Category Archives: Microsoft Store

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Important dates regarding apps with Windows Phone 8.x and earlier and Windows 8/8.1 packages submitted to Microsoft Store – Windows Developer Blog

As a part of our Windows device life cycle, Microsoft Store will soon stop accepting new apps with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier or Windows 8/8.1 packages (XAP and APPX). Soon after that date, we will stop distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier and Windows 8/8.1 devices; at that time, updates will only be made available to customers using Windows 10 devices.Take note of the following dates so you can effectively plan your development cycles:
October 31st, 2018 – Microsoft will stop accepting new app submissions with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier or Windows 8/8.1 packages (XAP or APPX)
This will not affect existing apps with packages targeting Windows Phone 8.x or earlier and/or Windows 8/8.1. You can continue to submit updates to these apps as described below.

July 1st, 2019 – Microsoft will stop distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier devices.
You’ll still be able to publish updates to all apps (including those with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier packages). However, these updates will only be made available to Windows 10 devices.

July 1st, 2023 – Microsoft will stop distributing app updates to Windows 8/8.1 devices.
You’ll still be able to publish updates to all apps (including those with Windows 8/8.1 packages). However, these updates will only be made available to Windows 10 devices.

We encourage you to explore how you can port your existing app to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) where you can create a single Windows 10 app package that your customers can install onto all device families. You can learn more about UWP apps here.
Updated August 20, 2018 9:01 am

What’s your monetization strategy? – Windows Developer Blog

Selecting how to monetize your app is a big part of any development process. Different kinds of apps can have very different opportunities and needs—so your monetization strategy can inform not just your business model, but your app’s final design, content, and code.Microsoft Store offers a variety of different ways to add monetization to your app. Here’s a quick breakdown of our 4 biggest earners and how they can work for you.

Charging an up-front base price is a one-time transaction: you offer a product and the user pays for it. Microsoft Store allows you to change your base price at any time, in any market, so you can always experiment with your numbers and see how your target audience responds.
A general rule of thumb for setting a base price is to scope out the competition. Once you know what the market has paid in the past, you can set a price point for your own unique product.
You can see from the data below that charging a base price is the most used option in the Microsoft Store for apps.

In-app purchases are microtransactions that allow customers to purchase additional content within an app itself. These small fees can build up to big returns—a Gartner Research report revealed that customers will spend 24% more on in-app purchases than they would to buy an app outright. Once a customer sees value, they have an incentive to pay.
Content is king for in-app purchases. The more your customers use or enjoy your app, the more likely they are to purchase new content that is bigger, better, or simply more.
In-app purchase is the most chosen method to monetize for games within the Microsoft Store, as shown below.

With subscriptions, customers pay a recurring, scheduled fee to access your app. You select the amount, the schedule, and if it covers your entire app or applies to digital products within your app, like features or content.
The subscription model is ideal for apps that offer continuous content and services. In addition to a reliable revenue stream, you also gain access to a quantifiable base of loyal users.

Mobile advertising is one of most profitable app revenue models for developers with native, banner, and interstitial formats heading the list.
If you elect the ad route, include your designers so they can fold your advertising formats seamlessly into your app experience. You can find test ads and more information on best practices here.

No matter which monetization strategy you choose, be sure to check out how you get paid. Comment below on which monetization strategy you’re using!

Kick off the new school year with big savings – Windows Experience Blog

It’s that time of year, and whether you’re sending your baby to kindergarten or watching your recent graduate head off to college, a tech upgrade might be on your shopping list.  
If you’ve been too busy enjoying the final moments of summer to search for the latest tech offers, we’ve got you covered with a number of great deals for last minute shoppers this month. And while you’re at the Microsoft Store, check out the new Surface Go. It’s available now and for students on the move, it’s the perfect mix of portability and power.  
Here are just some of the great deals you can find this month at Microsoft Stores, online and other partner retailers! 

Best Buy is offering $100 off Acer’s Nitro 5 gaming notebook (regularly $749) while supplies last.

Get $75 off ASUS ZenBook 14 UX410UA, or $80 off ASUS VivoBook Flip 14-TP401CA  5-18 at ASUS.com, Amazon.com and NewEgg.com ( only). 

