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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Anyone submitted a desktop app to the Windows App store?

I started the process of submitting my desktop app to the Windows App Store months back. But I was discouraged by all the  pointless hoops I had to jump through and just couldn't be arsed to finish the process.

I asked a room full of microISVs whether anyone was in the Windows App store at ESWC a few months back. No hands went up.

Has anyone here tried submitting a desktop app to the Windows App Store? Did you succeed? If so, do you think it was worth the effort? If not, why did you fail?
Andy Brice Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
 
 
I know you're looking for positive datapoints not negative ones, but here's my thinking on it. Google search is (and from the looks of it, always will be) a better app store than Windows Store. The simple reason is that Google search will include everything the Windows Store has plus everything that Windows Store will never have (old apps, holdouts, reviews, tutorials, non-software alternatives to the problem, etc.).

Windows Store looks like a dead end to me. (A decade or 2 ago and Windows Store might have been effective.)

That being said, we have "adding wyBuild to Windows Store" on our list of low priority items. So we might get around to it several months from now (presuming MS cleans up the hassles that you've described).
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
 
 
Good timing on this question.

We have two desktop apps that we put in the Windows Store last week. Although my "boss" handled all of the registration stuff for the company/developer account, once the developer account was all setup the actual submission and approval of the app happened in one day.

I handled the running of the Windows App Certification Kit on the app.

Hint: If it issues warnings you are OK, even if the items listed under the warning say "blah blah failed...". This was the case with certain compiler settings that Delphi 6 (older than dirt) doesn't handle compiler settings such as NXCheck, SafeSEHCheck, etc.

One thing that sucks is I have not figured out how to search the Windows Store on Windows 8. I'm not sure if you even can. (It's horrid by the way)
Mike Dixon Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
 
 
Yes, good timing indeed. I have been planning to submit my app. In fact I was going to start looking into the requirements today.

Since I haven't gone through the submission process yet, I'm afraid I don't have any information for you. Assuming the requirements aren't too ridiculous, I am going to go through with my submission, and I'll be happy to share my results in the future.

I have limited expectations for the Windows store. I know it won't replace Google, but it is an alternative marketing channel, so it's worth looking into. I don't like the idea of depending on Google for the bulk of my traffic.
Shawn O'Hern Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
 
 
These App stores are the worst thing ever for getting company off the ground, specifically if you are not selling games and starting from zero.

Reason being is that you have no insight into who bought your product and they have no easy way to contact you since they never did transaction with you rather they did transaction with the App store. So if you are trying to iterate and tune your product you are losing the most important communication and feedback loop. You lose connection to your customers...

Case in point, I have app listed in Windows Store since beginning, way back when store just got started. It's a productivity app. I have made few sales, but I have no clue who bought, nobody every contacted us to ask anything at all, and we have gotten no feedback.

Now this is highly unusual because we've been selling software for years and never, ever have seen this lack of engagement from paid customers.

Not what you've been asking Andy, but I think this is useful information to anyone looking into selling in any app store.
Blocky Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
 
 
Blocky, that is an interesting point about lack of feedback from users. I thought I heard that desktop apps are simply listed in the app store (like a catalog), but then you are sent to the vendor's website to complete the purchase, and only Windows RT apps are actually bought through the app store. Is this incorrect?
Shawn O'Hern Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
 
 
I have been in the Windows Store since before Windows 8 was available.  I am about to get a second app into the store as well.  My first one is in the top 100 apps for its category, but my second one is a game and that will have a harder time getting up in the listings. 

As for searching, you have to got into the Store app and then use the search charm on the bar on the right.  Swip from the right on a tablet/touch device or put the mouse in the upper right corner.  The search is the same way that you search for anything in windows 8.

I present at a lot of conferences on Windows 8 and Microsoft invites me to speak at them as well.  I always say that people have to remember, that pretty much all PCs sold right now have Windows 8 on them.  I personally think that it is a good idea to target it, but for my apps, I have a cloud backend that is used by Win8, iOS, Android, WP7/8, and even a Facebook app.  So the only differences for me were GUI work.
SteveM Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
 
 
Yes, Shawn you are correct on all points. DESKTOP APP titles are simply a link to the vendors website.

SteveM - thanks, I guess I wasn't hovering the mouse long enough - I hate that on Windows 8.
Mike Dixon Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
 
 
>If it issues warnings you are OK, even if the items listed under the warning say "blah blah failed..."

That is useful to know, thanks.

I heard there might be issues with submitting apps with an Innosetup installer. Can anyone confirm or deny that?

>never, ever have seen this lack of engagement from paid customers.

This is a huge issue for developers of 'native' Windows 8 and iOS apps. Shouldn't be an issue for desktop software though (as they are only hosting a link).

I'm not a fan of app stores. I think they are a bad thing for many developers, for lots of reasons. See:
http://successfulsoftware.net/2010/10/21/app-stores-set-to-dominate-future-software-sales/

But given that they exist, I have to decided whether to play ball. I'm just not sure it is worth the time/mental anguish (I still have mental scars from the horrors of 'Works with Vista').
Andy Brice Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
 
 
FYI: You can run your installer/app against the Windows App Certification Kit without having a developer account or anything. It's just a simple wizard that runs your installer and then the app then uninstalls and creates a report for you.
Mike Dixon Send private email
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
 
 
>FYI: You can run your installer/app against the Windows App Certification Kit without having a developer account or anything.

Mike

Do you have a link to get me started on that? Can you do it from Windows 7?
Andy Brice Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
 
 
Andy,

This is the page where you can download the ACK:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/apps/jj572486

There are two download buttons, the one on the left is for desktop apps, the one on the right is for Windows RT apps.

And no, it needs to be run on Windows 8. (That is where I'm currently stuck right now...I need to buy a license.)
Shawn O'Hern Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
 
 
Shawn,

Thanks.

I already purchased a new Windows 8 licence (OEM, not upgrade). Then found that it wouldn't install on Bootcamp on my Macbook Pro. I am going to install it in a VM instead.
Andy Brice Send private email
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
 
 
Every functionality has their own feature. I was trying to find out the reason and possibilities and came to this article, check if this help you out http://crave.cnet.co.uk/software/microsoft-to-make-a-joint-app-store-for-desktop-and-mobile-50010390/
Win Send private email
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
 
 

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