Windows 8 is coming, and it's going to bring more than just a new operating system to users. Perhaps inspired by Apple, Microsoft will be delivering an app store dubbed the Windows Store with the newest version of its OS.
The Windows Store, which Microsoft wants to be the primary distribution hub for Metro style apps, is clearly something Microsoft has high hopes for. In fact, it's one of the reasons Microsoft is calling Windows 8 "the largest developer opportunity, ever."
Of course, Microsoft has plenty of competition. The install base of Windows 8 will certainly be impressive, even if the OS proves to be less of a hit on the desktop than expected. But that doesn't mean that developers will be abandoning their iOS and Android development to pursue Windows 8.
Microsoft yesterday revealed some of the things it will be offering developers to sweeten the deal. These include:
- An 80/20 revenue split in favour of the developer once an app hits $25,000 in revenue. For the most successful of app developers, the difference between netting 70% of an app's revenue and 80% of an app's revenue could be significant.
- For developers using ads to monetise their apps, the freedom to use the ad networks of their choice.
- The ability to implement various kinds of financial transactions using their own tools and technologies. Apple, of course, tightly controls how people pay for content in-app, but Microsoft says it's committed to allowing app developers to implement their apps in such a way that "familiar, trusted transaction experience[s]" are maintained. So, for instance, The Financial Times, which is avoiding Apple's tax, could build a Windows 8 Metro-style app and implement subscription functionality as it sees fit.
- Support for trials and in-app purchases. Trials can be limited in duration and by feature availability, enabling developers to experiment and determine which trial experience delivers optimal conversions.
The big question, of course, is whether all this will pay off.
If, on top of these things, Microsoft can learn from the mistakes that have been made by Apple and Google with their app stores and offer developers a more attractive environment in which to develop and monetise their apps, it could prove in the process that you can teach a dog new tricks.