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“Alternate web browsers are openly encouraged in the Windows Phone Marketplace”

It’s time to bring some closure to the Surfy story from today. Brandon Watson of Microsoft has been nice enough to leave a comment on our earlier post as follows:

I wanted to add something here, as I run the developer platform team for Windows Phone. There was a tester error while reviewing “Surfy” where the app’s functionality was misinterpreted as a different test case. As a result, the app was incorrectly failed. To be clear, alternate web browsers are openly encouraged in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Mistakes happen from time to time, and we have already followed up with the developer to correct this. Surf Cube and Metro Browser are just 2 browsers already on the platform.

As a matter of course, however, we would like to point out that test case 2.1 doesn’t refer to disallowing alternative browsers or rejection due to app primary functionality being a browser experience.

2.1 Your application must be fully functional when acquired from the Windows Phone Marketplace (except for additional data as permitted below), and may not require the user to pay, within the application experience and outside of Windows Phone Marketplace, to activate, unlock, or extend usage of the application. However, applications that do not appear in the Games Hub or are not commonly or elsewhere classified as a game may enable access to additional content for which payment is made outside of Windows Phone Marketplace if you have a pre-existing billing relationship with the user or you require the user to establish a new billing relationship via a web browser.

Of course, I want to thank Brandon for taking the time to clarify all of this. I also want to note that Surfy is in fact IE based, so it’s IE within a frame. I’m still curious to see if anyone brings a browser with a different engine at its core. Anyway, for now I’m glad to see that this is all a misunderstanding and this was not an attempt to keep a browser out of the Marketplace.