Microsoft to allow UK-only apps into Windows Store

Developers will soon be able to submit UK-specific apps to Microsoft's Windows Store, the marketplace that will accompany Windows 8.Since the Windows 8 consumer preview emerged in late February, the only available country-specific app catalogues have been for the US, Germany, France, India and Japan.

Developers will soon be able to submit UK-specific apps to Microsoft's Windows Store, the marketplace that will accompany Windows 8.

Since the Windows 8 consumer preview emerged in late February, the only available country-specific app catalogues have been for the US, Germany, France, India and Japan. Customers in other countries have all been lumped into a 'rest of world' category.

However, Microsoft Windows Web Services chief Antoine Leblond said on Wednesday that the "next significant preview release of the Windows Store service" will allow 33 more countries to have the same privilege, allowing sales to be made in local currencies and apps to be tailored to those markets.

"In addition we will expand the localisation coverage of the pre-release developer portal as well, adding seven new languages," Leblond said in a blog post on Wednesday. "When we release the next update to the Store service, you'll be able to submit Metro style pre-release apps in any of 109 languages, as long as the app also includes a version in one of 12 app certification languages (an increase of seven languages from the Consumer Preview)."

Leblond suggested that starting with just five country-specific app catalogues had been necessary in order to test the Windows Store, which will be debuting with Windows 8 as a tablet-friendly rival to the likes of Google Play and iTunes.

"The Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been downloaded by millions of customers, and we've gotten a lot of feedback and telemetry data that has helped us prepare for the final release," he wrote. "Soon, we'll describe design changes we've made to the Store to address some of the early feedback."

Microsoft is no longer accepting Consumer Preview apps into the Store catalogue, Leblond noted, "as part of the engineering transition to the next pre-release phase".

"The Store will continue to offer all the existing Consumer Preview apps and these apps will of course continue to run on the Consumer Preview build. This will help ensure we support developers in the transition to the next pre-release version of the platform," he said.

UK developers who want to publish to the Windows Store will have to pay an annual registration fee of £32 on an individual basis, or £65 on a company basis.

The full list of the 33 new countries is as follows: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the UK.