After a public face plant regarding the release of its operating system update to developers, Microsoft today announced that applications built for Windows 8.1 will be approved no more than five days following their submission, once the new build of Windows becomes generally available.
That means that come October 18, when Windows 8 .1 becomes downloadable by all, apps submitted to take advantage of its improvements won’t be tied up by a long line, harming developers who want to stay ahead of the curve.
It’s an interesting gambit. The Windows Store on Windows 8, as Microsoft will tell you, has more than 100,000 applications. The real number, though, is north of 115,000. Whatever the case, if even a decent slice of that app set were to submit an update at once, it would flood Microsoft’s approval staff.
Microsoft previously announced that developers would not be given access to the final build of Windows 8.1 before its general release. That was greeted with a giant raspberry from the coding cohort, and Microsoft later recanted its take and promised the code a month early.
However, even with that recantation, Windows 8.1 applications cannot be submitted before the general availability of the operating system. That’s why this matters: Microsoft is forcing developers to wait until 8.1 is fully baked and out in the wild before they can hit go on their apps. By promising that submitted apps, even given the restrictions in place, will be filed in short order, Microsoft is extending a tentative kiss to developers it recently razzled.
What this also means is that there will be all but zero Windows 8.1 applications available for download on the day that Windows 8.1 hits the masses. Here’s Microsoft on the matter (emphasis mine):
The RTM versions of tools, services, and platform are required for store submissions which will open up for new Windows 8.1 apps beginning at general availability on October 18.
So, no Windows 8.1 applications at launch, but likely a goodly number a few days after.
Top Image Credit: Dell Inc.