Microsoft hopes Windows Store gift cards spur customers, developers

Microsoft hopes Windows Store gift cards spur customers, developers

Summary: Buy a Windows 8 or 8.1 PC or tablet at a participating retailer and you will get a $25 gift card to the Windows Store for apps or games.


Microsoft has announced a promotion for Windows PCs and tablets that they hope will bring both consumers and developers to the Windows market.


Through December 28, or until supplies are exhausted, when you buy a Windows tablet or PC at a participating retailer you will also receive a $25 gift card for the Windows Store. You can use the credit to buy apps or games in the Windows Store, Windows Phone Store and select Xbox stores.

The promotion is meant as an incentive both for consumers and developers. The prospect of millions of customers with $25 to spend on apps and games may increase incentives for developers to build and promote apps. Microsoft has raised the prospect of such a promotion with developers, so it's not a surprise to them.

The gift cards are available, according to Microsoft, at "...many retailers across the United States including, Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, Staples,, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Sam's Club,, and the Microsoft Store." The promotion is also in operation " select markets outside the U.S."

The promotional gift card code must be redeemed by 02/28/2014 and the funds from the card must be spent within 120 days of the date the card code is redeemed. Windows Store gift cards which are purchased (from more than 100 retailers in over 25 markets) do not expire.

Microsoft says there are over 100,000 apps in the Windows Store.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Microsoft Surface, Windows 8, Windows Phone

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  • The real problem

    There aren't many good apps to buy in the microsoft store.
    • That will get better

      app stores are a good distribution system for developers, and the longer Windows 8x is around, the more it will appeal to developers.

      Right now, the problem is it is just too easy to reach all Windows users through desktop development, and not just Windows 8 users. Over time, once more users have access to the Windows Store, it will become more attractive to developers.

      This will help, as a gift card is essentially money transferred from Windows' purchase price to the store's third party developers. If they can turn the existing pool of users into bigger buyers of apps, devs will onboard sooner.
      • not really

        why should I get my app on the windows store and give a cut to microsoft when I keep it all by making a desktop application? I don't see the day that we'll buy or autocad/solidworks/SAP software from the windows store. Windows is trying to be everything right now, and ends up messing up everything.
        • Wider Distribution

          Unless you are a major corporation with a massive marketing budget, you will reach many more users through the store than you would on your own website or through a modest advertising budget.
        • The same reason software companies try to get into retail stores

          more exposure = more sales = more money and they pay more that 30% of the retail price once their software package goes through the retail supply chain.

          Steampowered is a perfect example of how well this works for developers and an online store.
        • But you don't get to keep it all

          If you sell it on Digital River, you're parting with some of it. If it is a boxed product, you're parting with more than Microsoft's 30 or 20%, I can tell you that. And if you're doing ecommerce on your own website, well good luck with the enormous IT headache you take on to keep that up and running! (plus you still have fees to your payment provider and the credit card companies, and your bank.)

          An app store cut is a perfectly normal and entirely reasonable thing.
      • Help the developers

        I used to develop shareware apps for $20 a pop, now I develop $1 mobile apps and the payments suck. All platforms. Too many cheapskates out there. Anything to get more people buying apps is good.
        Sean Foley
        • Go mobile advertising

          I've honestly had significantly more success offering free apps with advertising than selling them for $1. It seems like I get 10X the downloads and a larger, more consistent, flow of revenue. You just have to manage it properly, use the right ad networks, etc.
      • Perhaps

        but a lot of applications are built by people who do it for the pure enjoyment of software development, and not necessarily for monetary reasons. Look at any of the blogs for developers, especially the ones for tool sets, and you see many complaints over the "look and feel" of both the developer tools and the environment (Windows 8).

        I'm a developer, and while I like Windows Phone 8 (I have a Nokia 920) I can't develop for it, as it requires Windows 8 to do so - in my corporate environment we run Windows 7. I have access to a Surface 2 Pro, but again, I can't build applications for it as, once again, it requires Windows 8. This is sad, because my company is targeting both iOS and Android currently, and I'd be willing to port our app to Windows RT, if it wasn't for the Windows 8 requirement.

        Long story short, I don't like Windows 8 and won't use it unless forced to. More and more I'm getting fed up with Microsoft trying to force Metro/Windows 8 desktop on me.
        • Disliking Windows 8 is a poor excuse

          If you had a product that was worth "porting" to Windows 8, your dislike for Windows 8 as an operating system wouldn't stop you. If the cost of a dedicated development box isn't worth your money, it also wouldn't be worth your time.
          • What I really

            don't like is Microsoft trying to shove Windows 8 down my throat.
          • As opposed to shoving other OS's down your throat?

            Doesn't Apple shove OS X down your throat with their systems? Chromebooks shove ChromeOS down your throat.

            Not understanding that comment.
          • Well, Microsoft is shoving Windows 8 down your throat

            If you don't like, don't use one and don't moan because you can't port your app because you don't like the UI. As an independent developer limiting yourself to limited choice is not a good choice though.
            Ram U
        • You haven't done enough research

          Your complaint with hating to learn the Metro design has been heard and ignored. It only takes a small amount of time developing to learn things will change. I will agree Metro is a huge change from traditional windows development, but it isn't going anywhere and people actually do love it once they understand it. Also I don't understand how its too much different than iOS and Android. You have a lot more ways to express your data, but that doesn't mean you need to use all of them. Use what makes sense. You can in fact mimic iOS and Android UIs fairly easily if that's what you want to do. To me you are either too lazy to learn WinRT or you are WAITING till your company tells you to.

          I don't understand why you can't develop for a windows store app? You say you have access to a Surface 2 Pro. I guess I assume it has windows 8, but are you saying someone was stupid enough to put win 7 on a surface 2 pro? I'm guessing you did that as you hate the Metro design. What a waste of money. If the Surface 2 pro does indead have windows 8 installed, then you are in luck because you CAN develop windows store apps. I have the ancient Surface 1 Pro and I'm developing windows 8.1 store apps!!!!!
          Dean Rich
    • you pay $25 more for the device you could have spent on anything

      ...and Microsoft gives you a gift card that can only be spent in the store.
      • Wow - Just like Apple!

        You know, "here's a gift card to get you to spend even more money with us" offer.
  • Thats my suggestion

    Funny, I took a survey, submitted that very same comment about giving away app store gift cards. I guess people do read surveys.
    Sean Foley
  • Microsoft hopes Windows Store gift cards spur customers, developers

    It should help with sales all around. People are going to buy Microsoft Windows 8 based computers and devices, developers are still going to develop for Microsoft Windows. Getting the $25 gift card is like a bonus for something people were going to do anyway.
    • You're argument is invalid...
      • Your opinion is wrong

        "Windows 8.1 increased its usage share of the Web by fifty percent."
        "Windows 8's market share wasn't growing explosively, but it was at least growing"