App Sales on the Windows Platform

Something strange has been going on with my Windows Phone and App store downloads.

Windows Store App Sales

So not a very inspiring story but this graph shows sales revenue (not ad revenue) for Apps between April and June this year.  The graph shows a regular income from App sales of between £5 and £10 per day up until around 6th May when suddenly not only are there no sales but there are more refunds than is the norm.

image(Click on the graph to enlarge)

And so I put in a request to Microsoft to investigate this strange phenomena.  Some weeks passed and after a series of exchanges I got a message back saying everything is normal (!?)

Windows Phone App Sales

A similar story with my Windows Phone sales (I have an outstanding request to investigate this from that team also).


To my mind the chances of this happening through the normal course of events are so small as to be discountable?

And so the purpose of this post   (and I feel a little bad that I have had to resort to this) is to ‘shame’ Microsoft into actually giving me an explanation of what is wrong instead of a series (of which the below is the latest) of emails attempting to persuade me that everything is OK.


NB I have replied to the email above with a link to this blog post.

If anyone else has experienced similar phenomena please let me know.

How to tie a knot




There are a large variety of knots, each with properties that make it suitable for a range of tasks, ably demonstrated in this useful collection of videos.

Some knots are used to attach rope (or other knotting material) to other objects such as another rope, cleat, ring, or stake. Some knots are used to bind or constrict objects. Decorative knots usually bind to themselves to produce attractive patterns …

★★★★★ "Knot – the best App!!"

★★★★★ "Very Useful!"

★★★★★ "This App might just save your life!"

Comedy TV Gold



Some of the best clips from the cream of Comedy television in the UK!

Bloopers, Interviews and clips from:

Only Fools And Horses
The Vicar Of Dibley
Dad’s Army
Fawlty Towers
Yes Minister
Steptoe And Son
Father Ted

★★★★★ "Hilarious Videos!"
★★★★★ "LOL – I REALLY laughed out loud!"
★★★★★ "A great way to spend some time!"




Also available on Windows Phone

Windows Phone Marketplace Account Notice – IP Violation Warning


A little odd, I received the following email today but have not had any indication of which Apps might be infringing copyright.  Anyone else in the same position?

“This is to inform you that you have more than one Intellectual Property complaint against your account. If we receive one additional Intellectual Property complaint regarding your account, your account may be terminated without further warning.

Note: if your account is terminated, all your applications will be unpublished and not be available to republish.

If you have any questions about the requirements of copyright, trademark or other laws, please consult an attorney.

Windows Phone Store Team”

Is anyone from the Windows Phone team able to comment?  Surely it would be sensible to alert me of any specific complaints before sending what appears to be a generalised notification?

Dramatic increase in App downloads since the release of Windows Phone 8


At this stage downloads of my own Windows Phone Apps appear to have doubled since the release of Windows Phone 8 – with downloads continuing to increase on a daily basis.

While reading positive sales stats and figures from Microsoft and Nokia is always a good thing, having access to ‘real data’ such as this helps confirm that the positive buzz around the platform is being translated into real world results.

As a developer I am energised around the development of future Apps for Windows Phone, particularly in light of the opportunities for shared code and Apps with Windows 8.

NB In order to read the above graph in context to this post, ignore the ‘cumulative’ line and note that daily sales have risen from around 275 on 18th October to around 550 on 9th December.

Live Tile Browser – Windows 8 Certification!


Following a gruelling (OK, not really that gruelling) 2 days in the Labs at Microsoft a couple of weeks ago am happy to say that “Live Tile Browser” has received certification for submission to the Windows 8 store.  (I understand that this is one of the first, if not the very first app in the UK to do so!)

I received some great feedback as a result of my time in the labs, much of which has been put to use in developing improvements to the App itself. 

Live Tile Browser should be available with the next iteration of Windows 8 (release candidate) some time next month!

There are still a couple of surprises held back for the App’s release and a video is needed to do justice to the smooth animation but for now here are a few screenshots of the current build:







Live Tile News – Download Stats

“Live Tile News” had a very favourable review on the BBC’s technology program “Click” last week and I have had a lot of questions around the impact on downloads.

The first chart shows downloads for April – with the healthy spike being a result of the coverage received.


The second chart is specific to “Live Tile News” and shows the more dramatic spike in interest as a result of the show.


