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Applications for Windows Phone 7 won't contain porn or decapitation - but while the rules may be limiting they are public, unlike Apple's.

Microsoft has published complete details of the application submission process for apps developed for Windows Mobile 7 (pdf), and porn is definitely out along with big nasty violence. But what's lacking is the Apple clause that lets companies change the rules on a whim which has rankled with so many, including these protesters who took their demand for iPad porn to the streets:

Freedom From Porn on Vimeo.

Microsoft is being pretty explicit about what it will allow in applications, and won't be having any "Images that are sexually suggestive or provocative... provocative images that reveal nipples, genitals, buttocks, or pubic hair". Also banned are depictions of "Decapitation, impaling, blood splatter/blood spurting/blood pooling... Exploding body parts... Guns/weapons pointed toward user/audience." Killjoys.

Games will have to get a recognised rating, from the ESRG, PEGI or USK. Applications that rate below a 12 will be permitted without additional scrutiny.

Links to other application stores are verboten, but alternative music download sites are allowed as long as Windows Phone Music Marketplace is included as an option.

In-application advertising is, unsurprisingly, permitted as long as it conforms to Microsoft's existing guidelines.

There are lots of clauses about defamatory and copyrighted content, as one would expect, but what's missing is Apple's catch-all clause which says Cupertino can reject any application without explanation, which should give developers some confidence.

That's assuming there are any developers; there still aren't any Windows Phone 7 handsets to play with, and the demonstrated feature set is unimpressive compared to Apple's iPhone 4 and even what Android is offering these days. Having proper submission rules is a good thing, but it's going to take a lot more than banning porn to get developers excited about creating applications for Windows Phone 7. ®

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