Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Microsoft Programming Windows

Microsoft Lays Out Money-Making Options For Windows Store Developers 85

tsamsoniw writes "With the release of Windows 8 just around the corner, Microsoft is eager to see its Windows Store well stocked with third-party, Metro-friendly apps. Hoping to get developers on board, the company has announced pricing structure, along with guidance and tools to help developers create trial versions of apps and set up lucrative in-app purchases."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Lays Out Money-Making Options For Windows Store Developers

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:59PM (#40740857)

    Aspiring developers could hope to get the total sales from both potential metro users.

    • I think Ballmer and his wife could get them free if they wanted though.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        When I imagine Steve Ballmer wife, I imagine him with a blond wig and some ugly makeup.. scary thoughts...
        • When I imagine Steve Ballmer wife, I imagine him with a blond wig and some ugly makeup.. scary thoughts...

          Actually, they make a very [] nice [] couple.

      • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

        The lucrative in-app purchases in my metro app will involve throwing chairs.

        • by Dewin ( 989206 )

          The lucrative in-app purchases in my metro app will involve throwing chairs.

          It could be a parody of angry birds, where you throw chairs at Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and others.

          The first expansion pack would be "Angry Ballmer: Developers Developers Developers".

        • by gmuslera ( 3436 )
          Somewhat i doubt that the game "Angry Ballmers" get approved.
          • Somewhat i doubt that the game "Angry Ballmers" get approved.

            Ahem, I believe that would be "Angry Chairs".

    • I fired up windows 8 preview to try to install the office 2013 preview and it is just as terrible as I remember as far as trying to navigate with a mouse. I have yet to try it with a touch screen, i'd be curious to know if the experience is any better, but I usually end up searching by text for what i'm looking for on the metro screen or brining up the run command with the winkey+r and running commands I can remember which not conducive of a new GUI. Also, office 2013 preview can not be installed on windo
      • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @12:07AM (#40745353) Journal

        But the elephant in the room that nobody seems to be willing to accept is many PCs do you honestly believe are gonna be sold with touchscreens?

        As we saw recently both AMD and Intel are reporting worse projections for sales this year and yet we are supposed to believe that the answer is RAISING prices, in a dead economy, to throw on touchscreens? Really? Look at the prices for touchscreens folks they ain't cheap. Sure you can get a buggy PITA resistive but its still gonna cost a good $75-$100 more than the same screen without and as we all know resistive sucks ass. Even with economies of scale and the OEMs shaving to the bone for decent capacitive touchscreens in laptops and desktops you are talking a good $150+ more than current units cost.

        Let me tell ya that as a PC retailer in the trenches, and talking to other retailers that frankly the "sweet spot" for a good 75%+ of your PC sales out there are between $350-$500, with the biggest sellers being the $400-$450 laptops. Go into any B&M that sells PCs and count how many AMD laptops you see, the stores will be full of them because that's the only way to hit the crucial price point with Intel pushing chips that are frankly too expensive as it is.

        Mark my 8? The new MS Bob. The market simply won't support the price point required to move to touchscreens, not when so many are already afraid and living check to check. The OEMs certainly aren't gonna close their doors just because MSFT wants to be Apple, so they will either tell MSFT to do the same move they did when Vista flopped, that is to allow them to just keep selling Win 7 with a Win 8 DVD dropped in the box, or frankly they'll start talking to Google and Canonical. I have to wonder if it was a coincidence that Dell suddenly started talking Ubuntu again as it gives them leverage.

        Its just not gonna work folks, windows 8 SUCKS without a touchscreen and we all know this. I wish i had bookmarked the article I saw praising win 8, it may have been WinSupersite, where they said "See how easy win 8 is? Now to show how well it runs on old hardware we'll use this touchscreen Athlon 64 laptop to run it" and I about died because that said it all right there. Without touch win 8 sucks and with a worldwide recession people simply aren't gonna shell out an extra 30%-40%+ they don't have for units with touchscreens.

        • You've got my vote, sir because you're dead on right.

