Microsoft release Windows Marketplace for Mobile “prohibited app types” list

May 5, 2009
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Microsoft release Windows Marketplace for Mobile “prohibited app types” list

Microsoft have announced their twelve commandments for their Windows Marketplace for Mobile download store, and they seem to have taken a leaf out of Apple's book.  The new list [pdf link] concerns itself with "prohibited application types", and as well as the perhaps expected software - carrier-unfriendly VoIP, anything that secretly shares the user's data or GPS position - there's also some bad news for Handango and other software download services.

Interestingly, now that Microsoft have finally stepped into the on-device app distribution arena, they're keen to make sure users stay within their service.  Although the company has previously confirmed that other software download systems are welcome to develop and release rival app-stores, rules one and two are that software must not "distribute alternate marketplaces" or "promote alternate marketplaces".  Similar, Microsoft are keen to get their slice of the licensing pie, with rule three forbidding apps that direct buyers to an external page for payment.

Full list after the cut

Other hanging offenses are apps requiring OTA downloads larger than 10MB, software that attempts to change Windows Mobile's default browser/search client/media player, and anything that attempts to remove, modify or replace the default dialer/SMS/MMS interface.  It'll be interesting to see whether Opera, Skyfire and other browsers - some of which are already installed on Windows Mobile handsets - will be allowed access, considering they often seek to replace the standard Mobile Internet Explorer.

Prohibited Application Types:

  1. Applications that are or distribute alternate marketplaces for content types (applications, games, themes etc.) that are sold or otherwise distributed through Windows® Marketplace for Mobile.
  2. Applications that link to, incent users to download, or otherwise promote alternate marketplaces for content types that are sold or otherwise distributed through Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
  3. Applications that promote or link users to a website, or contain functionality within the application itself, which encourages or requires the user to purchase or pay to upgrade the application outside of Windows® Marketplace for Mobile.
  4. Applications that enable VoIP (Voice over IP) services over a mobile operator network.
  5. Applications that sell, link to, or otherwise promote mobile voice plans.
  6. Applications that display advertising that does not meet the Microsoft Advertising Creative Acceptance Policy Guide http://advertising.microsoft.com/creative-specs.
  7. Applications that replace, remove or modify the default dialer, SMS, or MMS interface.
  8. Applications that change the default browser, search client, or media player on the device.
  9. Applications with an OTA (over the air) download >10 MB.
  10. Applications that run code outside Microsoft runtimes (native, managed, and widgets)
  11. Applications that publish a user's location information to any other person without first having received the user's express permission (opt-in) to do so, and that do not provide the user a means of opting out of having their location information published.
  12. Applications that publish a user's data from their mobile device to any other person without first having received the user's express permission (opt-in) to do so, and that do not provide the user a means of opting out of having their data published. A "user's data" includes, without limit, contacts, photos, SMS or other text communication, browsing history, location information, and other data either stored on the mobile device or stored in the "cloud" but accessible from the mobile device


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