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Windows Phone developers to get paid a bit sooner

Windows Phone 7 developers still haven't gotten paid for their app sales, but that's going to change next month, which is earlier than the company originally estimated.

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There's some good news for developers who have not yet gotten paid for their app sales as part of the new Windows Phone Marketplace: payday is coming a little sooner than the company had first announced.

Instead of getting that money sometime in February, Microsoft has moved up its first round of developer payouts to the fourth week of January. Thus far, developers have been unable to cash in on software that has been on sale since late October, while Microsoft has worked to get its payment system up and running.

After this first round of payments is out, Microsoft says it will be sending them every month. Payouts will also include sales of apps and games from both its Windows Mobile 6.X and Windows Phone 7 marketplaces.

This morning Microsoft also rolled out a counterpart to the sales process in the form of a reporting tool that gives developers a detailed view of how their applications are performing on the marketplace. This breaks down how many downloads their apps have received, and whether those were paid or unpaid, as well as what country the buyer was from. No word yet on whether these will be updated more than once a day.

In a blog post announcing some of the additions, Todd Brix--who is Microsoft's senior director of mobile, said the company has also been listening to criticisms over its App Hub registration process, which is how developers sign up to publish applications to Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace.

"We've heard you loud and clear that the registration and submission process hasn't been ideal and has been frustrating to too many developers," Brix said. "In response, we've made a number of fixes and enhancements throughout the process over the last 2 months, including a number of new improvements available today."

Brix also said that 91 percent of applications that get submitted to Microsoft are certified and published within two days, and that 86 percent of the 1,000 or so developers who join the program have an account ready to use in 10 days. So far that's tallied up to 18,000 registered developers.

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 marketplace now has close to 4,000 applications, up from a little more than 1,000 at the platform's launch in late October.