My experience dealing with Microsoft in the old Windows Phone times

This summer marks exactly a decade since I started doing mobile apps development. My first mobile app was called MyTVShows and was released to the Windows Phone Store in summer of 2011.

The app solved a practical problem for me, keeping track of new episodes. I later rewrote the app as TvTime which was one of my most successful Windows Phone apps.

My times of doing Windows Phone development are long over as the platform has been dead for many years but this reminded me of all the struggles I had to deal with when interacting with the local Microsoft branch.

Disclaimer: Microsoft is a huge company so my experience is hopefully not the general experience of everyone from those times, people on all the local branches are different.

Windows Phone app competitions

In 2012 the Czech Microsoft started a competition giving every developer a Nokia Lumia 800 for publishing 3 apps to the Windows Phone Store.

The problem was the quality of those apps did not matter at all. The goal was to increases the number of the apps as much as possible, probably reaching some arbitrary number set by Redmond.

The Czech Windows Phone Store was flooded by crappy apps created only because of this competition, not having any real value for the user. I remember an app with one input and one button doing some kind of number conversion.

Microsoft just wanted to bump the app numbers count by any means necessary to be able to compare the Windows Phone Store to other mobile app stores.

This also reminded me that Microsoft was really bad at competitions overall, another example was destroying DVLUP after purchasing Nokia.

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