Save $279 on the smallest 13.3-inch laptop, the Dell XPS 13, or save $249 on the 15-inch Inspiron 15 5000 on Dell.com through Aug. 30. (U.S. only)  

Through Sept. 19, when you buy Lenovo’s Yoga 730 13’’ or the Thinkpad X1 Carbon 6th Gen on Lenovo.com, you’ll also get three-year onsite service and accidental damage protection, Microsoft Office Home and Student and a $100 Southwest Airlines travel voucher! (U.S. and Canada).  
Get $100 off a Samsung Notebook 9 Pen through Aug. 25 on Samsung.com (U.S. only).

MSI is running a student special through Aug. 12 at Best Buy and BestBuy.com on great laptops for work and play with $100 off the GL72M and $150 off the GS63 Stealth. (U.S. with other deals available worldwide). 

Take advantage of the Microsoft Store’s great Back to School savings and save up to 10 percent on select Surface, PCs, and accessories. Parents and students can save up to $500 on select PCs and $360 on a Surface Pro i5 128GB bundle. Through Thursday, Aug. 4, save up to $300 on Surface Laptop i5 256GB/8G and up to $300 on other select Surface Laptops. 
Of course, there’s no better deal than FREE, so be sure to check out Microsoft’s many free workshops to help learners of all abilities. This fall, parents can visit the for STEM Saturdays, Literacy Workshops and Productivity Hack Sessions. And teachers can tune in this Saturday for our free Back to School Live teacher training session to get inspiration and tech tips to make the most of Microsoft technology in their classrooms this year.  

Top 4 ways to optimize your Microsoft Store listing – Windows Developer Blog

When publishing your app to the Microsoft Store, be sure to take advantage of the many options to make your Store listing stand out. Great video, text, and images can help create customer interest and drive purchases. Remember, your Microsoft Store listing will be many customers’ first exposure to your app. It’s crucial to make a good first impression!Make the most of your listing
1. Include video trailers

Video trailers are short videos that spotlight your product and give your customers a quick look at what it does. On average, including one or more video trailers can increase downloads by up to 11%.
Check out Affinity Designer’s trailer for an example that really shows off what the app can do.
Quick trailer tips:
Focus on high quality and short length (60 seconds or less).
Use different thumbnails for each trailer.
Keep key messaging short and centered in each frame.
When using trailers, you must also provide a 1920 x 1080 pixel image (16:9) in the Promotional images section in order for your trailers to appear at the top of your Store listing. This image will appear after your trailers have finished playing.
Note that trailers are only shown to customers on Windows 10, version 1607 or later (which includes Xbox).
See more information and tips here.
2. Create a great app description
The description is the first thing your customer reads about your app in the Microsoft Store, and it may also appear in search results and algorithm lists—so make it count.
Quick description tips:
Start with the value prop: Why should your customer buy this?
Focus on your app’s appeal with plain, clear language.
Localize for all your markets.
Read more here.
3. Include an eye-catching logo

Your logo is the main image displayed on Windows 10 and Xbox, and in searches or collections and we strongly recommend providing both a 9:16 poster art and 1:1 box art image. A good logo can visually “pop” and lead customers to see more.
We recommend providing these logo images to create an optimal appearance in the Store. In particular, the 9:16 Poster art image is required for proper display for customers on Windows 10 and Xbox devices. You also have the option to upload additional logo images that will be used in the Store (instead of images taken from your app’s packages) to create a more customized display.
Quick logo tips:
Include your app name as a key part of the image.
Provide .png files no larger than 50MB each.
Provide all requested formats and sizes for optimal display across devices.
More details on all the display options here.
4. Keep your customers up to date
When you update your app it’s always a good idea to let customers know what you’ve improved in the latest release, especially if you’ve fixed bugs or improved the app based on customer feedback. Use the What’s new in this version text box to share that information with your customers.  In addition to letting your current customers know what’s changed, this also shows potential new customers that you’re listening to feedback and continuing to add new features. 
Get started now
Whether you’re submitting your app for the first time or making an update to an app that’s in the Store, we hope you’ll find these tips useful. For more details on all of these options, along with other ways you can create great Microsoft Store listings, start here.
Updated July 25, 2018 10:38 am

