Yesterday, Microsoft published a new document for developers that lists twelve application types that won’t be allowed in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, also known as Microsoft’s App Store-killer. Microsoft’s twelve rules for its upcoming mobile app bazaar prohibit rival stores, restrict VoIP apps to WiFi only and cap over-the-air app downloads to 10MB. Third-party apps aren’t allowed to change your default browser, SMS, MMS and dialer programs or run the code outside of Microsoft-allowed runtimes.
If you have been waiting for the arrival of Windows Mobile 6.5, the next version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, in the hope that its built-in application store would bring more relaxed policies over Apple-imposed restrictions in the App Store, you will be disappointed.
As expected, programs that act as storefronts for rival app stores will be banned from Microsoft’s mobile application bazaar. Also, apps that promote rival content stores for apps, games, themes and other content are also a big no-no in the software maker’s store.
While it was kind of expected that the software giant would want to keep rival stores off the Windows Mobile 6.5 phones, there are more serious restrictions. For example, Microsoft’s store doesn’t allow VoIP programs that run on cellular networks, effectively prohibiting, say, mobile Skype clients from allowing users to talk for free or cheap using carriers’ cellular networks, relying on WiFi connectivity instead.
Just like the App Store, Microsoft’s store won’t allow over-the-air application downloads larger than 10MB, unless you are using WiFi connection. Although Windows Mobile 6.5 will allow user interface skinning through UI themes offered in the store, it won’t allow apps that change, modify or remove built-in dialer, SMS and MMS programs, or those that change the default browser on the device.
Interestingly, there’s nothing in Microsoft’s terms that would prohibit developers from creating adult content, like porn or gambling apps.
Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Marketplace for Mobile are both scheduled to launch in the second half of 2009. BlackBerry maker RIM also has an app store dubbed BlackBerry App World.Nokia will open Ovi Store for business later this month, with apps and other types of content tailored to Nokia devices. Palm is also expected to unveil its application bazaar for Pre soon.
Read more about prohibited application types in Microsoft’s PDF document or check out my distilled version bellow.
- Apps that distribute rival content stores for apps, games, themes etc. otherwise carried in Microsoft’s store.
- Apps that promote (by linking to or incentivizing downloads) rival content stores for apps, games, themes etc. otherwise carried in Microsoft’s store.
- Paid upgrades in free apps that avoid Microsoft’s store through built-in functionality or by linking to an external site.
- VoIP apps that use a cellular network.
- Apps that sell or promote mobile voice plans.
- Apps that don’t adhere to Microsoft’s advertising policies.
- Dialers, SMS or MMS apps that replace or modify default programs.
- Apps that change the default browser, search client, or media player on the device.
- Apps over 10MB in size won’t be allowed to download via a cellular network.
- Apps that run code outside Microsoft runtimes (native, managed, and widgets)
- Apps that publish location without your consent or don’t provide opt-out capability.
- Apps that publish data without your consent or don’t provide opt-out capability. Users’ data includes contacts, photos, SMS or other text communications, browsing history, location information and other data on the device or in the cloud but accessible from the device.