Windows Mobile takes shot at Apple App Store rejections


The competition between the Windows Marketplace for Mobile and the Apple App Store is heating up as Microsoft appears to have pulled a small punch at Apple and the controversy surrounding the rejection of applications in the iPhone App Store.

During the second and latest video to be released for the Windows Mobile Race to Market Challenge dubbed “The Race”, a scene appears in which a stick-figure developer walks into what is clearly to be interpreted as an “application store” only to have the pretentious-looking store staff (standing infront of a shelf full of other applications) reject his shiny new application.

If that wasn’t obvious enough, on top of all this the voiceover can be heard saying “If you want your app to do well, you’ve got to set it up for success. That means learning from experience, knowing when you could do better.” (emphasis added).

Whilst competition is always a good thing, I do find it somewhat hypocritical of Microsoft to highlight this when they know very well they could face the same criticism for disproving applications in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

And if it’s any indication of what’s to come, I’ve come across internal Microsoft documents that shows an outright ban on turn-by-turn navigation applications in the Marketplace. (Of course Windows Mobile has the advantage of being able to load applications via other methods). Update: A Microsoft representative has assured me turn-by-turn GPS navigation applications are not prohibited, contrary to the internal documentation.

It would be all too ironic and not entirely inconceivable to see Microsoft falling down the same rabbit hole which they’ve so prominently pointed out.

The original video is embedded below for your convenience.

20 insightful thoughts

  1. I’d say that’s a big attitude from Microsoft. They should try to out succeed the App Store instead of trying to take such cheap shots that most people who use the App Store wouldn’t even care about.
    I’d like to see a Windows Marketplace for Mobile app be as successful as any App Store before chalking it up as a competitor to the market leader. Android, Blackberry and Pre are already competing Apple, and Microsoft isn’t even considered a competitor by them as evident from their keynotes in major events.

  2. “a ridiculous restriction which in contrast the highly-anticipated TomTom application shipped today on the iPhone”

    But you can install Apps for Windows Mobile outside of their App-store, can’t you? So even though the App might get rejected by Windows, Tomtom (hypothetically) could allow people to download it off their website, couldn’t they?

  3. @Garion: Absolutely. TomTom sells a Windows Mobile application already on their own.

  4. Didn’t Apple orginially block turn-by-turn GPS navigation on the iPhone? I wonder if there some American law they’re trying to protect themselves from?

  5. It’s also a possible that Microsoft has some exclusive deal with TomTom or some other navigator company.

  6. it doesn’t matter if its viewed as cheap shots or whatever. the gloves are off since the i’m a pc vs i’m a mac commercial where there were direct shots towards microsoft and pc in general. there used to be an unwritten in ads where you don’t directly single out an opponent. that’s broken. now if you don’t fight dirty, you’re in the wrong league.

  7. “They should try to out succeed the App Store instead of trying to take such cheap shots that most people who use the App Store wouldn’t even care about”

    It’s worth remembering that the people who develop the App store aren’t the people who do the adverts. So it’s not as if making snarky adverts means they have less time to actualy develop the store.

    Is that document newer or older than the one from which was confirmed to be genuine?

  8. The mobile device lacks a pointer device which is why a similar approach like touch to tap instead of clicking with the mouse is so successful. Apple just got it first, wait till WM7 comes along. It’s gonna be like the battle between Mac OS and Windows in the 90s if Microsoft gives all choice of hardware and an open way to put apps, Apple does it all locked down and closed.

  9. Haha, let’s see if Microsoft is ending up throwing rocks in a glass house here.

    Or are e.g. porn applications allowed on Windows Marketplace for Mobile?

  10. Microsoft is rejecting plenty of apps themselves, and unlike Apple, Microsoft charges you $99 each time you submit, so Microsoft has a big incentive to fail your apps, namely that each time they do they get $99 and you get nothing. For Microsoft to claim that they want to make their app store because Apple is rejecting people’s apps too much is pure hypocrisy considering that Microsoft is charging people $99 each time they reject them and Apple is charging nothing!

  11. Firstly one thing to correct that its $US99 for 5 signings but that aside the other benefit is although if Microsoft rejects your application from the marketplace it can still be sideloaded unlike the apple situation.

  12. “Firstly one thing to correct that its $US99 for 5 signings” — That is not true! It is $99 per submission, PERIOD. If you submit now before the app store goes live you get 5 free submissions when you first sign up. But those will be quickly used up by rejections and then you will be forking over $99 per submission and $99 per re-submission. And yes, if Microsoft rejects your apps you can still sell them on handango or something like that, but you’ve been able to do that for years, so that’s no plus at all. Microsoft’s weak attempt at an app store sucks, pure and simple.

  13. Wait, aren’t you missing the point, Long? Microsoft is encouraging developers to make the best of their apps for Windows Mobile. I don’t really see the cheap shot that everyone is trying to point out (although I’ve only read a couple comments). The “app store” in this video is not intended to be either Apple’s nor Microsoft’s, but rather a generic app store designed to set a standard of hat your app should live up to. I think some of you guys have just interpreted it wrong.

  14. “The mobile device lacks a pointer device which is why a similar approach like touch to tap instead of clicking with the mouse is so successful. Apple just got it first, wait till WM7 comes along.”

    Apple didn’t invent touch screens, or even multi-touch screens as some people seem to believe. I think they were just the first the combine a multi-touch screen and silky smooth software into a small, thin device with decent battery life. A major accomplishment indeed, but they were standing on the shoulders of giants to get there. It’s also notable that Apple did not develop the technology (as far as hardware gos, at least) in their own iPhone, they acquired another company (called Finger-something, I can’t remember) and put their tech, plus a little of their own, into the iPhone’s touch screen.

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