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I am creating a pair of apps, one to run preferably on tablets, but also laptops and PCs, and the other for WP8.

These apps are complementary - having one is of no use without the other.

I know there is a Windows Store, and a Windows Phone store, so one would be released on one, and one on the other.

My question is: as these apps are useless by themselves (although in most cases it won't be the same people running both apps), will there be a problem with offering these useless-when-used-alone apps?

IOW: Person A will use the Windows 8 app to interact with some people that have the WP8 app installed; those with the WP8 app will interact with a person or people who have the Windows 8 app installed.

What I'm worried about is if these apps go through a certification process where they must be useful "standalone" - is that the case?

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There is nothing in the certification process (so far) that prevents this scenario. As long as your application will run without crashing and doesn't violate any of the technical specifications of the platform (e.g. calling unexposed APIs), you'll pass.

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I'd also advise making sure you lay out the conditions clearly and extensively in the app descriptions on both marketplaces. – Michael Itzoe Oct 16 '12 at 12:58

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