Microsoft previews the Windows app store

We’ve heard rumblings about Microsoft introducing a Windows 8 apps store since April. Redmond confirmed its new distribution platform for Metro-style apps a few months ago, and it’s now started a blog to pimp the appropriately named Windows Store to developers. At this early stage, the focus seems to be more on developers than on users. A rich selection of Metro apps will likely be key to Windows 8’s success in tablets and other non-traditional PCs.

Obviously, the sheer number of systems expected to be running Windows 8 creates a massive market for applications. Microsoft is also looking to make that market more profitable for developers by offering them up to 80% of the revenue generated by sales of their software. Developers will start with a 70% cut, just like with Apple’s App Store. However, after an app generates $25,000 in revenue, the developers will be rewarded with an 80% share of future sales.

Microsoft also seems eager to emphasize flexibility with the Win8 app store, especially when it comes to compensation. Developers will be able to offer free, trial, ad-supported, and paid apps. In-app purchases will be supported, and developers will be free to use their own transaction systems to process payments. A certification process will still be involved, of course, but Microsoft has published its requirements to give folks a sense of what to expect.

Aspiring Win8 developers won’t be able to start cashing in on the operating system until it makes its official debut next year. However, the Windows 8 beta due in February will support free apps distributed through the Windows Store.

Comments closed
    • mcnabney
    • 8 years ago

    I envision an even bigger tollbooth than Apple, with Microsoft now taking a 20-30% cut of all application sales in the non-enthusiast market.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      How can it be “bigger” when Apple doesn’t allow non-walled-garden apps and they have a higher cut than Microsoft? Microsoft also seems to be learning from Apple’s mistakes in treating developers with a tad more respect and will TELL them why apps are rejected, unlike Apple.

        • mcnabney
        • 8 years ago

        It will take time, but the Windows ecosystem could turn into a walled garden – especially if Metro gets traction.

        • End User
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]Apple doesn't allow non-walled-garden apps [/quote<] They do for OS X.

    • Geistbar
    • 8 years ago

    Before watching that video I hadn’t realized just how jarring the word “app” is. I don’t really have any issue reading it, but every time he said it, it was just so.. uncomfortable. You can tell he had to intentionally force himself to say “app” instead of “program” or “application” or something similar- it wasn’t the natural word of choice. Almost like it’s a false attempt to appear hip or modern.

    Despite how stupid it’d be, I now hope Apple does succeed at their trademark or whatever it is they were going for, of the term- just so I don’t have to deal with people saying it.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      Apple won’t succeed, there is far too much prior use of the word in generic and corporate use. Even if they do succeed people will keep using it and it’ll go into public domain.

      Like my kids and their friends orally saying “Oh-Em-Gee” as an expression of surprise, some battles we can’t win.

    • tootercomputer
    • 8 years ago

    Geez, did the spokesperson have to wear a black shirt and pace back and forth?! Sheesh.

    I would not buy a used car from that guy.

    • Vulk
    • 8 years ago

    And the shift to only supporting Metro apps instead of all .NET apps on ARM in WIn8 comes a little more into focus… Or that’s my tinfoil hat theory anyway.

    Otherwise this isn’t a surprise. They said they were going to do this. I’m not sure if I like it or not. At least they can’t stop you from ‘side loading’ ‘apps’ on anything but ARM architectures thanks to the Desktop ‘App’ on x86.

    In a lot of ways this is nice because as the Mac Store has shown it makes applications more accessible to novice users. On the downside it sucks that this will become the defacto way to to reach majority of new customers. At least MS is more flexible than Apple with trials, and the 10% reduction after 25k is niceish…

      • xeridea
      • 8 years ago

      There is no way to 100% prevent sideloading apps, there will probably be a “rooted” equivilant before release. This has always been easiest on iOS since they have hundreds of security holes in their software. At least on Android you must be connected to your computer and intentionally rooting, rather than iOS its possible for a hacker to jailbreak your phone remotely. Only time will tell how hard it is on Win8. Personally I have 0 interest in Win8 in any form, and the metro look is beyond horrid.