Publishing times for Microsoft Store just got faster! – Windows Developer Blog

Updating your Microsoft Store listing is the best way to let customers know more about your app or game. You might want to update the description to call out key features, or add new screenshots and video trailers to help your customers see what your product does best. At times, you may also want to update your app’s or game’s price, either on an indefinite basis or as a limited-time sale to entice new customers to make a purchase.We’ve heard your feedback that you’d like to be able to see these types of changes in the Microsoft Store sooner. We’ve been working hard to improve our publishing times, and we’re pleased to announce that starting today, submissions that make these types of changes without updating packages will be published faster than ever before. After these submissions go through the certification process (which is often completed in a few hours but may take up to three business days), these updates will be reflected in Microsoft Store in less than one hour!
It’s important to note that updated app packages that you submit to Microsoft Store aren’t affected by these improved processing times, so it could still take up to three business days before submissions with updated packages are published in Microsoft Store. (If no packages are updated, the changes should be published within the hour after the certification process is complete.) If you ever experience a delay of longer than three business days for a submission to be published, we encourage you to contact support so that we can investigate.
Note that when publishing a product for the first time, we recommend submitting at least three days before you want your app or game to appear in the Store. For more precise release scheduling, you can use the Schedule section of the Pricing and availability page when you create your submission to specify a precise release date and time (in UTC or in each local market’s time zone, with the ability to use different dates for different markets if desired).
We hope you’ll find the publishing time improvement makes it easier for you to adjust your pricing quickly or get updated listing details in front of your customer base more quickly.

Xbox Adaptive Controller arriving September, now available for pre-order – Windows Experience Blog

Today, over at Xbox Wire, we shared that, starting today, pre-orders for the Xbox Adaptive Controller are now available in the following markets:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the United States.

A few weeks ago, we unveiled the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a first-of-its-kind controller designed for gamers with limited mobility. To say we’ve been overwhelmed by the response is an understatement.  The thoughts and sentiments that our fans shared have been thoughtful, heart-felt and emotionally moving. Introducing the Xbox Adaptive Controller to the world has helped reinforce the notion of exactly how powerful inclusion can be—for organizations, for groups and for individuals.
Pre-order an Xbox Adaptive Controller
Fans can visit Xbox.com, Microsoft Store online or a local Microsoft Store retail location to pre-order the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which will begin shipping in September 2018. Pre-orders in Canada will be available soon. We know there are more gamers who can benefit from the Xbox Adaptive Controller in even more countries, and we’re working towards expanding the list of market availability in the future.
We’ll have more to share about the Xbox Adaptive Controller in the coming months as we approach the September 2018 release, and look forward to hearing even more fan feedback from gamers everywhere.
If you’ve been looking forward to getting your hands on an Xbox Adaptive Controller, pre-order today by visiting Microsoft Store!

Xbox Adaptive Controller arriving September, now available for pre-order
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Updated June 11, 2018 11:15 am

Native Ads on the Microsoft Ad Monetization Platform – Windows Developer Blog

We at Microsoft are committed to helping developers maximize their monetization through ads. The Microsoft ad mediation service along with the Microsoft Advertising SDK are the two key components of  Microsoft’s new ad monetization platform that dynamically optimizes ad partner configurations to drive the highest yield for the developers and deliver innovative Ad experiences for consumers.Native Ads is a component-based Ad format that gives publishers the flexibility of placing the individual components of an Ad – title, image, logo, description, call to action text – to provide the best possible fit to the look and feel of the rest of the app. This enables the developers to use fonts, colors and animations of their own to stitch unobtrusive user experiences in their app while earning high yield from advertising. For advertisers as well, this provides high performing placements since the ads experience is tightly built into the app and users tend to interact a lot more with such sponsored content. The click through rates (CTR) tend to be thus higher with Native Ads which results in better monetization compared to traditional Ad experiences such as Banner Ads.
Last year, we announced an invitation only pilot for Native Ads support. At Microsoft Build 2018, we happily announced that we have made this capability generally available to all developers.
What’s new in Native Ads?
We have worked on enhancing the stability and completeness of the Native Ads experience since we announced the pilot. We have added several Native Ad partners such as AppNexus, Microsoft app install ads and Revcontent to serve on the Native Ad inventory. We are working actively to bring additional demand partners such as MSN Content Recommendations and Taboola in the coming weeks.
How do I get started?
You need the latest version of the Microsoft Advertising SDK to get started with including Native Ads in your UWP applications. If you haven’t played around with the Microsoft Advertising SDK before this, please take a look at the Get Started guide. Also, please check out our guide and sample code on MSDN to quickly incorporate Native Ads into your application.
Examples of Native Ad integration:
PicsArt, a participant in our Native Ads preview program, was able to integrate Native Ads into their ‘Photo Studio’ application easily and provide a compelling and immersive Ad experience to their users.
 “Implementation of Native ads was a smooth and seamless experience. The creation of an ad unit to its implementation was simple thanks to Microsoft’s comprehensive documentation.” – PicsArt 

