How to get a registration code for the Windows Store

Update: there are no longer registration codes available for the Windows is now open to the public for anyone to submit apps at  

Who’s got a registration code for early access to the Windows Store?  This girl! 

Who, me? I am so surprised and happy! (Found this picture randomly but it seems to work.)

Last week, I participated in an App Excellence Lab.  This means that I met for several hours with a trained Microsoft Services Engineer, who reviewed one of the Windows 8 Metro apps that I’ve written.  During the session, we tested my app and ran through a checklist to ensure that my application will be of high quality.  The engineer and I chatted about ways to make my app even better, and I could ask questions if I wanted.  It is really awesome that the Windows team made this investment in me as a developer!  My application passed the review, and I was given a registration code for early access to the Windows Store. 

Now, you may have wandered over to the Windows Store developer portal, and seen that at the current time, application submissions are not open to the public for all developers to submit yet.  But, like me, you can also have the opportunity to meet with an engineer who will review your Metro app and possibly grant you a registration code (we are also calling them “tokens”) for early access to the Windows Store. 

Why might you want a registration code?

  1. Be one of the first in the Windows Store.   The new Windows Store is the primary place for consumers to find and acquire Metro-style apps in Windows 8.  If your app isn't there, users won't be able to find and install it, simple as that.  You could have one of the first applications in the Windows Store, who will have enormous global reach.  Windows is available in over 100 languages in over 200 markets.  Did you know that if you add up all of the Android devices, all of the iPhones, all of the iPads, and all of the Macs out there, that number is still far less than just the number of machines running Windows 7? (…and this only counts the Windows 7 licenses that we’ve actually sold)  :)  You could make some crazy money selling your application in the Windows Store, with this kind of reach. 
  2. Reserve your app name.   Once you have a registration code, you can reserve your app name in the Windows Store.  How would you like to be the person who reserves “Craps” and gets to be THE Craps game for Windows 8? 
  3. Developer costs paid for 2 years.   Like other app stores, there is an annual developer registration cost of $49 for individuals and $99 for companies.  If you receive a token, your developer registration is paid for 2 years! 

So how do you get a registration code? Jaime Rodriguez explains the process in a blog post.  The highlights are:

  1. Create a really great Windows 8 Metro style app (or game) immediately.  Get it as ready as if you were submitting to the store.  (Hint: check out the UX guidelines, the performance best practices, and the store certification requirements to make your app amazing.)
  2. If you know your local DPE evangelists (maybe because you attended a Windows Camp training), get in touch with them and ask them to nominate your app for a lab.  (If you live in the middle third of the United States, contact me !)   If you don’t know your local evangelist, then email the following information to
    • Your name
    • City & country where you are located
    • Brief description for your app (no binary, screenshot is optional, but only send if the screenshot is public, non-confidential stuff)
    • Your pledge that you’ve spent at least 8 hours devouring all the great UX guidelines we have at the design section in the Windows Dev Center
    • Wait for our response letting you know where the closest app excellence lab will be and how to get in touch with the right evangelist to nominate you.

If you live in the middle third of the United States, contact me and I will send you an email explaining the whole process of getting a registration code for the Windows Store.  If you don’t live in the middle third of the US, email as explained above. 

This is a very exciting opportunity!!!  I’ve already seen some pretty cool Metro apps from developers who have attended some of my training events…keep them coming!