pubCenter starts expanding outside the US

Written by Tom Verhoeff. Posted in WP7

Back in July Todd Brix announced on the Windows Phone Developer blog that Microsoft pubCenter would be expanded 18 countries by the end of 2011. I haven’t seen any official announcement just yet (Update 27/09: Microsoft released an official statement today) but while checking pubCenter today I noticed it is now possible to select out of 17 countries when entering tax information. Switzerland is the only one missing compared to the list announced back in July (but hey, it’s still 2011). When exploring some more I noticed that signup now lists 12 countries and payment requests can be made for the same 12 countries. The expansion doesn’t appear to be completed, but still it’s very good and important news for WP7devs living outside the US. So what are the improvements that I noticed:
  • Tax information can be entered for 17 countries
  • Payment can be requested for 12 countries
  • PubCenter accounts can be created based in 12 countries
What are the drawbacks still in place:
  • Still only US impressions are counted
  • Still a valid US Tax ID is needed, just as with revenue from your apps
I guess all information will be disclosed in an official statement by Microsoft soon, since everything is already live on pubCenter right now.

Dummy artwork for private beta submission

Written by Tom Verhoeff. Posted in MSP, WP7

Yesterday I published a blog about private beta testing, one of the great new App Hub features. Although the feature itself is great part of the process can be a little frustrating. One of the things that frustrated me was the requirement to submit the full load of artwork. In the first stages of testing I usually don’t have all the artwork/screenshots finished yet, which in the end forced me to create some dummy artwork. The same holds when you don’t want your artwork to be available yet before the official launch of your application. To save some frustration in the future I will just share my dummy artwork. I did not try to give it any kind of design so it’s ugly, but at least it will be accepted by the App Hub. Feel free to use it in your beta tests. Here’s a zip containing all the files. Happy beta testing!  

Using private beta distribution for testing your WP7 app

Written by Tom Verhoeff. Posted in MSP, WP7

A while ago Microsoft introduced a big improvement to the App Hub. Recently I gave one of the new features, private beta testing, a spin. The process is actually easier than I thought it would be. There are a few things to keep in mind though. In this post I will share a quick walkthrough for distributing your app through private beta-testing. Please pay attention to the remarks. Dutch readers might recognize the info in the post, I recently started as an editor at Dutch WP7 community and newswebsite where I published a similar article in Dutch

WP7 Review Reader: New marketplaces

Written by Tom Verhoeff. Posted in MSP, WP7

With the launch of the new App Hub Microsoft also opened up 19 new consumer markets for application submission. Developers running the Mango beta can already access the new marketplace and thus can leave reviews for applications. Therefore I updated the Review Reader with support for all new marketplaces. If you haven’t done so please make sure your applications are submitted to the new marketplaces, even if your app was set for worldwide distribution it requires manual action (see my blogpost on worldwide distribution). It’s also worthwile to note a few changes to the new App Hub that impact checking your reviews. Within the App Hub it is now possible to view reviews and average for one marketplace at a time. This is an improvement, but MS isn’t quite there yet when they want to provide easy and efficient access to reviews.  Compared to the App Hub my review reader still offers this extra functionality: – Overview of all marketplaces – No-nonsense interface – Excel/CSV export – A try at contacting the reviewers – Average ratings since last update I still hope Microsoft will improve this experience in a future update, in the meantime my tool will stay available for all WP7 devs out there. Please let me know if you have any feedback or feature suggestions. You can find me on Twitter.

Debugging App Hub exceptions using Fiddler

Written by Tom Verhoeff. Posted in MSP, WP7

A while ago the App Hub got updated with some great new features. Having returned from a little holiday yesterday I decided to give the private beta feature a shot for a new app I am working on. Unfortunately the App Hub kept giving me the useless “An error occured connecting to the server. Please try again later” exception. I tried all the obvious workarounds: waited a while, tried other browsers, cleared my cache, but with no success. As a last resort before contacting support I figured my favorite tool Fiddler might help. Since the App Hub is a silverlight app, that obviously runs locally, capturing the web traffic could give some extra insight. To my surprise Fiddler gave me all the information I needed. Obviously this is something the App Hub should have shown, since the info is right there, but for the time being I’ll show you how to figure it out for yourself using Fiddler.

WP7 Review Reader Update

Written by Tom Verhoeff. Posted in MSP, WP7

It has been a while since I last updated the WP7 Review Reader. The tool is used by a vast amount of developers generating 15K-20K pageviews a month. Since some features were still missing and some features needed fixing I decided to quickly put together an updated version. Here’s the list of added features and fixes:
  • Fixed the number of reviews since last update count
  • Fixed CSV export
  • Now loads all reviews for a marketplace, instead of just the first 100
  • Improved overall performance
The update is now live at Is there any feature you currently miss? Or do you have any other feedback? Feel free to contact me by using the comments, the contact page or through Twitter

WP7NL Apps – Statistics and Update

Written by Tom Verhoeff. Posted in MSP, WP7

About 6 weeks ago I released the first version of WP7NL Apps to the marketplace. An application that would provide a seperate place for Dutch content on the Windows Phone marketplace as long as we have to life without our own marketplace. The app received quite some attention online which led to over 1000 downloads as of the 14th of May. For an app specifically targeted at the Dutch market this isn’t bad at all (but of course we can do better). In this post I would like to share some statistics and I am also to happy to finally announce the next update.

Things to consider before submitting your WP7 App

Written by Tom Verhoeff. Posted in MSP, WP7

After countless hours of work you finally finished your amazing WP7 app. The first thing you think of now is getting the application out on the marketplace as soon as possible. Unfortunately many developers still waste the potential of their application by not taking time to carefully think about how users are going to find and use their application. Taking a little extra time to think about marketing will pay off in the end. The whole process of getting your app published is quite straightforward, but in this post I will cover some of the things I came across that you might want to consider. This is one out of a series of follow-up posts to my session at the Dutch DevDays.

Result Zune

Speaking at DevDays 2011

Written by Tom Verhoeff. Posted in MSP, WP7

Last Friday I presented a session at the Dutch Microsoft DevDays in the Hague. It was a tips & tricks session about earning money with Windows Phone 7 apps in which I covered everything except the app development itself. Subjects covered included the marketplace submission process, trial & marketplace tasks, advertising, reports & feedback and runtime intelligence. The goal was to provide a high-level overview of the different aspects of making money with WP7 applications to motivate all developers to spend just a little more time thinking about marketing their app. My session has been recorded and will be published on Channel9 later this week, it was presented in Dutch and therefore probably irrelevant to most of the world 😉

I will publish some in-depth blogposts covering marketplace submission, trial mode, marketplace tasks, advertising, reports & feedback and runtime intelligence during this and next week. I blogged about implementing trial mode back in December, but I will also publish a new and improved post on this subject. This years DevDays have been yet another great experience and I want to thank everyone for making it happen, especially Arie Leeuwesteijn and Matthijs Hoekstra. It has been great catching up with the Dutch WP7 community and other speakers. See you all next year!