Win8 app store to enable, facilitate seven-day trials

One thing that’s always bugged me about iOS is the dearth of options for sampling paid apps. Apple doesn’t allow trials, and though some developers offer "lite" versions of their software for free, many don’t. Finding the best app for a given task, then, can mean buying and uninstalling several apps before settling on a favorite.

Windows 8 will feature an iOS-like app store—the unimaginatively titled Windows Store—but happily, it won’t force users into the same awkward position. As Microsoft details on the MSDN blog, the Windows Store will allow seven-day app trials, and it will have built-in functionality to make app trials hassle-free for both developers and users.

As a user, if you upgrade from the trial to the full version of an app, then all your settings and customizations will be preserved. Meanwhile, developers won’t have to write their own safeguards to ensure trials users don’t outlast their seven-day welcome. There will be "system functionality" to take care of that for them. APIs will be provided so trials can prompt users to upgrade to the full version, as well, and Microsoft will even offer "analytics to show the conversion process.

Making trials readily available will benefit users, of course, but it should also be a boon to developers. Microsoft comments that, on Windows Phone, it’s seen paid apps with trials generate "up to 5 times" as much revenue as paid apps that lacked trials altogether. Being able to try before you buy is a powerful motivator, apparently—who would have thought?

Comments closed
    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    If the only length of the trial is 7 days, I can see many ‘apps’ not doing it.

    Most games have a very short lifespan, by the time you play it a whole week your done and you move on to the next free game.
    Many other apps are impulse buy (Apple knows that) and this is going to make people weary of apps that are not free for a week.

    All in all, what we are talking about is software activation written & controlled by Microsoft.
    Its a nice feature to offer developers, but it doesn’t solve much.

    So I dont see any iPhone or iPad owners dumping their iOS6 device for windows8,
    or developers flocking to Metro to get ‘free’ software activation on an MS server.

    • BloodSoul
    • 7 years ago

    And pirates around the world rejoiced, for the sea of Windows 8 would have plentiful booty to be easily obtained.

    Trials are very easy to exploit, so I’m curious to see how this move pans out. My guess is MS will use some sort of Big Brother-esque system to constantly watch the legitimacy of its users Apps. Let’s hope they don’t learn anything from the DRM policies of the gaming industry… “No single player without internet access” would be both hilarious and terrifying for an OS to adopt.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      The crackers will break it regardless of whether it’s a trial or not.

      I am actually looking at this as a very positive step for Windows. Crap software won’t sell if people have a seven day cooloff period. I buy loads of Android apps and uninstall half of them for a refund because they turn out to be disappointing or misrepresented by their sales page on the play store.

        • BloodSoul
        • 7 years ago

        I was referencing more of a universal crack. Since these trials will presumably all be done through the Windows store, a trial exploit for one might be easily transferable (IE host a fake windows time authentication server that makes the trial indefinite). Crackers generally crack programs that appeal to large groups (CS5 etc…), because their time and effort aren’t worth trivial programs. This type of vulnerability would be more likely to put the lower end of the market at risk.

        Again, nothing is certain, so it should be interesting to see how things pan out.

    • Shouefref
    • 7 years ago

    They have to do something to get Apple buyers to W8.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      Are you here until Tuesday?

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 7 years ago

        Why? Are you going to pay him tomorrow for a hamburger today?

          • ludi
          • 7 years ago

          His license plate-styled wordplay did the trick for me. Now I need more.

    • End User
    • 7 years ago

    Excellent news.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      but windows still sucks.

    • burntham77
    • 7 years ago

    I did not realize iOS lacked this feature. I do appreciate it on Windows Phone, and it has prompted several app purchases that I would have otherwise skipped.

    • ew
    • 7 years ago

    This is a great idea and every app store should offer trial periods!!! Good job Microsoft.

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    They missed a great opportunity to promote their try-before-buy scheme [i<]and[/i<] use more imaginitive name: Window Shopping.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      While clever, there is likely a fear of distortion of a specific brand-name.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 7 years ago

    In a greater sense–philosophically–some might argue that anything involving Microsoft and software is a trial. 🙂

      • dpaus
      • 7 years ago

      “My name is Thomas Penfield Jackson, and I approved this comment”

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    I’m sure the EU will find some reason that this is anti-competitive behaviour….

      • Peldor
      • 7 years ago

      Probably a few billion reasons…

      • Stranger
      • 7 years ago

      This does have a decent chance of putting steam out of business. if google can be classified as a monopoly then microsoft can as well.

    • Parallax
    • 7 years ago

    Please add the additional option to remove [u<]everything[/u<] that was installed with the demo. If I don't buy the full version I'd prefer not to be left with the "residue".

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      all metro apps should remove everything.

        • A_Pickle
        • 7 years ago

        All [i<]apps[/i<] should remove everything when uninstalled.

    • RickyTick
    • 7 years ago

    Stay on theme MS and make it an 8 day trial.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      If Microsoft made Windows 8 for desktops an 8 day trial, they’d be in serious trouble.

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    Great idea — I hope apple copies this.

      • thor84no
      • 7 years ago

      I’m sure they will. They’ll likely patent it too if MS haven’t already done it.

        • dpaus
        • 7 years ago

        Apple’s more likely to patent the general concept of a 7-day time period.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<] Apple's more likely to patent the general concept of time period. [/quote<] fixed

            • dpaus
            • 7 years ago

            Damn, you’re good! I should have realized it should actually just be

            [quote<]Apple's more likely to patent the general concept of time[/quote<]

            • CuttinHobo
            • 7 years ago

            We’ll really be in trouble when they successfully patent the concept of patents.

            • HisDivineOrder
            • 7 years ago

            Apple already tried to patent apps and app stores.

        • Shouefref
        • 7 years ago

        Somebody at Apple is now yelling: ‘Why didn’t we patent that? Didn’t we patent that? Find me that patent!’

      • entropy13
      • 7 years ago

      “Copies”?

      The Holy Apple does not copy from the sorry attempts of non-believers. It has always been the other way around, the Glorious Works are constantly copied by heretical organizations like Microsoft.

    • trackerben
    • 7 years ago

    By building in the functionality and formalizing a Trials model, they may be able to patent the process as an innovative ecosystem feature rather than as a marketing process. Thereby assuring other appstores’ implementation will be that much more kludgy.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    cyril. it’s the 4:00 in the morning in vancouver. get your beauty sleep. you’ll need it.

    on topic: this is actually an excellent feature, i’m impressed this is happening. this SHOULD be on all “app” stores.

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 7 years ago

      I am in agreement with you.

      • thor84no
      • 7 years ago

      This functionality certainly should be on all app stores. I actually find it a bit sad that anyone is surprised or impressed that they’re doing this, it should have been an obvious piece of functionality included years ago.

      OT: “Windows store” isn’t imaginative enough, but “App store” is? Really?

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      Yeh, this is a ‘must have’ as far as app stores are concerned. Bravo MS.

      • moog
      • 7 years ago

      gizmodo posted this last Friday and techreport only today. Microsoft seems to be lacking in the advertising dept. In contrast Google and Apple always manages to get the bloggers excited.

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