Microsoft has done a good job in creating a buzz in the mobile development community surrounding Windows Phone 7, with the Windows Marketplace for Mobile already boasting some 3,000 available apps. Behind the scenes, however, some developers are beginning to express doubts with the platform and with Microsoft itself.
There’s been reports of developers not being satisfied with Microsoft’s reporting capabilities, even with simple metrics such as number of downloads and total sales. In addition, some say they haven’t even received a single payment for their app sales yet. One such developer, Nicholas Yu — who’s the creator of a Google Voice app called GoVoice — has been trying to add push notification along with other improvements to his app, but has seen nothing but complications in trying to do so.
On his blog, Yu says that Microsoft’s reporting tools have essentially been worthless because he doesn’t know how many users have downloaded his app. Yu is has been forced to ask his audience directly how many people purchased the app so he can know if it makes sense to pay for a server for push notification. The worst part about it is that Yu says he has yet to see a single paycheck from Microsoft for his app downloads.
Another developer, Justin James, expressed issues with Microsoft’s Terms of Service and overall customer support. Speaking on the former, the application guidelines are almost as bad as Apple’s, according to James, with the number of things that are forbidden being quite large. Microsoft is surely just seeing growing pains from a platform that has seen massive growth in a short period of time. Even I’m impressed by how quickly the company has re-bolstered its mobile presence. Surely, developer relations will get better since it’s still early, but Microsoft could also be digging itself into an early hole with the people that power its platform.