New Windows Phone apps go dark, Microsoft scrambles

Microsoft has stopped publishing new apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace due to crippling issues with the platform’s digital certificate system.

Anyone who has a Windows Phone 7.5 (“Mango”) device and tried to download a new app recently may have noticed that it won’t run. Microsoft is now scrambling to fix the issue.

“Some customers who try to download a new app may see an error message. If they’re attempting to update an existing app, they might repeatedly be prompted to retry the update. We don’t recommend that people uninstall these apps because they might not be able to download and use them again until we deploy our fix,” Windows Marketplace senior director Todd Brix said in a statement.

This is obviously a huge setback for Microsoft, which has already been battling complaints about its poor selection of mobile apps and questions about whether or not it could truly compete with the likes of Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

Though not confirmed by Microsoft, it’s assumed these errors are caused by the newly rolled out Windows Phone Dev Center, an enhanced portal for developers to take advantage of all the new tools and features that Windows Phone 7.5 offers.

Brix said his team is working to solve the problem “as quickly as possible” but did not provide a timeline as to when users can expect a solution.