Figure 1 Example of a Native Ad in the PicsArt application ‘PicsArt Photo Studio’ 
Good2Create, another participant in the pilot, was able to stitch Native Ads that blend beautifully into their application ‘Wallpaper Studio.’

Figure 2 Example of a Native Ad in the Good2Create application ‘Wallpaper Studio 10’    
What’s next in Native ads?
We will continue to build on the Native ads story by adding more Native Ad partners and offer enhanced creative experiences to help developers monetize better using Native Ads. Please reach us at aiacare@microsoft.com with your questions and comments.
Updated May 29, 2018 9:01 am

Updated Microsoft Store App Developer Agreement and GDPR

As of May 23rd, the Microsoft Store team has updated the Microsoft Store App Developer Agreement (ADA). The next time you log in to the Dev Center dashboard, you will be prompted to reaccept the ADA before you can update or manage your apps.
In the new version, we are making a few changes to clarify the restrictions around using and storing personal information in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For more information, you can view the full ADA and change history.
Note: This ADA update DOES NOT include the new Microsoft Store revenue model announced at Microsoft Build 2018.
What is GDPR?
On May 25, 2018, a European privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation is set to take effect.
The GDPR imposes new rules on companies, government agencies, non-profits, and other organizations that offer goods and services to people in the European Union (EU), or that collect and analyze data tied to EU residents. The GDPR applies no matter where you are located.
Under GDPR, what constitutes personal information?
You can refer to European Commission’s official website on data protection for more information, but we suggest you confer with your own legal or regulatory compliance team to address specific questions you have.
Learn more about GDPR
To learn more about GDPR, please visit the European Commission’s official website on data protection.
We also encourage you to visit Microsoft.com/GDPR for resources and best practices for GDPR compliance.  You can even assess your GDPR compliance with a quick, interactive 10-question evaluation.

A new product badge for Microsoft Store applications

As many of you know, building quality apps is quite a commitment and investment in time. Once your app is in the Store, the next challenge is getting the word out about your new title and driving traffic to your product. Today, we’d like to announce a new tool for marketing your apps in your own blogs and websites. We’d like to introduce our new web badge for Microsoft Store products.

The new badge will render in your own website pulling localized logo, pricing (including sale pricing!), ratings and artwork directly from the store catalog. To render this badge for 8 Zip simply embed this script using its Store Id (9wzdncrfhwb8). Please note you must add the Id in two places in the badge script, the “class=” and inside the “mspb-“.

<div id="mspb-nc9jl2ngc1i" class="9wzdncrfhwb8"></div>
<script src="https://storebadge.azureedge.net/src/badge-1.6.1.js"></script>
<script>
mspb(‘9wzdncrfhwb8’, function(badge) {
document.getElementById(‘mspb-nc9jl2ngc1i’).innerHTML = badge;
});
</script>

The button click on the badge will direct your customers to the proper Product Description Page where they make the actual purchase. You can add multiple badges to any single page, just make sure they all use a unique div Id, as shown above.
To see the badge in action, check out XBOX’s @majornelson (www.majornelson.com) who is using the badge to promote Xbox content on his blog.
Example post here: https://majornelson.com/2018/05/03/xbox-live-gold-members-play-for-honor-xcom-2-and-just-cause-3-for-free-this-weekend/.
That’s it! Feel free to promote your apps and games on your own sites.

Microsoft Store announces PC digital game gifting

Last Fall, the Microsoft Store enabled gifting of select Xbox One digital games, Xbox One downloadable game content (durables only), and Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. This feature has been a huge hit with our fans and has made buying presents for friends and family even easier, especially around the holidays.
Today, the Microsoft Store team announced over at Xbox Wire that they’ve expanded digital gifting to include PC games and PC downloadable game content (e.g. map packs, skins). Further, all Xbox One games are now eligible for digital gifting. Head over here to learn how to get started!

Microsoft Store announces PC digital game gifting
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