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Microsoft offers developers free promo slots on Windows Phone Marketplace

Microsoft offers developers free promo slots on Windows Phone Marketplace
As the apps on Windows Phone 7 begin to mount up, so developers are finding it harder to afford their apps space on what's fast becoming a crowded marketplace.

Microsoft, however, has contacted studios to propose a deal.

Over the course of April, May and June, the company is to offer free promo slots on the Windows Phone Marketplace apps, rewarding studios that best promote the capabilities of the platform.

Spring cleaning

"For the next three months, we are going to give you a chance to let us know that you think your app is great and that you think it is deserving of prime placement in the Marketplace," Microsoft said in the email, dubbing the move the 'spring cleaning project'.

"Once you let us know you think your published app is great, we'll expedite review of it for a merchandising placement.

"Placements are not guaranteed, and we won't be able to tell you ahead of time if your app will or will not be featured; but we will review every published app you tell us about."

Apps chosen will promoted via one of three spots.

Up for grabs is the panoramic push, which covers the entire background of the Marketplace with a wallpaper from the app in question, a featured icon that will sit in amongst three to six other apps, and a spot in the store's features list.

Rules of the game

There are, however, rules aplenty. Microsoft asks that all apps be published by the 15th of each month, and must either be a new release, or a substantial update to an existing title.

Studios also needs to contact Microsoft via wp7springclean [at] microsoft [dot] com with details of what parts of the OS the app supports, and why the title will "delight users".

Microsoft claims the winning apps will be those that best promote Windows Phone 7's UI, as well as combining community features with the app's functionality.

[source: WinRumors.com]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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