Windows Phone 7's Pubic Hair And iPhone Ban

What's not allowed in a Microsoft-approved Windows Phone 7 app? Pubic hair, masturbation or sexual fetishes. Oh, and anything that looks like an iPhone.

Microsoft has released the official certification guidelines for Windows Phone 7 apps, which non-horny developers can submit to the official certification process as of September 17. Some of the content which is banned will look pretty familiar to anyone who has ever tried to develop an iPhone app:

Content not allowed: * Sex / Nudity - Images that are sexually suggestive or provocative (e.g. sexually provocative touching, bondage, masturbation); provocative images that reveal nipples, genitals, buttocks, or pubic hair. * Content that a reasonable person would consider to be adult or borderline adult content (images, text, or audio). * Content that generally falls under the category of pornography. * Content that depicts or suggests prostitution. * Content depicting sexual fetishes. * Content of a sexual nature depicting children or animals.

Based on this list, we should be grateful that Tony Abbott is not judging what's approved. And based on this list, I will never be ejaculating over a Windows 7 Phone (because of points 1-3, I hasten to add, with a side nod to 5).

But even that's not the weirdest restriction on Windows 7 Phone apps. This is also in the developer guidelines:

If the application depicts any mobile or wired telephone, handheld PDA, or any other data or voice communicator, it must be either generic or a Windows Phone device.

In other words: include a single image of an iPhone or an Android device and you can go and get stuffed (and not in a good way). Yeah, that will help market share.

I asked Microsoft Australia's Dave Glover about this restriction, and this was his response:

Then again, I read this and thought about what we're doing with music. If you offer Zune Music in your marketplace, you need to have it as an option but there's nothing to stop you have other music as well, which I thought was a great message out to other marketplaces. I'm trying to counterbalance that with the fact we're doing a lot of stuff with good open messages as well, and we're not trying to lock you in end to end.

Oh-kay. But simultaneously: not remotely the same thing.

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