As we move closer to the release date of the Windows 8 OS more information is being released on the OS. The newest update on from the aspiring mobile developers Microsoft is based in the mobile applications store and how 3rd party developers will interact with it. In addition to being able to sell their apps for free, mobile developers will be able to use a pricing tier system.
Raised Minimum Price
Microsoft has elected to avoid the standard $0.99 app price, and instead go for $1.49. The pricing tier system starts at $1.49 and works its way up to $4.99 to make up tier 1. These tiers will go all the way up to $999.99. Mobile developers can also elect to allow the Windows Store team to select a price tier for them rather than do it themselves.
Monetizing Apps in the Windows Store
Advertising is not allowed on applications Metro Tile, so mobile must either have their ads within the app or not at all. Other ways to make money with apps include In-app items and the ability to unlock content.
Outside of the actual apps, Microsoft has done something interesting. Microsoft will only be taking 30% of the commission fee for the first $25,000 made then it will drop down to 20%. This is huge compared to the competitors taking anywhere from 40-50%. Mobile developers will make more money just by having an app in the Microsoft Store.
Mobile Application Requirements
Microsoft has set a few requirements to make it into the Microsoft App Store. First off you cannot have any advertising on the Metro Tile of the application. This will keep the home screen clean. The app needs to support all of the Windows 8 platforms such as x86 and ARM, it needs to fall in line with the Windows Runtime type system, and it needs to hold up to specific privacy related standards. On top of that the app must launch in 5 seconds or less on a slow system and needs to be able to me terminated in 2 seconds or less.
Microsoft could have several reasons to make this decision. They could be trying to keep their desktop developer community attracted to the new market as well as trying to entire developers in general with the chance to make more money. Not only that, but they seem to be trying to get premium apps to come to Windows 8 and encourage users to pay a little more for an app that does more as well. There is also the possibility that they are trying to get more business oriented clients to be interested as the business oriented clients make up a large portion of their clients.
What it means
In the end most people will not care about a $0.50 increase in the app price. Most would be happy to pitch $0.50 to get a better product or even quality of developer. Of the current competitors Microsoft is the best positioned to alter the game. They have a tough competition they are entering and any amount of an edge is all for the better.
What I think
I feel that Microsoft is trying to ensure that when they make the push for Windows 8 into the mobile developer market that they want to make sure they have every advantage they can get. This is a very smart and bold move on their part. It could backfire if consumers avoid the price increase, but I don’t think that they will. Microsoft is in an interesting position at the moment and they seem to be making some bold and strait forward movements in the right direction.
With Apple and Android holding a standard $0.99 minimum for an app, Microsoft’s move seems to be a direct statement. Similar to the one Apple likes to make, they are saying our product is that much better than we can charge more and users will buy it.
As we get closer to the Windows 8 release date we will see for certain how these motions into the mobile development world will really affect them. This could be a good move or bad one, it is hard to tell. In the end Microsoft will show us what it can do and all we can do is wait.