    • by jhoegl ( 638955 )
      Since when did the idea of an OS change from "Directory Navigation, Launch point for applications, application install handling" to "Marketing bitch"?
  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <> on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:02PM (#40740917) Journal []

    Have fun with curated computing, developers. Work real hard and your app might be the next big hit! *snicker*

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is an article about people in Slovenia trying to publish a windows phone app from their Mac. There were apparently some technical problems. They also complained that Microsoft wouldn't put their personal finance app up for sale in Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, or the United Arab Emirates because of a joke about sex toys. Microsoft also claimed their app shared user's location data without permission, while in reality it shared user's location data without permission.

  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:07PM (#40740989)
    Remember the good old days, when shareware developers built stuff that ran natively and didn't phone home?

    When open source developers built stuff that compiled natively and couldn't phone home?

    Yeah, Pepperidge farm and I remember.

    But then came "downloaders" (Look, Adobe Acrobat XYZ is only 1MB, never you mind the 90MB the 1MB "installer" is downloading in the background.)

    And finally came "apps" and "ecosystems", a world in which instead of having a locally-hosted .src.tar.gz/installer/executable that the user can install for him or herself, it all goes away to "the cloud", because it's just a bunch of HTML5 running in a stripped-down web browser that dignifies itself by calling itself a "container".

    I'm either getting old and becoming a luddite, or this industry has really taken a turn for the worse. Probably a little of both.

    • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:34PM (#40741409) Homepage

      You and me both, kid...

      Frankly, what concerns me most about today's software ecosystem is the lack of concern for possession. Between subscription models and cloud services, paying for something gets you limited-time access in exchange for a permanent loss of money.

      Once upon a time, you could buy a program (or a license to it) and reasonably expect that the program would remain functional for the foreseeable future. Sure, it might not have the latest features or be compatible with the latest machine, but it'd work one way and stay that way. Now you've got a new interface to web apps every month, no expectation of permanence, and no recourse if your work disappears in a "service interruption".

      From an economics standpoint, I fear that this impermanence is devaluing the entire software industry. Since customers aren't getting anything permanent in exchange, they aren't as willing to pay as much (or anything) to purchase it. Since software is now expected to cost $10 or less for a mobile device, the notion that software is cheap is reinforced with every purchase made on a whim. Eventually the tragedy of the commons takes over, and the assumption is made that because the software costs so little to acquire, it also costs so little to produce. In turn, the pressure for low-profit software means there's no budget left for silly things like testing or support.

      Call me a cranky old fart if you like, but I'm starting to miss the days where software cost $10,000, but if you needed a bug fixed, you could get a technician on site to fix it in an hour. Sure it'd cost you another few hundred dollars, but it's still better than today's model where, if you're lucky, a bug that halts production might get a response after two weeks of jumping through customer service hoops in a third-world call center.

      Now get off my lawn.

      • by quetwo ( 1203948 )

        Here's the thing... people are starting to have concern about possession -- those people are just the developers, not the users. The developers are getting sick of the "users" ripping off their software, pirating it with ease, and not thinking twice about if their software is legal or not. If you have an app that depends on a service you control -- you now can control people's access to it, and they can't rip you off. Same reason why there are less and less single-player games....

        Additionally new account

        • The developers are getting sick of the "users" ripping off their software, pirating it with ease, and not thinking twice about if their software is legal or not.

          I'd like to see how popular Photoshop would be if you couldn't pirate it? Well it wouldn't...

          • I'd like to see how popular Photoshop would be if you couldn't pirate it? Well it wouldn't...

            Why not? It's only really home users that are going to pirate it (and that's only if they don't have a license from work that they can use at home []), businesses pay and students & educational institutions get dramatically discounted licenses. What would people be using instead? GIMP?

          • If that popularlity doesn't net Adobe any revenue, then the bulk of that popularity isn't doing much for Adobe. Adobe would still be making the same money. It is the freeloading copyright violators who would "suffer" by not being able to get something for nothing.

        • Additionally new accounting laws are forcing companies to realize the cost of creating the software in the past, rather than allowing them to ammoritize it for the future -- which means that new features are verboten if they simply "sell it once". If they rent it, they can realize those revenue in shorter chunks, and keep making new features without having to wait for the next big release.

          Those accounting laws only apply to Apple. Everyone else is able to include new features without any trouble with the tax-man.

      • The problem, of course, was that the moment you sold the program, it was reverse engineered back into source and pirated by a bunch of giggling teens and twenty somethings which made writing software a losing game for individuals.

        So, there's nothing wrong with a web-based subscription model, which basically stops a lot of piracy and allows you to lower the price of your software a lot, as long as you run the software from your web site and Microsoft/Apple/Android have nothing to do with it.

        I wouldn't worry

    • I see a pretty fair tradeoff in the current model.

      Most "nerds" (i.e. the majority of the /. readership) will know how to root their devices and install just about whatever they want, however they want. This is roughly the same group of people that even know what ".src.tar.gz" even means.

      For everyone else, there's the "cloud" or the ecosystems or whatever you want to call it. My grandma can install angry birds. The most tech illiterate person in the world can probably pick up an iphone, find the app store

      • The current model is not exactly uniform, either. On one extreme you have iOS, which makes rooting a really punishing process - not supported in any way, so you basically have to rely on someone else discovering exploits in the OS and patching it like that. Which also means that you're late on the update train, especially so if you're unwilling to deal with the inconvenience of tethered jailbreak. Forget about warranty, as well.

        On the other extreme you have (stock) Android, where enabling app sideloading is

    • You've forgotten that in-app purchases make lots of money, it's a "holy grail" of businesses selling software. No longer do they have to worry about piracy and those nasty crackers eating into their profits, or of having to release teaser CDs, or even of having to worry about installing licence-checking software.

      Now everything is free, except when you want to use it, and that gives them to opportunity to squeeze a lot more cash out of you than before. When a DVD was a single one-time $30 outlay, they lost m

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The good old days when most people didn't own computers and those who did were generally knowledgeable?

      Yeah, those are gone. The system has changed because you and everyone like you are nowhere near the majority of users or people buying software. The majority is a group of individuals who probably can't be trusted to get dressed properly, let alone run a computer. Once those individuals became the majority, virus, trojans, and other spyware became the norm. Because these people couldn't be bothered to educ

    • You're not a luddite friend, the entire ecosystem is being turned into a giant shit sandwich by the ever growing greed and need for control of the big three and frankly its sucks the big wet titty.

      If this is what a "post PC world" is supposed to be like, with SuperMegaCorp getting every bit of data and controlling all my devices and what i do with thanks?

      And while we are at it can we please tell the OS devs that computers aren't really big smartphones [] and can we PLEASE bitchslap anyone that

  • Create apps for the Apple and Android markets and forget the Microsoft market.

    Lets break the cycle!

    • If you care about openness, why would you create apps for Apple walled garden?

      And if you only care about earning money, you'd create app for any market that is sufficiently popular with end users; and it's too early to tell if Win8 will be it or not.

      • by oakgrove ( 845019 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:20PM (#40741215)

        If you care about openness

        It's not necessarily about "openness" for everybody. Some of us are just tired of Microsoft and want to see somebody else win for a while. Personally I fall into that camp so I'm rooting for the inevitable amalgamation of ChromeOS and Android to get some traction.

        • If you just want to see somebody else win, then it's more logical to root for Apple since they're closer to winning.

          The nice thing about openness, though, is that it does not matter who wins once it's established. Much like with browsers, open == no lock-in, letting you easily switch between platforms.

          Android is fine as it is; about the only amalgamation I can think of there is to let it show and run Chrome web apps as if they were native. Now that it has Chrome the browser ported, it's only a matter of tim

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            If you just want to see somebody else win, then it's more logical to root for Apple since they're closer to winning.

            I did root for Apple for a long time until they started acting like little bitches with the patent bullshit.

        • by trdrstv ( 986999 )

          If you care about openness

          It's not necessarily about "openness" for everybody. Some of us are just tired of Microsoft and want to see somebody else win for a while. Personally I fall into that camp so I'm rooting for the inevitable amalgamation of ChromeOS and Android to get some traction.