The vast majority of downloads were, as might be expected, in the UK but as this App supports US and Global news it will be interesting to monitor if there is any knock on effect in these territories going forward.


NB The review can be viewed on my earlier blog post here

Live Tile News (Ad Supported)

Live Tile News (Premium)

NB All developer proceeds from sales and advertising of this App go to charity

Live Tile Browser (Update)

I have just finished an update to the Windows Phone 7 version of LTB that picks up on some of the enhancements made for the Windows 8 metro version (see here).

The latest version, as well as including many more live tiles (on average we are seeing around 15-20 new Live Tiles a week) now includes a useful filtering utility:


As you touch one of the filters and swipe to the tile pages you only see relevant Live tiles matching your filter selection.  In addition a small filter icon appears at the bottom left of the screen to indicate that a filter is in effect (tapping this icon will also take you to the filter screen)

I’m not sure yet about the UI implementation of the filtering page and may well switch it out to utilise the Windows Phone Menu system instead – Please let me know if you have any thoughts on that.

The categories are dynamic such that as new tiles become available, relevant  filter options are picked up automagically.  As you might expects the categories are the same as those in the Windows 8 App and in the Silverlight version of the App at


Some of the latest Live Tiles


The update is currently undergoing testing and should be available through the marketplace soon.

In the meantime you can download the current (and free) version ‘Live Tile Browser’ HERE.

Windows Phone 7.11 Tango Memory Requirements

Just got this email from Microsoft, looks like I have a little work to do …

On Monday, Microsoft announced an update to Windows Phone, targeted at bringing the high-end smartphone user experience to more affordable phones in new places around the world. Windows Phone will now enable our partners to deliver low cost phones using the Qualcomm 7x27a processor and 256 MB on-board memory.
As we said when we initially announced Windows Phone, our prime directive in building this product has been the notion that the ‘end user is king.’ This ideal has guided every decision we made. When tailoring Windows Phone to run on lower cost hardware, an enormous amount of effort went into ensuring as outstanding an end user experience as possible.
We didn’t stop with first party experiences. We know that third party apps are critical to today’s smartphone users, so we focused on ensuring that most apps run well on the new hardware. To accomplish this, a lot of tweaking of the application model was necessary. We’ve implemented OS level changes that will alleviate memory pressure on applications with an automatic paging solution. We conducted a comprehensive testing and optimization effort across a broad spectrum of third party apps. By the time we approached the end of our release cycle, approximately 95% of all third party apps were running satisfactorily on 256 MB devices.
We’re contacting you because you have an app that falls into the category of the 5% of apps that do not run satisfactorily on 256 MB devices. Your app will be flagged as requiring > 256 MB, and will not be available to customers who browse to your app in the Windows Phone Marketplace from a 256 MB device.
We’d love to help rectify that situation. We expect 256 MB devices to garner a significant percentage of Windows Phone sales volume. On 2/27, we publicly released a technical preview of an update to our Windows Phone SDK that will enable you to test and optimize your apps for 256 MB devices. The final version of our update will release next month. Note that you will need to recompile with the final version before you can resubmit.

App Name(s): Aston Villa
We’ve observed via our remote instrumentation that your application tends to use more memory than we can accommodate on 256 MB devices. You should use the memory profiler in Visual Studio to track down high memory usage scenarios, and attempt to address them in your code.
App Name(s): Gadget Watch
We’ve observed via our remote instrumentation that your application tends to use more memory than we can accommodate on 256 MB devices. You should use the memory profiler in Visual Studio to track down high memory usage scenarios, and attempt to address them in your code.

If you believe strongly that your application simply cannot be tailored appropriately to run on 256 MB devices, you do have the option to ‘opt out’ of availability in the Marketplace for these devices. Once opted out, your application will be visible in Marketplace on 256 MB devices, but users will not be able to purchase/download your app; they’ll receive a message that your application requires a device with more than 256 MB of RAM. If you submit an update to your application in the future, and wish to remain ‘opted out’, you’ll need to ensure you set the appropriate manifest flag in your WMAPPMANIFEST file to indicate that your application requires greater than 256 MB of RAM.
More information will be available on February 27 at
Microsoft’s vision has always been about bringing technological innovation to widest set of people possible. We’re excited to begin this process. We hope you will join us.
Larry Lieberman
Product Manager, Windows Phone Developer Ecosystem

NB Great article on memory management from Nokia here: