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Microsoft Suspends Publishing New Apps On Windows Phone Marketplace

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Microsoft rushes to fix an issue with digital certificates used to sign apps

Microsoft has been forced to temporarily stop developers publishing new apps in Windows Phone Marketplace, after the firm discovered issues with digital certificates used to sign apps.

Certain users who upgraded to Windows Phone 7.5 from an earlier version of the Microsoft OS were unable to install certain applications published, or updated, over the past week. Despite security worries early in its career, Windows Phone Marketplace has been growing steadily, and contained more than 100,000 apps in June, to set against the millions in Apple’s App Store.

“We know what’s causing the issue and are already planning to roll out a fix. Until that’s finished, we’re going to temporarily stop publishing new apps in Marketplace,” said Microsoft’s Mazhar Mohammed, in a blog post.

“We estimate the issue also affects only a small percentage of the 100,000-plus apps in Marketplace. Among the more popular ones affected are the New York Times, WhatsApp, and Translator from Bing—all of which recently issued new updates.”

Don’t uninstall

Mohammed said he would not recommend users uninstall any apps as it is unlikely they would be able to download them again until Microsoft had fixed the issue.

“Also, you’d lose any saved data for that app. Again, the vast majority of apps and games in Marketplace should install without trouble,” he added.

When it comes to Windows Phone, Microsoft could do without any hiccups. Data from IDC released earlier this month showed the OS was still behind BlackBerry and Symbian in terms of shipments. Windows-based phones accounted for just 3.5 percent of all mobile shipments in the second quarter of 2012.

The Redmond giant has been trying to titillate the taste buds of developers lately. In preparation for the imminent Windows Phone 8 release, expected in October, Microsoft launched the Windows Phone Dev Center earlier this month.

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