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This article was published on September 24, 2013

Microsoft simplifies Windows Store age ratings for developers by moving required data from apps to the Web

Microsoft simplifies Windows Store age ratings for developers by moving required data from apps to the Web Image by: TIMOTHY A. CLARY
Emil Protalinski
Story by

Emil Protalinski

Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, incl Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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Microsoft today announced it has simplified the process for developers to supply age ratings for apps in the Windows Store, while still striking a balance between “helping ensure safe experiences for kids” and its “legal obligations to governments.” Instead of requiring app builders to include ratings data in their app’s package, Microsoft now lets them upload their GDF XML files on the Age rating and rating certificates page in the developer dashboard.

Microsoft has also carried over ratings for developers who have provided age ratings in their app packages, but this was a one-time deal. The Windows Store won’t read any new GDF data out of packages and future rating changes must be handled directly in the dashboard, where they look like this:

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Microsoft says the new process “dramatically reduces the number of steps required to add third-party age ratings” to apps, and also means it is easier to address errors (no need to repackage apps). Since third-party age ratings are provided by rating boards, the company has also noted some rating board changes from countries like Russia, Brazil, and Taiwan – if you’re a developer you’ll want to check them out here.

See also – Microsoft fails to screen over 100 fake Windows Store submissions under the guise of popular apps and games and Microsoft launches Windows Store Partner Directory, a listing of first and third party services for app developers

Top Image Credit: Timothy A. Clary / Getty Images

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