Microsoft's Windows 10 sweetener: New deal gives devs bigger cut of app store sales

Developers of Windows 10 apps to get 95 percent of revenue earned in the Microsoft Store, with a few catches.

Microsoft has announced a new revenue-sharing deal for Microsoft Store that gives developers a bigger cut of app sales in instances where Microsoft hasn't contributed to winning a new customer.

Starting later this year, developers of consumer apps will get 95 percent of revenue from app sales and in-app purchases when the user made the purchase via a deep link, such as a link from the developer's own website or social media.

However, if Microsoft helps deliver a customer by way of an app collection or other means, the developer will get an 85 percent cut of revenues through the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft is offering developers a significantly larger share of revenue than Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store, which offers 70 percent of sales. However, both Google and Apple offer an 85 percent cut to developers if consumers subscribe to an app for longer than a year.

See: How to build a successful developer career (free PDF)

Microsoft's sweetener may help it fill the Microsoft Store app gap by giving developers more financial motivation to not only port Android or iOS apps to Windows 10 but also distribute apps through the Microsoft Store.

"With the new fee structure, Microsoft is only accessing an additional fee when we contribute to you acquiring a new user," Microsoft wrote in a blogpost.

The new fee structure applies to purchases made on Windows 10 PCs, Windows Mixed Reality, Windows Phone, and Surface Hub devices.

However, Microsoft's generosity stops at games and sales through Xbox consoles, which makes sense given that games remain a fairly strong category for Microsoft. The new fee structure also doesn't apply to the Microsoft Store for Business or Microsoft Store for Education.

Microsoft plans to detail the new few structure in a new App Developer Agreement that will be released later this year.

The offer comes as Microsoft continues to retreat from consumer markets but presses ahead with iOS and Android features to create a better mobile experience for Windows 10 enterprise users, such as the updated Android Microsoft Launcher, Edge for iOS and Android, and the new Timeline feature in the April 2018 Update.

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