In a new post to the Windows Store for developers blog this week, Microsoft's Jonathan Garriques discusses the process developers will undergo when they submit new Windows 8 Metro-style apps to the Windows Store. According to Garriques, the process is designed to be as simple, transparent, and predictable as possible.
In this way, the process differs wildly from the unpredictable and opaque system that Apple developers face. And that's by design: Garriques says that Microsoft listened to a diverse cross-section of developers to ensure that its own approach was superior.
"We broke down the submission process into two phases," he writes in the Windows Store for developers post. "At first, the developer is in the driver's seat, learning, submitting, and reviewing their own data, working at their own pace. However, once you submit the app for certification, you are in the passenger seat, tracking the progress of the app, but unable to affect that progress or outcome in the same way as before. We needed a plan to increase confidence in this second phase, while transparently tracking the status of the app during the certification process."
One of the big design decisions Microsoft made in response to developer feedback was to make it easy for them to visit the developer portal before they even started working on an app. That's because the submission process often inspires developers to make changes to their apps. This system also allows developers to ensure that their app name is unique and untaken before developer starts, and lets them reserve their name in advance.
Access to this portal is of course available directly in Visual Studio 11, the tool developers use to create Windows 8 apps.
"We felt that it was important to be transparent and upfront about the entire process of submitting to the Store, setting expectations visually that there are multiple concepts to cover, and including rough estimates of about how long each step might take," Garriques notes.
Obviously, the Windows 8 app submission process won't be of direct interest to most Windows users or to readers of this site. But I think it's telling that in "reimagining Windows" as thoroughly as Microsoft is doing in this release, it's also reimagined such a core, if behind-the-scenes, part of the Windows 8 story.
I'd imagine that Microsoft's couple of years of experience with the Windows Phone Marketplace helped guide its decision making as well, though Garriques makes no mention of that.
Check out the original post for the full details, of course.