Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

Summary: Microsoft has confirmed that its App Store will be the only place to get Metro apps for Windows 8.

SHARE:

Color me unsurprised - the Microsoft App Store will be the only way to get metro apps for Windows 8.

Click here to view the Windows 8 installation walk-through gallery

This was confirmed by Microsoft at its BUILD conference last week.

Ted Dworkin, lead director for the Windows Store development team, spilled the beans at a BUILD session:

"We will be the only store for distribution of Metro-style apps."

The reason, according to Dworkin, is security:

"We will examine every application that will be submitted to us, we will run a virus check and a malware check on every application."

But Microsoft has an ulterior motive - cash. A 30% cut of all sales, a norm that Apple has established with its own App Store. Microsoft isn't talking specifics yet, but Windows blogger Long Zheng uncovered Microsoft's plans in an MSDN document (which has since been changed to remove the reference to the revenue split):

Following industry norms, developers pay a nominal yearly fee to upload apps to the Store, and receive 70% of the gross income from those apps (for paid apps and in-app purchases that use the default commerce engine). With this basic cost structure, the Store has many benefits...

The document also made reference to an activation limit for apps similar to that offered by Apple:

Any customer who pays for an app can install and use that app on up to 5 Windows Developer Preview devices, so that the app can engage that customer across a range of form factors.

There will be a free listing service for traditional non-Metro apps, as outlined by Antoine LeBlond, the VP of the Web services group:

We're giving these Win32 apps a free listing service and exposing them to all of the hundreds of millions of Windows users.

Also mentioned are trial versions of apps and in-app purchasing.

Is any of this fixed in stone? Don't bank on it. Here's what's right at the top of the document:

[This documentation is preliminary and is subject to change.]

While I think that Microsoft might make some cosmetic changes to how its app store works, I don't expect the model to be that different to Apple's iOS or Mac App Store. Devs will have to pay up to to get apps in the store, and there will be a revenue split.

One way that Microsoft could encourage devs to puts apps in the store is drop the revenue split on Metro apps for a period of time and allow devs to collect 100% of the revenue.

Did I hear someone say 'walled garden'?

Topics: Apps, Apple, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

53 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Even if they don't lower it to 0%

    They should lower it to 10-15%, which would still give people the incentive to make the app for Windows.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

      @Michael Alan Goff I agree. All they really need to do is make it lower than Apple and devs will gladly build apps for Windows. It is already easier to build for Windows than Apple and being able to collect more for their apps would seriously encourage developers to build Windows apps.
      grayknight
      • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

        @G Computer Network Easier?!
        Jeremy-UK
      • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

        Visual Studio is already more fun to work with than the alternatives, at least for me.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

        @Jeremy-UK
        >>Easier?!
        nope, it is the easiest.
        Ram U
      • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

        @G Computer Network
        you guys.. must just be really familiar with Windows programming. Comparing ObjC/Cocoa with Xcode to Anything on Windows... including Visual Studio... I'd go the Apple route every time. Its MUCH easier, almost to the point of overwhelmingly simple.
        doh123
      • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

        @G Computer Network The volume will make the profits much larger anyway. Windows market share positively DWARFS all other OSes. Isn't this an anti-competitive issue for MS though since they are a monopoly?
        condelirios
    • Why bother with HTML5/Javascript if it's Metro only?

      Bad choice. Especially now that even Google is admitting Javascript is inadequate and looking for their own SilverLight-like solution.
      LBiege
      • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

        @LBiege

        Likely because they will be better for tablet apps. Also, Metro is going to go places... so says Microsoft.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

      @Michael Alan Goff

      100% agree. Apple's 30% cut is extortionate! I could see a 30% cut on 99 cent apps (because it costs Apple money to store and distribute the app) but on software taht sells for more than $10.00 the cut should be closer to 10%.
      dsf3g
      • Really? Extortion?

        @dsf3g, It is called markup. The difference in this case is that the dev controls the price.

        Used to be pretty common for stores to have a 30% margin for profit, before big box retailers started cropping up. If both companies are making a profit than it is win-win in the trade. And so long as it is profitable you're not going to close shop.

        You also seem to forget that it isn't just storing and distributing of the app, Apple and soon Microsoft will also be the payment processing center. The reality is that Apple's profit on that 99cent app is probably closer to 10% after paying the credit processors and etc. This is why this model has been so successful, and not just for Apple, but for individual devs. Devs can focus on making great apps, while Apple deals with Advertising, distribution, sales, credit processing, good grief you make it sound like they are being shook down. Apple has better leverage with credit processors than what individual devs could hope to get on their own.
        Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
  • AKH, did you really expect that "walled garden" reference

    to generate mea culpas from all those that posted negative comments about Apple's App Store business plan?

    Personally, I don't expect to read too many comments about this topic from those pundits.
    kenosha77a
    • The "walled garden approach"

      @kenosha7777

      it has its merits. I wonder if Microsoft will be able to make their Windows Tablet more of an "experience", like I know I can get from an iOS device?
      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

        @Michael Alan Goff <br><br>To be honest, I surely hope that Microsoft will NOT deliver the same experience as Apple does on the Ipad. <br><br>Of course I could always purchase a nice x86 tablet, and not be confined by the walled garden approach or whatever they call it.
        sjaak327
      • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

        I didn't mean the same experience, but an experience nonetheless. When I was using my iPod touch, everything just worked. There was no need for a workaround, there was no need for hoping, I knew it would just work.

        I want that in a tablet.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

        @sjaak327
        Don't worry, one of us would figure out how to break it.
        Ram U
      • iOS doesn't have an experience

        @Michael Alan Goff You get a bunch of squares. Each square does something. You can pick different squares. That's not an experience, its a big menu.
        A Gray
    • RE: Windows 8: App Store will be the only source of Metro apps

      @kenosha7777 It's bad for Apple users, it's bad for Microsoft users. I guess I can give up on the wild fantasy that popped into my head that Windows 8 (or 9) could see me switching back to Windows from Linux. It looks like soon I'll be using the only OS left where the provider doesn't regulate what you can put on your PC. :-( It isn't Apple I may have to render a mea culpa to; it's a man I normally disagree with, Richard Stallman.
      jgm@...
  • funny

    but, but apple had it all wrong. please pundits explain to us again, why apple had it all wrong, please.
    bannedfromzdnetagainandagain
    • ya need

      @bannedfromzdnetagainandagain <br>to stop calling out the bloggers. You can argue with other posters but don't you dare call out one of the zdnet bloggers. Then you won't get banned again.<br>Sadly, by asking the pundits (really? uh, they're just bloggers, nothing more) to account for themselves you'll soon find yourself banned again.
      oneleft