It’s sad to see a good Windows Phone app get slaughtered the way GooNews was but Shawn Wildermuth was forced to pull the plug on the app. Wait, you don’t know Shawn Wildermuth? I think it’s important for the story so it’s worth noting that he’s a Microsoft MVP (C#), author of six books about .NET, involved with Microsoft as a Silverlight Insider, speaker, etc, etc. Yeah he’s the real deal by anyone’s standards. And that’s why his Google nNws Reader GooNews was getting great reviews across the board…until it all went down hill.
As Shawn explains, he hit a few walls in developing the app and time and time again he was able to work around them. Despite having been approved multiple times, a feature within the app (that was there since the original approval) finally brought it down. It has to do with showing internet content and the controls Microsoft provides are known to hang and have flaws in them. So he ended up making the back button turn to the main page no matter what to avoid the app hanging since the MS tools do not work well enough to rely on. Well a tester at Microsoft, despite the fact that there was no negative criticism about this in any comments and despite that this had been in all previous versions, denied the application for failing to bring the reader back to the last story they were reading (instead of the list of stories). When he asked for an exception because the MS controls are too buggy he waited and waited and waited while his app got hammered because of a known flaw that he was trying to fix with the update. So now his app is getting negative reviews, people are uninstalling it and he cannot get the fix through submission. He’s had contact with MS employees but he’s now given up noting that he’s “spent way too much mental energy, time and money to worry about it now.” The app has been withdrawn from Marketplace and he’ll do what he can to return the $.99 fee that those who opted out of ads paid for the app.
Now he hasn’t given up on Windows Phone 7 development. In his words:
Am I Giving up on Windows Phone 7?
No. I own a phone and like the platform and technology. I think that once they figure out their customer service issues, it’ll be a good experience. I know a lot of developers who have had good experiences with the Marketplace. I just don’t have enough time to deal with the ineptitudes. I won’t be updating my existing applications or submitting new ones until I am satisfied that the Customer Service, Testing and Support issues are solved. Its not worth my time
Microsoft, I know you know who Shawn is and how this went down. Hope you’re listening and comprehending what all this means cause it’s not good…