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Windows Phone app downloads working again, says Microsoft

Microsoft has squished a bug that was stopping app downloads and updates from working.

Windows Phone customers eager to update or download apps can breathe a great big sigh of relief -- Microsoft has fixed an issue that saw its apps borked for several days.

The problem, Microsoft said, was down to a glitch with the digital certificates used to 'sign' apps. While the bug only affected apps that had been recently added to the Marketplace or had recently issued new updates, Microsoft stopped publishing new apps entirely, as it toiled on a fix for the problem.

That fix has now been administered, smoothed onto the wounded app shop like a forest witch's healing poultice.

On its official blog Microsoft says, "It will take a day or two for the repair to fully deploy and newly-published apps to begin appearing in Marketplace again," with Ballmer and buddies going on to caution that once the fix has finished rolling out, Windows Phone customers don't need to do anything to start downloading new apps or updates again.

Oddly, the glitch only affected phones that had updated to Windows Phone 7.5, leaving more recent mobiles that came with version 7.5 already installed untouched by the bug.

Windows Phone was criticised when it launched for not having enough apps -- an understandable criticism when rival platforms Android and iOS were positively rolling in downloadable goodies. Writing on Microsoft's blog Mazhar Mohammed pegs the operating system as now playing host to over 100,000 apps.

I think it's still fair to say that Apple and Google's virtual shops boast a better app selection, but with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 looming large, Microsoft's Marketplace may enjoy an influx of new software bits and bobs.

Are you happy with the apps on Windows Phone? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.