to implement trials, paid apps and in-app purchases. Transaction support is now enabled, and registered developers can submit paid apps to the Store, including in-app purchases.

The Application Developer Agreement (ADA) has been updated to reflect the financial details we announced back at our Store Preview event: the base Store fee is 30% of revenue for any transactions occurring through our transaction platform; we reduce the fee to 20% for any app that achieves $25,000 USD (or equivalent) in total revenue using our transaction platform, and for the lifetime of that app.

We’re excited to release full transaction support as part of the platform and offer industry-leading economic terms to developers. But we don’t require developers to use our transaction services for their in-app purchases. Favorable economics and flexibility in transaction providers are critical to maximizing the business opportunity for every developer.

Certification policy updates

We continue to evolve our certification policies, based on questions and suggestions we receive from developers. This is all part of our commitment to provide a level of transparency, consistency, and specificity that helps developers make more informed choices, and take best advantage of the Windows platform, so they can speed through app certification and have their apps on the market as quickly as possible. Recent policy updates include clarification on apps that use DirectX, and a couple of changes related to apps that collect personal information, privacy policies, and age ratings. All of the changes are listed in the revision history at the end of the certification page.

Evolving the experience

We’ve made hundreds of fit-and-finish improvements to the Store since the Release Preview, but I want to highlight one particular addition, given the prevalence of feedback and the importance of app discoverability. We’ve added support for search from the Store landing page, simply by typing. This matches the search behavior of Start, it’s what customers expect, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to help customers find great apps.

To all the developers that submitted Consumer and Release Preview apps – thank you. We’re committed to the partnership, and greatly appreciate the investment in and commitment to the platform.

For those companies that have been waiting for the chance to submit their apps – welcome to the Windows Store!

– Ted