Microsoft patching bug which broke Windows Phone in-app purchases for some customers

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Microsoft is currently patching a fix for in-app purchases bug in the Windows Phone store. This bug had caused some customers to never experience the features they paid for, for example paying for ads to be removed only to have them come back.

This is not the first time it has happened, and developers know this as an ‘ANID2’ problem. The issue is that there is a list installed on your phone that some devices cannot either fetch, or are getting incorrect values from. This list contains all the in-app purchases you have bought and have access to. So, if there is something you paid for that you cannot access, it is because your phone does not realize you are entitled to it.

Clearly, this is not a problem with the apps, it is a Microsoft problem. However, most consumers do not realize this. They simply blame the developers and leave bad reviews. Several developers have reportedly gotten a significant amount of angry responses.

The app store is something that everyone expects to work flawlessly. So while this may stem from a very complex issue, Microsoft simply has to be perfect here. I recently did an editorial talking about the puzzling low scores that apps have on the Windows Store, and stuff like this contributes to long term problems. Apps with less reviews could see a significant decrease in ratings if a few people pay to remove ads only to find the ads coming back. And for an ecosystem that needs to go above and beyond the competition to embrace developers, bugs like this will make those same developers angry.

Note: this problem is only affecting purchases prior to September 21, so don’t be afraid to pay for in-app purchases right now.

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