Microsoft has moved to address Windows Phone 7 developer complaints over poor app stat tracking and lengthy waits for paid-app payouts. While Microsoft has managed to muster around 4,000 titles in the Windows Phone Marketplace to-date, developers had been left hanging over royalty payments - initially not coming until February 2011 - and uncertainty over exactly how many downloads their software had seen, and other performance figures. That's changing, Microsoft's Todd Brix says, with royalties being brought forward slightly and new reporting data in App Hub.
The first payouts for Windows Phone 7 sales will take place in the 4th week of January 2011, combining all sales made from the October 2010 launch through the end of December. Beyond that, payouts will be processed monthly - combining Windows Phone 6.x and Windows Phone 7 apps - assuming they exceed the minimum payout threshold limits.
More imminent, though, is the new "Reports" option in the developer App Hub, which now offers graphical views of daily and cumulative downloads (together with raw data) along with aggregated and detailed views of payouts for all Marketplace applications (including sales on Marketplace for Windows Phone 6.x).
Microsoft has also streamlined the submission and app-update process, to reduce the time it takes to process and make the procedure as a whole more transparent, and the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7 has been updated to support ad-enabled mobile gaming apps using the XNA Framework, rather than just Silverlight.