    • Farting Bob
    • 8 years ago

    I dislike “app” stores. I prefer the “you can get any program you want from any website or media you so wish” way of doing things, rather than trying to encourage every developer to spend an afternoon making a program, charging $2 for what has always been considered freeware then bugging you every 20 minutes to rate software.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 8 years ago

      …and to have access to all of your personal info
      …and to constantly run in the background gathering new info
      …and to tell you about their apps in every other menu

        • xeridea
        • 8 years ago

        Personal info is dependent upon permissions set (Android, not iOS). Also, going through the app store, transaction details are hidden from the developer (paid).

        Constantly run in background… this could be done easier with an app obtained elsewhere since you wouldn’t need to agree to permissions via the app store.

        Tell you about their apps in every other menu…. this isn’t the fault of the app store, just bad practice by developers trying to get the word out (free), since developers are happier if the code they spend hours writing gets used, or want your money (paid), but this is a null issue since OP is talking about freeware.

      • xeridea
      • 8 years ago

      You can still get the free apps, its just consolidated. Paid apps wouldn’t be freely available anyway, and rating software is just a side effect.

      • jstern
      • 8 years ago

      You’re so right. It’s my biggest annoyance with Android, how things that we’ve always gotten for free on the internet now are now filled with ads or you have to buy it. Hundred different versions of the same emulator ported from Windows, breaking the license that you can’t distribute it for a fee. I’m having trouble really describing what I’m trying to say, but I really, really hope this is not the future of Windows.

      My top 2 Android Apps

      RealCalc: No ads. You can donate, which I will one day because I so appreciate that it doesn’t show any ads.

      MortPlayer: Has ads, but the developer decided to give you the option of disabling them. I haven’t disabled them though, simply because of the fact its developers decided to give such an option.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        How about the fact that apps have access to data from other apps and parts of your phone that they never had access to on a computer? It is amazing to me that people allow spyware on their phones but on a computer it is a massive privacy invasion.

          • Wirko
          • 8 years ago

          Are you saying that application sandboxing is better on a PC than on an Android device?

            • indeego
            • 8 years ago

            Yes, applications CAN be sandboxed by the user in Windows and *nix, both locally and network. No mobile OS provides said guarantee and granularity without root/jailbreaking.

          • Geistbar
          • 8 years ago

          This ends up just being a case of one of the many failings of human society- we tend to accept things that already are. People tolerate phones having privacy issues because, as long as they’ve had anything beyond a basic cellphone (and in many cases, even then) they’ve always had that issue. If smartphones had started off without those issues, people would be fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way- since it already happened, it’s near impossible to get them to even care.

      • Geistbar
      • 8 years ago

      One of my issues with it isn’t even so much the charging money for what would nominally be freeware, but that they’ll have restrictions on what can be listed there. Can you imagine a program like utorrent- with many, good, legal uses getting (and staying!) approved for such a store today, if it was just launching? It’d probably get approved initially, then the moment some people started using it illicitly, it’d be ripped away and never seen again- and if they had the ability, they’d even remove it from people who had already acquired it.

      They like to hide behind the “well, we’re only really blocking pornography applications!” curtain, but besides the fact that that isn’t even a good justification, once you allow something to be blocked or removed, other groups start applying various political and monetary pressure to get you to block or remove content that they don’t like. Which I find terrifying.

    • TREE
    • 8 years ago

    I’ve always wondered, if “app” stores take off, what does it mean for specialised stores like Steam or Origin? Wouldn’t game developers just choose to go with something like the Windows App Store, due to it only taking 20% rather than 30% or more for the games stores?

    I think the digital distribution market is getting a little too crowded. None of the current stores work well together and no one wants multiple burdens to deal with in order to download/run/update an application. If I had to choose a distribution platform, I think I’d choose the one that allows for the greatest variety of product sales, i.e. films, games, general applications. This would reduce the need for multiple distribution clients.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      Steam is the only useful “App store”. There is no actual need for a Windows App Store, because you can just go on the internet and get whatever you want. Majorgeeks.com is very much like an “app store”. The only useful point of the Windows App store would be to simplify sales, and take that responsibility away from the developer.

      The only way I can see Microsoft making big sales on desktops, is if they lock-in the OS to Apps from the App Store. Which could happen. UEFI and TPM technologies could very well be used to implement this.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        If I log into my Windows 8 system at home and I have direct access to the same apps at work just from a login, that is [b<]much[/b<] more useful than Steam, actually. It would be a very attractive platform to have my paid-for apps follow me (virtually, I imagine, I can't see a need for executables to follow like they do with Steam.)

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This