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New app publishing suspended on Windows Phone Marketplace

An issue with apps' digital certificates is preventing some phones from installing some apps for the past several days.

Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Microsoft has temporarily ceased publishing of new apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace while it grapples with a bug that is preventing some users from downloading or updating apps.

An issue with the digital certificates used to sign apps has prevented some phones from installing some apps for the past several days, the company said today.

A Microsoft investigation revealed that the issue affects only phones that were upgraded to Windows Phone 7.5 from an earlier version of the operating system, Mazhar Mohammed, Microsoft's director of program management, said in a Windows Phone blog post. Phones purchased with Windows Phone 7.5 preinstalled don't appear to be affected, he said.

Mohammed said the company is already planning to roll out a fix, but in the meantime, the marketplace has paused publishing of new apps.

Only a small percentage of the more than 100,000 apps in the marketplace are affected, he said.

"Among the more popular ones affected are The New York Times, WhatsApp, and Translator from Bing -- all of which recently issued new updates," he said.

Mohammed cautions against uninstalling apps because the app will likely only have to be downloaded again later and because the uninstall process may lead to a loss of data saved for the app.

Microsoft has created an Answers forum to address users' questions, as well as publishing a blog post to brief developers on the company's short-term app publishing and certification plans.