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Windows App Certification Kit


Clients - Windows 7 | Windows 8


The Windows App Certification Kit (ACK) is used to validate compliance with certification requirements, and replaces the Windows Software Logo Kit (WSLK) used for validation in the Windows 7 Software Logo program. Desktop, desktop device, and Windows Store apps can be certified; however, plug-in, ActiveX, and other web apps cannot be certified. The Windows ACK is included in the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) and the Windows 8 SDK for Windows Store apps.

Certification, while highly recommended, is not a requirement for running a desktop app under Windows 8, but it is required in order to list a desktop app in the Windows Store. Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 apps must use the new Windows App Certification Kit to become certified and eligible for sale in the Windows Store. Certification is embedded in the Windows Store onboarding process.


There are 12 requirements for desktop certification and 9 requirements for Windows Store app certification. The online self-test and submission of results for desktop apps takes less than 45 minutes, and for Windows Store apps takes less than 20 minutes.

Desktop apps

Legend: I = included; E = enhanced; S = skipped if not applicable

Requirement Win7 Win8 app Device app Highlights
Clean, reversible installation I E E Must include Version & Publisher in ARP No leftovers on uninstall
Install to correct location I I I
Digitally sign files & drivers I E I Must sign main MSI and main EXEs drivers must have HW Certification except for Device Apps (timing)
x64 support I I I
OS version check I I I
UAC Compliance I E S Main EXEs must be marked asInvoker Those manifested to requireAdministrator must be Authenticode signed
Restart manager I I S
Loading in safe mode I I S
Multiuser support I I S Simplified Kit User Experience
App Reliability I I No crashes or hangs during test No App Compatibility Modes Avoid loading arbitrary binaries using AppInit_DLLs
Support Windows Security features I I BinScope Binary Analyzer Test
Do not disable Windows Security features I I Attack Surface Analyzer Test


Windows Store apps

Requirement Windows Store app Highlights
Windows Store app test I

Number of tiles

Number of apps per package

App type

ResourceID not listed


Use of supported APIs only I Tests whether the app uses only the allowed APIs
Performance I Tests how quickly your app launches and suspends
Package resource I Checks the languages declared in the manifest to make sure the app has resources for those languages
Security I Tests for security vulnerabilities
Crashes and hangs I Monitors the app throughout the test run to detect if the app crashes or hangs



To certify your apps:

  1. Install the latest Windows 8 build.
  2. Review the certification requirements.
  3. On a clean system, run the Windows App Certification Kit that is included in the Windows SDK and follow the instructions on the screen.
  4. Review certification report and fix issues.
  5. Complete the process:
    1. If this is a desktop app, submit the report at the Partner Portal.
    2. If this is a Windows Store app, start the Windows Store onboarding process.

Report any bugs you discover in the Windows App Certification Kit via the Partner Feedback tool at (replaces WinQual).




Build date: 6/28/2013