August 15, 2012

Digital Certificate Error Suspends New App Publishing On Windows Phone Marketplace

Enid Burns for - Your Universe Online

Microsoft had to temporarily pause the publication of new apps for the Windows Phone Marketplace this week. The suspension is due to an issue with the digital certificates used to sign apps, according to a post on the Windows Team Blog by Mazhar Mohammed, Microsoft's director of program management.

The problem is due to the deployment of the Windows Phone Dev Center, which was rolled out on August 3. That was the information offered by Todd Brixx in a separate post on the same blog.

"This week we discovered an issue with our new digital certificates that's caused us to temporarily stop publishing new apps," Brixx says in his post. Microsoft's Windows Phone team is working on a fix.

Microsoft identified the issue, and said it affects phones that upgraded to Windows Phone 7.5 from an earlier version of the operating system. Phones that came pre-installed with Windows Phone version 7.5 seem to be unaffected.

The pool of affected users is even smaller. While Mohammed didn't offer a figure on how many apps are affected, he did offer perspective. "We estimate the issue also affects only a small percentage of the 100,000-plus apps in marketplace," he writes in the post. Some high profile apps are included in that pool such as New York Times, WhatsApp, and Translator from Bing.

The issue only affects new apps, according to Mohammed and Brixx. However some of the information provided in the posts suggests issues might also occur for users who try to update their apps.

"If you get an error message while installing or updating an app, the best thing to do is wait of us to correct the problem, which we're working to do as quickly as possible," Mohammed says in his blog post. "I don't recommend uninstalling any apps on your phone, since you likely won't be able to download them again until the issue is resolved. Also, you'd lose any saved data for that app. Again, the vast majority of apps and games in Marketplace should install without trouble."

Microsoft also addresses the issue on its Microsoft Answers page. A forum moderator explains that some customers have reported errors, and describes the message that users see when they try to install an affected app. "We're having trouble installing this app. Tap and hold the item, then tap Retry. If you're trying to update an existing app, and the problem continues, you might need to uninstall the app then install it again."

Advice on the Microsoft Answers page is to ignore the message. "If you've already uninstalled the application or deleted from your download queue, please wait until we can provide further guidance," the post reads.

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile phones shipments reached 5.4 million in Q2 2012, up from 2.5 million shipments in the same period in 2011, according to a report from IDC. Microsoft Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile account for 3.5 percent market share.