Windows Store bests Apple for developer margins

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Windows Store bests Apple for developer margins

Up to 80 percent for popular apps.

Developers of Windows 8 ‘Metro’ apps have the potential to earn a higher sales margin in the Windows Store than those developing for Apple’s competing App Store, under terms announced by Microsoft today.

Antoine Leblond, vice president of Windows Web Services revealed that Microsoft will give developers 70 percent of the value of any sale of a Metro app through the Windows Store, which launches in February 2012.

This is the same margin offered by Apple.

But should the developers sell in excess of US$25,000 (AUD$24,347) worth of any given app, the developer will be entitled to 80 percent.

“We want to return as much money as we can in the hands of developers,” LeBlond said.

He described the deal as “the most significant developer opportunity”, given forecast sales of 400 million x86 machines over the next 12 months.

If iOS app developers are anything to go by, only the best selling apps will be entitled to the higher margin in the Windows Store. A study by 148app.biz calculated that the average iPhone or iPad app publisher makes around US$8500.

Microsoft is charging US$99 for companies to register on Windows Store and US$49 for individuals.

Leblond said developers would be offered more flexible business models for sales of their apps than its competitors. The Windows Store will be available and localisable in over 100 languages, he said. Stores in the largest 40 countries will also feature sales in local currency.

Microsoft has launched an apps contest to encourage developers to start building Metro-style apps, but local Microsoft enthusiast Long Zheng has noted that the contest isn't available to Australian developers.

Enterprise options

Microsoft has also attempted to integrate its Windows Store into the enterprise computing experience.

IT administrators will be able to deploy enterprise apps on the store for nominated employees to consume and in turn limit employee access to the Windows Store catalogue.

Administrators can also bypass Windows Store to deploy ‘Metro-style’ (web) apps on enterprise PCs.

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