Disappointed in the Windows Store Submission Process

Published on Saturday, December 15, 2012

I'm disappointed I have to write about this, because I shouldn't have to. I've been a Microsoft-stack guy for a long time and I was really excited to release my first app for Windows 8. I'm even more excited to also work on a Windows Phone app. That's why I bought a Surface RT and a new HTC 8X. I'm all in.

So imagine my disappointment when, after five days, I receive this email:

Windows Store: we couldn't certify your app

Boo. Okay, I thought, I must have missed something, no big deal. Clearly the testers must have found something that I missed, since I ran my app through memory profiling and performance testing both on my PC and Surface. I even poured over the certification checklist and common points of failure. What did I miss?

Nothing.

Here's what the tester's note said on the report:

F:: It is unclear how to create an account for this app to be reviewed. This prevented us from completing our review of this app.

What? "Unclear"? You mean, the first sentence of my "Instructions to Testers" wasn't clear enough?

Please use my account (***) to test the app with.

So. Frustrating. I could understand if I had perhaps put that information at the bottom of my note, forgot to include it, or something else... but I put it at the top of the instructions to avoid this very problem. How can I feel confident in this testing process if the testers don't read our instructions? It just seems to contribute to my overall view that the Windows Store is lacking in several areas and "just isn't there" yet but I suppose that rant is for another day.

What makes it worse is that the tutorial video I include in the app (that is accessible on the first screen) uses my account to demo. It just boggles my mind.

Seriously?

The icing on the cake was that it took 5 days for this to fail. I'm sure it goes into a queue and that the actual time to perform "content compliance" is an hour or so but even knowing that, it just made it worse since now I have to wait an additional X days for something I shouldn't have had to wait for in the first place.

There's nothing else I can really do about it, though. I re-submitted it, I added extra emphasis in the Notes field, but what else is there? Just pray it works this time, I guess. Disappointing first-time experience, to say the least.

About Kamran
I'm a technologist, speaker, and Pluralsight author and I specialize in building full-stack solutions with a focus on modern web technology and cloud native architecture.
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