Working with OEMs
If you’re a developer working with an OEM to preinstall your app, you must follow specific steps to list your app in the Windows Store or make it available for imaging on OEM PCs.
Submitting and listing the app in the Windows Store is a little different for developers who work with OEMs. Here are the steps to follow as a developer to write apps for OEM preinstallation.
Before you get started, work with the OEM to identify any necessary preinstallation terms. These terms usually cover things like:
- Whether the app is exclusive to the OEM or can be downloaded by anyone from the Store
- Whether the app must be preinstalled on the PC
- Financial terms
Work with the OEM and ensure that everyone agrees to these terms before moving on to the next step.
With your agreements in place with the OEM, you’re ready to open a Windows Store developer account. The Windows Store supports two types of accounts: individual accounts and company accounts. Most developers working with OEMs will be creating a company account. Make sure you understand the tools we have in place to help keep your account secure.
Some developers previously set up separate accounts for each OEM to help maintain exclusivity arrangements. However, you can also manage app exclusivity directly in your Windows Store Dashboard to make specific apps exclusive to specific OEMs even if they are all published using the same account.
After you’ve created your developer account, your OEM partner should go ahead and download the Store enrollment forms. (The OEM should know where to get these forms.) This form allows the OEM to access the certified apps that you created for it through its Partner Dashboard.
The OEM will need this info from you:
- Developer account—the email address of the Microsoft account associated with your developer account.
- Developer company name—the name of your company.
- Contact name of the developer account—a person who can be contacted if there are questions about the account.
- Phone number of the developer account contact person
- Email address of the developer account contact person
OEMs can preinstall custom data files with your app. A custom data file can be used to identify who preinstalled an app and the machine type on which the app is installed. This information can then be sent back to you as the developer. Use of a custom data file allows you to design your contracts with OEMs not only to cover preinstallation of apps, but also for sign-ups generated by preinstalled apps. It also allows you to create a single app for all of your partners to preinstall while still differentiating between referrals from each one.
As the name implies, a custom data file can be in any format. If you think a custom format is required, work with your OEM to determine what format to use and what data the file should contain.
Using the developer account you created earlier, submit your app to the Windows Store.
On the Selling details page, you can manage your OEM relationships to indicate whether the app should be exclusive to one or more OEMs, and whether the OEMs can preinstall the app. You’ll see a row for each OEM relationship. Your app can be exclusive to any number of channels.
Apps that are exclusive to one or more channels will not be generally available in the Store. These apps will be free to users when they are preinstalled by the OEM.
Note Previously, exclusivity relationships could be indicated by modifying the Store Manifest file. Exclusivity information provided in this file is no longer read by the Windows Store. Even if you have an existing app in the Store where you’ve used the Store Manifest to indicate exclusivity, you’ll have to use these checkboxes to manage channel relationships the next time you submit an update to that app. The Store Manifest file will be ignored with new app submissions or updates to existing apps.
If your app has already been certified and submitted to the Store, and you just want to change the exclusive mapping with your OEMs, you'll need to resubmit the app, even if your packages have not been updated. When you submit, you’ll need to modify your channel relationship options on the Selling details page.
Note During the submission process, you have the option of either publishing your app as soon as possible or delaying publication until after a specific publishing date. When working with OEMs, it's usually best to choose to publish your app as soon as possible, since the OEM will not be able to download your app for preinstall until the app is published to the Windows Store.
After your app passes certification, we'll let you know you as soon it's been published. Once that happens, notify the OEM you're working with. The OEM can then download your app, set the app's position on the Start screen, and image the OEM's PCs.
Note When viewing your app's download metrics, you can apply filters to get download numbers per OEM channel.