Registering for Windows Phone 7 Development
This should be a short post about my experiences registering for the Microsoft App Hub so I can develop some applications for Windows Phone 7. I'm working on my first XNA game at the moment and have a few other application ideas that I need to develop over time so I thought that I would start registering in advance as an incentive to actually getting things done.
Signing-up is really quite easy, simply go to http://create.msdn.com/en-US/ and follow the process to join. You will need:
- A Windows Live Id - I chose to register with my existing one but you may want to create a specific account just for managing your account
- £65 to register - though free if you're a student
- Details of your/your company's address etc
Following the instructions, I thought, that was easy... I received two e-mails:
- from the Microsoft App Hub with an e-mail verification link
- from Microsoft's verification partner GeoTrust with a link to one of their pages. You have the option now to Approve of Reject your application.
So that was it, wasn't it? Well, not really. I now had the ability to access the app hub and even though I was not ready I could submit an application etc though I was constantly being told that I was not verified yet.
It is not explained very clearly what the stages of verification are and I found out more by trawling the forums
and seeing that a number of people were as confused as me about the verification procedure. From what I can see you need to submit something before the next stage of verification occurs, even if you aren't ready to submit your app yet submit something partially and delete it later was the advice.
I tried that and waited for a while for someone to contact me about verification until I got bored (a couple of days) and I went onto the GeoTrust site and used their online support chat to talk to one of them who forwarded me an e-mail containing the next stage.
I had to send back a scan of a form which contained some government issued photo ID, passport or driving licence. Shortly after sending them the e-mail I was then verified and felt a lot calmer about things.
I tried registering one of my bank accounts but unless I had a specific tax number the form would not submit. I believe that as a UK citizen I should to go to the US Embassy in London to deal with the IRS office there in order to get the forms appropriately filled in and sent off to the IRS to gain my ITIN (if you go remember to ensure that you take as much documentation as you can as they are probably going to want to verify identity etc).
Microsoft provide a letter that must be attached to the application and there are some UK residents who are saying that the IRS people at the embassy dislike the phrasing of that letter basically saying that you "maybe
receiving a payment" in the next financial year, which is true since if no one buys your app then you don't get paid. However, I think that Microsoft will have discussed this letter with the IRS and therefore the local embassy staff should let this through.
Having said all of this I have not yet done this, my app is still a few weeks away from being live on the market place and even then I am not guaranteed to get any returns on that app. If it looks like I am going to earn a significant enough amount then I will go to the trouble of getting a ITIN.
The XBox Live Gotcha
At one point the APP HUB dashboard stopped working, every link would re-direct me back to the main page. I was getting highly frustrated and so were other people on the forum but then the answer came
I didn't have an XBox Live account before I got my phone, as strange as that may sound, but I got one when I got the phone. Shortly after that the terms and conditions on XBox Live changed but I had never been to that site so I had not accepted them. This was what was causing the dashboard to fail, I went to the XBox Live site and accepted the terms and conditions then shortly after the APP HUB dashboard started working again.
I don't think that this process has been that hard so far and I can understand all of the requirements and all of the steps that I have had to go through but I found the process fairly frustrating due to the lack of documentation that surrounds the process. I know that I am an impatient person at times and therefore maybe someone more patient would have fewer frustrations as things would naturally happen.
Still, can't wait to get my app on the market place! I'll blog about that soon.