Well, well -- what's this? It's the Windows Store, and no, we're not talking retail. The company just took the wraps off of the official Windows Store preview, a few months after teasing us with the name as part of Windows 8 and the distribution point for Metro style apps. The company had a launch party tonight in SF, where they described the app policies and business terms for the Store, both of which are now published to our Dev Center. They also announced our First Apps contest for developers, and confirmed that we’re also inviting a select set of developers to submit Metro style apps for inclusion in the Beta version of the Store.
What's really wild is the revenue sharing. Unlike the traditional 70/30 split that has become so common, Microsoft's ushering in a new plan that will no doubt go over well with developers. Up to 80% of the money made from apps can be captured by devs. Perhaps it's best all shown in the video below, and yes, this definitely makes the wait for Windows 8 that much more difficult.
Windows Store Fact Sheet
The Windows Store will make it easy for Windows customers to find, try
and buy useful, high-quality apps from practically anywhere in the
world. With code-named "Windows 8" and the Windows Store, developers can
enjoy a built-in distribution and update mechanism for their apps.
full-screen Metro-style app taking advantage of the Metro-style design
principles inspired in Windows 8. Easy to build for, submit to and sell
through, the Windows Store is designed with app discoverability and
visibility in mind. The Windows Store will open its virtual doors to
consumers and begin allowing for submission of free apps for Windows 8
Beta in late February.
Unparalleled Global Reach
The Windows Store will provide developers with the greatest
opportunity of any platform, helping them reach millions of Windows
8-based PCs, desktops, laptops and tablets. The Windows Store will be
global, enabling developers to sell their apps in 231 markets and in
more than 100 languages. To make it easier and safer for customers, the
Windows Store is the single source for Metro-style apps, with a
side-loading feature for enterprises so IT professionals can manage and
deliver apps and updates to their users with ease and confidence.
Maximizing Developer Revenue
Today, the industry standard is for developers to make 70 percent of
every dollar spent on their apps. The Windows Store aims to maximize
developer revenue and provide greater financial opportunity:
• Revenue model. Successful apps make more money on Windows by earning
80 percent of every dollar of revenue earned after passing $25,000
(U.S.) in total revenue. The first $25,000 (U.S.) is paid out at the
industry standard 70 percent revenue share.
• Developer account. To sell apps in the Windows Store, developers
must purchase an annual developer subscription of $49 (U.S.) for
individuals, $99 (U.S.) for companies.
• App pricing. Developers can set the price of their app starting at
$1.49 (U.S.), using $.50 (U.S.) increments up to $5 (U.S.). Increments
increase at higher prices.
Flexible Business Models
The Windows Store will allow for flexible and innovative business
models. Windows has long been about choice, and the Windows Store will
put the developer in control:
• In-app purchases and transaction platforms. Developers using
Microsoft's transaction service will earn 70 percent on revenue from
in-app purchases until the app has earned $25,000 (U.S.). After passing
that amount of gross revenue between the app sales and in-app purchase
revenue, they will receive 80 percent share. Developers are also free to
utilize alternate transaction services for in-app purchases other than
the one provided by Microsoft, and Microsoft will keep 0 percent of the
• Advertising. Developers can use Microsoft's ad platform or another third-party vendor.
Optimized for Discoverability
One challenge for today's developer is having apps stand out and be
easily discoverable. A similar challenge exists for customers to search,
locate and download the apps they want, from exciting new games to
productivity tools they already know and trust on Windows. The Windows
Store is designed with discoverability and promotion as top priorities:
• App listing page. Developers can use this space to pitch their app
and provide details, including a description, features, screen shots,
app reviews and capabilities.
• Trials. Developers can offer apps as a trial without writing a
single line of code and set the trial period to reduce barriers to
adoption and eliminate the need for "lite" versions.
• Curation and discovery. Algorithmically generated lists highlighting
frequently downloaded apps by category complemented by curated
spotlight and topic sections help consumers find and download the apps
• Search. Although the Windows Store will be the primary vehicle for
consumers to find and download apps, Microsoft helps app discovery
outside the Windows Store. All app listing pages will be exposed to Bing
and other search engines.
• Promotion through Windows Internet Explorer 10. Additional potential
for visibility is built into Internet Explorer 10. With a single line
of markup, developers can have an app site icon appear in Internet
Explorer 10 that will take Windows 8 users directly to the listing page
in the Windows Store to download the app.
Transparent Approval Process
The goals of the Windows Store app certification process are to ensure
trusted, quality experiences for consumers while being as simple and
transparent as possible for developers. Developers can test their app
through the Windows App Certification Kit (ACK) and troubleshoot any
technical issues before submitting to the Windows Store. After
submission, they will be able to use the Windows Store Dashboard to
watch their app every step of the way. The Windows Store App
(http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/apps) detail criteria for
testing and certifying apps for the Windows Store.
• App approval policies. In addition to technical certification,
Microsoft will evaluate Metro-style apps against a set of clear and
published policies before the app is ultimately published to the Windows
Store. The full policy, based on core values, can be viewed at
• Application Certification Kit. The new ACK, available now for the
Windows Developer Preview, is a single tool for self-assessment to
ensure all technical compliance required for apps. It improves on the
Windows Software Logo Kit with a new, simplified user interface,
improved multiuser tests and auto-detection of app type. The ACK
includes automated tests looking for such things as app manifest
compliance, app reliability and security, and proper use of
platform-supported APIs. The ACK runs the same tests as those run during
the submission process, so by using the ACK first, developers know if
their app meets technical compliance and can troubleshoot issues before
submission to the Windows Store, saving valuable time.
• Windows Store Dashboard. The new dashboard will help developers see
where their app is in the submission process, with notifications every
step of the way. After submission, the dashboard will provide useful app
telemetry data, which allows developers to continually improve their
apps. The dashboard will include the ability to view reports on
downloads, revenue, usage, in-app transactions, customer ratings, market
trends and crash data. These new reports will be consistent and
actionable so developers can find and fix issues quickly and