Microsoft this week updated the Windows Store with onboarding and publishing improvements for app developers. Among the improvements is a new option to set app’s release time, app availability management, and simplified certification requirements.

Previously, when developers submitted an app, it went live in the Store as soon as certification and the process of publishing the app was completed. In other words, it wasn’t possible to select a future date to publish.

blog releasedate 0A3C5DE4 Windows Store gets option to set apps release time, availability management, and simplified requirements

Now, developers can choose the date, the hour, and the time zone. Furthermore, they can change the release date while their app is in certification (as long as the app hasn’t yet entered the Signing and Publishing phase), rather than sending it through the certification process again.

Next up, developers can now remove their app from the Windows Store for a period of time, such as when fixing a bug or addressing a concern. All they have to do is click “Remove this app’s listing” in the Manage availability section of the App details page in the Dashboard.

Once removed, the app can be brought back clicking “Restore this app’s listing.” Removing an app’s listing means that your app is no longer available for new customers to download, but existing customers can continue to use it, although they’ll no longer be able to make any in-app purchases.

blog availability 64D26A75 Windows Store gets option to set apps release time, availability management, and simplified requirements

As you can see above, there is now an option to remove the Windows 8 listing only, allowing developers who have added Windows 8.1 packages to stop supporting the older Windows 8 version. The same rules apply: new customers can only download the app if they’re running Windows 8.1, Windows 8 customers who already the app can continue to use it but can’t make in-app purchases, and the listing can be restored at any time.

Last but certainly not least, Microsoft has simplified the app certification requirements for the Windows Store, which it says was done “as a direct result of” feedback from developers. Version 5.0 removes requirements in areas better handled as best practices than strict requirements. You can check out the full list of changes in the Revision History.

See also – Microsoft taps Unity, Marmalade, and Havok to help developers port Android and iOS games to Windows Phone and Microsoft merges Windows Store and Windows Phone developer accounts, offers one lower annual price of $19

Top Image Credit: Peteri/Shutterstock