They chose to develop Toshl Finance for Windows Phone because they saw potential in what they believe to be a beautifully designed OS. However, their blog goes on to state what they describe as a “surreal and horrible” experience.
The first roadblock they faced was due to their location. Toshl is located in Slovenia. In many countries around the world like Slovenia, a developer cannot register directly to create applications for Windows Phone. Instead, applications must go through a third party. In this case, Toshl had to go through Microsoft Slovenia. In some other cases, depending on region, developers might go through a company like Yalla Apps. The blog goes on to detail some of the challenges that resulted from this arrangement.
So, Toshl established a US company in order to try to get around some of these challenges, only to find that there wasn’t a process in place that would allow them to transfer the app’s ownership to their new company. They were left with no alternative but to remove the app from the marketplace and then resubmit it under the new company as a new app. This meant that all the data that was linked to the old app was not transferable.
That wasn’t the end of the issues they faced. There were a few more detailed in the blog.
Needless to say, they weren’t happy. So after reading such a blog post, potential Windows Phone developers might be asking themselves: “Does Microsoft even care about the challenges that developers face? Are they listening?”
The blog’s comment section provides an answer.
Joe Belfiore, Microsoft VP, running program for Windows Phone, found the blog and posted a sympathetic response apologizing for the problems, and clearing up some misunderstandings, and promising some improvements. He also stated that the blog post was “…making the rounds of our team because we’re sensitive to the pain you went through and we want to learn to do better.”
Bitenc appeared to appreciate the response and stated that he still really likes Windows Phone and he is looking forward to better experiences.
John Kneeland, working in Community and Developer Marketing for Nokia, also chimed in and offered his assistance.
While we know that Microsoft still has a lot of work to do for Windows Phone, it’s good to see that the Windows Phone team, as well as Nokia, are actually paying attention and are making an effort to keep developers happy.
Hopefully we do see improvements coming soon. If Microsoft could remove some of the speed bumps that developers face when submitting applications, it can only help the reputation for Windows Phone as a target platform.
Do you develop Windows Phone apps or games? Let us know about your experiences.