So, let’s say you’re Microsoft. You’ve got this brand new smartphone platform — one that, thanks to the timing and that of the competition, is a bit of an underdog. To be at all competitive, you need to convince developers to not only make applications for your platform, but to make lots of applications for your platform. Now, what’s the one thing you definitely, absolutely, should not do? Limit those that are actually interested in your platform — say, by setting some arbitrarily low limit on the number of apps they can submit.
Alas, that’s exactly what Microsoft did. Up until this morning, Microsoft had limited developers to a maximum of 5 free applications. If they wanted to throw any more on the market, they’d either have to charge for the app or cough up $20 bucks for the submission. (Really? Charging the developer for submitting a free app, on top of the $99 yearly fee? Really?!) This cap is now set at a considerably more reasonable level of 100 apps.
I understand why they did this. They didn’t want a mountain of crapware filling their store — a totally reasonable desire. But this was probably the silliest possible way they could have gone about it. Deal with crapware developers individually, don’t just throw a wet blanket on everyone.