Microsoft revealed some additional details about its Windows Store certification process this week. The biggest change is that developers will have to pick a unique name for Windows 8 apps, preventing others from using an identical name to create a fake application, as we have witnessed on the Windows Phone marketplace — we counted over 70 apps using the CNN name and logo recently. The company's Windows Store will debut later this month alongside a Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and developers can opt to reserve a name for their application prior to its completion, ensuring it remains unique for its entire life in the Windows Store.
Developers will be able to submit applications under a six step process, designed to validate and test a Windows 8 Metro style app. Pre-processing (one hour) checks the necessary developer account and paperwork, followed by a number of security tests (three hours) to protect against viruses and malware. Microsoft's third and fourth steps involve technical (six hours) and content compliance (five days) where the company checks the app adheres to content and technical policies. Following a successful test, the app will then move into a release stage before it's signed and published in the Windows Store (two hours). The entire process length will vary per app but the average certification time, based on Microsoft's example, is around six days.
Microsoft uses a similar system for Windows Phone apps, but the company does not support unique app names. Microsoft decided to change this for Windows 8 apps so that consumers can find apps reliably, admitting that the company "needed to ensure that all apps had a unique name." Details are light on the app name reservation system, but we certainly hope this won't lead to squatters holding back fellow developers.