Windows Store Tips: Create great promo images LONG BEFORE you submit

[Windows Store Tips]

When you submit to the store you get an opportunity to add promo images to your submission. It is tempting to skip over these as a) they are optional and b) they are in odd sizes! However promo images are what the store team need if they are to spotlight your application.


Fill them in to have a chance of appearing here…(as done nicely by the UK developers of Cocktail Flow)



Windows Store Tips: Read the pre-submission checks by Pete Brown and set that logo/store color!

[Windows Store Tips]

Pete has a great check list to do before submission. It includes store colors and logo which have been so often missed – but not by you 🙂 Nigel Sampson has also done a nice post about Logo background color.

The logo background color not only affects the logo (I know… naming is everything) but also (and arguably more importantly) the background color in your Store listing.

e.g. Netflix got it right:



Windows Store Tips:Follow the company developer account guidelines

[Windows Store Tips]

When you create a developer account on the Windows 8 store you can either create a company account or an individual account. I have seen several companies get into a “bit of a pickle” with store company accounts.

We now have some detailed guidelines which will help avoid problems later on, including:

  • Create your Microsoft account using an email address that belongs to your company’s domain, but not to a single individual—for example,
  • Add a company phone number that does not require an extension, or an additional email distribution list as a proof.
  • Limit access to your company’s Windows Store Dashboard to the smallest number of developers as possible.
  • In general, use trusted PCs as your security proof. All key team members must have access to these trusted PCs.
  • If you need to allow access to the Windows Store Dashboard from a non-trusted PC, limit that access to a maximum of 5 developers. These developers should access the Windows Store Dashboard from machines that share the same geographical and network location.
  • Frequently manage your proofs to keep them current.

Windows Store Tips: Run the Windows App Certification Kit frequently and on a low spec computer

[Windows Store Tips]

Run it often

The Windows App Certification Kit test is one of the first things that happens to your application during certification – and if you fail it, your submission fails. The good news is that the WACK is also something you can run locally before you submit. Please do. In fact, why not integrate it into your build process or get into the habit of running it whenever you are making significant changes to the code.

Also run it on a low spec machine

However as well as running it frequently, also run it on a low spec computer (or Virtual Machine) – Atom is a good processor to aim for.

And run it on clean machine where your application has never run

Just in case you are seeing a performance boost from “caching of something”…

Creating a package gives you the option to launch the kit:


or just type “windows app cert” into the search charm:


And there is a command line to use as well:

appcert.exe reset

appcert.exe test -apptype metrostyle -packagefullname [package full name] -reportoutputpath [report file name]


Windows Store Tips: Do not leave creating the store submission to the last day!

[Windows Store Tips]

Several of the teams we have worked with have delayed looking at the store submission process until the very end … and only then realised a) how much time and effort is involved to do it well and b) there are a few areas that require some careful consideration.

There are eight steps you need to complete, some take a minute or two, some take much longer.


Areas that require some thought tend to be questions like “What age rating?” and “How do I answer this cryptography question?”. Check them out sooner rather than later!

Areas that require some effort to do well are things like descriptions, screenshots and promotional images. Promotional images are not screenshots! (More on that in a future post)

What often compounds this is the developer doing the submission is likely not the person best placed to fill in some of the fields. Again, do not leave it until the end to find this out.

Read other Windows Store Tips

Windows Store Tips: You need a privacy policy in your store listing AND in your application

[Windows Store Tips]

If your application collects personal information or we think it might collect personal information then you need a privacy policy.

The detail can be found at 4.1.1 Your app must have a privacy statement if it collects personal information and thankfully it is now much more explicit.

The two areas that caught companies out were:

“I’m not collecting personal information, I’m just using the internet. But i failed???”

However, an IP address is personal information and declaring Internet capabilities such as internetClient and internetClientServer in the app manifest makes us think you’re collecting the IP number of the user. You will need a privacy policy

“I have a privacy policy in my listing, yet I failed???”

That is because you need it in the description page for your application and in the applications settings as displayed from the Windows Settings charm.


Windows Store Tips: Turn off Internet Client in Visual Studio if you don’t use the Internet

[Windows Store Tips]

When you create a new Windows Store project in Visual Studio 2012 it “helpfully” turns on one Capability in the manifest – “Internet Client”.


Which is great … if you use the Internet.

But… having this turned on means your application must have a privacy policy to be approved for the Windows Store else it will fail submission. There are other reasons why you might need a privacy policy – but this one has tripped up many development teams.

If you don’t need it, turn it off.

Read other Windows Store Tips

Windows Store Tips: Read the resolving certification errors BEFORE you start developing!

[Windows Store Tips]

My team has been heads down the last month helping UK companies get their applications published in the Windows Store. I think I now have a little time to start sharing some tips that should help other companies have a smooth experience getting their application into the Windows Store.

The first tip I would like to share is that you should take 30minutes to properly read (not skim!) the Resolving Certification Errors page on MSDN.

No, really, I mean it… read this before you submit. Actually read it before you start developing.

Why before you start developing? Well, some of the reasons an application fail come down to how the application was envisioned. A great example is:

2.4 The primary experiences your app provides must take place within the app

which has caught out a few apps during submission when clearly the issue was a flaw in the original design of the application which could have been identified long before a single line of C#  (or JavaScript, VB or C++) had been written.

But on a smaller scale how about this:

3.6 Your app must use the mechanisms provided by the system for those features that have them

Resolving certification errors calls out a great example that I have seen  – “The app uses a button, gesture, or other UI element to close the app.” That is a no no.

More tips to follow – and do share any you have!

Read other Windows Store Tips