Due for beta release in early 2012, Windows 8's "Windows Store" will aim to offer devs more profit, more transparency, and more freedom than its main rivals.
Having already announced the various developer-centric niceties attached to the upcoming Kinect for Windows package, Microsoft has now released several dev-happy details regarding the Windows Store for Windows 8, which is due for beta release in February 2012. According to Microsoft representatives speaking in San Francisco earlier this week, the Store will offer a more transparent and streamlined release structure and also allow developers to keep up to 80% of their profit.
Microsoft has been keen to highlight the differences between its Windows Store and Apple's well-established App Store. One of the most obvious differences is how much profit developers are allowed to keep. When the App Store opened in 2008, it more or less set the industry standard profit split for these apps at 70% to developer, 30% to host. In an attempt to make its store seem the more lucrative option for devs, the Windows Store will only use the 70/30 split up to the point where an app breaks $25,000 profit. After the app reaches this point, the developer's profit share will increase to 80% and remain there until the end of time (or, well, until either the Store or the app disappear or are removed. Whichever comes first).
As far as making that money goes, devs are free to choose where it comes from. While apps will be offered use of Microsoft's ad system, the company says that developers are welcome to choose a different ad system should they so wish. If they do wind up going for another, non-Microsoft ad system, Microsoft won't take a cut of the ad revenue (the other ad provider, one would suppose, will).
Companies will be able to register to use the Store for $99, while individuals will be asked for $49. The company will also offer developers an online tracking system for the application process and provide estimates regarding how long they expect the process to take.
Add these tidbits to Microsoft's massive install base, Kinect for Windows dev-friendliness, its experience with both console and PC games and its connectivity across PCs, tablets and smartphones and what emerges is a deal that seems to serve developers in good stead. Given how established its rival app stores are, however, doing anything else would've risked leaving developers with few reasons to move on over and familiarize themselves with a new marketplace. As it stands, Microsoft has chosen to try and welcome them with wide, open arms, a slightly friendlier approach to profit, and a Kinect which can see you from 20 inches away. Way to go, market competition!
Sources: Ars Technica