          I never understood the point of ChromeOS. Considering google is slapping Android on the devices that require a network connection to be useful (cell phones and TV) why bother with ChromeOS ? Get Chrome (proper) running on Android and call it a day.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:21PM (#40741225)

    Whereas you kept 100% revenues before, now you get to pay us 30% off the top AND rewrite your software, while pissing off your existing base (who still runs XP whenever they can).

    What's not to like?

    • by gmuslera ( 3436 )
      Less competition... the others won't be as crazy as you if youy port it to Metro. Also, having your app in a walled garden mean that the point zero the amount of fake apps/trojans (as opposed as that are in the web now) should be null. Of course, that probably will change with time.
    • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @05:05PM (#40741877)

      Whereas you kept 100% revenues before, now you get to pay us 30% off the top....

      You can be a very good programmer and a very bad salesman.

      To move your Windows product you had to place it where people would see it. Where it would stand out from the crowd. Places like Download,com

      You wanted entry into big box retail? Think 60 percent off the top and you'll be closer to the truth, .

    • It's a new OS, why not rewrite the software. Seriously, guys that don't think the need to advance their programming forward are why Apple has been mopping up for years. Even BEFORE iOS Macs were pulling in more cash per user for $30 PAID software.

      Where is money in XP? Really? Expecting somebody that's on an OS not sold on new PCs for 5 years to buy stuff. XP is left for Open Source and cheapskates now.

  • I never really thought of Microsoft as being 'metro'.
  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:59PM (#40741765)

    Will we still be able to get it, or should we buy our copies now?

  • They've pretty much copied the Apple's distribution method except for the minimum price: $1.49 instead of 99 cents. That's probably OK for Desktop apps, but I don't know if that will fly for touchscreen (Win RT) software; since Apple already set an expectation for such software to be priced lower.
    • I don't think it'll matter much for the users, really. It's still way down there and squarely in the impulse buy ballpark.

      What this does, however, is make profits slightly higher for developers in the "throwaway app" niche. As iOS has shown, the prices for those kinds of apps gravitate to the lowest possible price, simply because others will undercut you if you sell yours away for more, and when presented with several dozen otherwise equivalent apps, users will use the cheapest.

      Also note that this only appl

  • to allow in app purchases FTFA "Of course Microsoft wants a piece of that pie, which is why the company is spotlighting its support for in-app purchases and attempting to make it easy for developers to embrace the functionality. "

    So is that mean I can create a free app which I then redirect users to a %20 discount on my software and make 10% more than what MS would give me?

    • If by "software" you mean Metro apps (which is the only kind that runs on Win8 ARM tablets, and the kind that users will expect on all tablets), then you won't be able to do such a redirect for the simple reason that such apps can only be installed from Windows Store.

  • Software being a cheap app turns software into a fungible commodity. That is why the price, and thus margin, of software keeps going down. The problem is that most software will be cheap, throw-away products earning little for the developer. The only way to make decent money will be via lock-in, in-app purchase, or huge volume. Guess which of those options are easiest to implement.

    Software as a commodity will result in lots of low quality choices that pop into existence, live for a short while, then stagnat

  • It's all well and good Microsoft copying Apple's business model here, but until they copy Apple with regards to paying their third-party devs, iOS developers will always be happier than Windows7/mobile/WindowsStore devs.

    - Here's how it works with Apple: you get to view daily stats for your sales, and you get paid for that month's sales at the end of the month. Boom!
    - Here's how it works currently with Microsoft: you have no idea about sales until months and months have elapsed, and then they tell you you'l

    • by Frogg ( 27033 )

      What I mean is: unless app development is low investment, low risk and quick turnaround -- with the business intelligence to back that up (daily- or at least weekly- sales stats), coupled with prompt payments -- it's just a no-go for small/indy developers and/or small projects/apps. Word about the state of Microsoft re. third-party app developers is already getting around, so my guess is they'll just have to take it on the chin, as Metro/Win7phone apps will be slow coming because of this.

      But hey, what's new

<< WAIT >>