Windows Store to provide 70/30% revenue share, 5 PC user license (update: maybe)

Update 2: Microsoft has since removed the reference to the revenue share structure of the Windows Store suggesting it is yet to be locked down.

At the BUILD 2011 conference, Microsoft has been unusually reluctant to confirm details of the revenue share in the application store in Windows 8 known as the Windows Store. Thankfully their developer documentation is far more helpful to confirm the industry-standard 70/30 split.

In the MSDN documentation for “Primer for current Windows developers“, it indicates Windows developers, like their Windows Phone developer brothers, will have to pay an annual registration fee which grants them a 70% commission on their work.

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…

Considering this is consistent with the Mac App Store for the desktop, the split shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. As a Windows “developer” who has had experience with the pain of acquiring a code signing certificate, setting up a web purchase page that integrates with a payment processing service and implementing a license system, 30% is a cost worth paying.

In addition, it is anticipated applications that only list through the Windows Store (legacy non-Metro Style apps), Microsoft will not charge any fees for the listing. Having said that, one can assume a developer account with the registration fee is probably required.

Update: It appears there is also a 5 PC license activation for customers who purchase applications, which too is industry-standard.

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.

45 insightful thoughts

  1. Damn. I saw tweets doing the rounds yesterday mentioning there was no revenue sharing. I did wonder how MS was going to justify the costs of providing all that for free.

  2. Has Microsoft mentioned anything about regional availability of the Marketplace ?

    In the other hand, with the revenue share and other requirements, it maybe save to assume that no giant professional applications like Adobe CS, CADs or 3D modelling will find it’s way to the Marketplace.

    1. “Has Microsoft mentioned anything about regional availability of the Marketplace ?”

      They said that Windows Store will be avaliable worldwide.

      “(…) it maybe save to assume that no giant professional applications like Adobe CS, CADs or 3D modelling will find it’s way to the Marketplace.”

      Why? In the post: “(…) applications that only list through the Windows Store (legacy non-Metro Style apps), Microsoft will not charge any fees for the listing”;

  3. Looking forward to all those apologies from the shills claiming it was 0% and slagging Apple for being so greedy and ripping off developers.
    Disappointed to see you follow the “shill” route and keep using the phrase “industry standard” when everyone knows 30% (instigated by Apple) is seriously gouging and ripping off developers. The power of having a monopoly! :-(

    1. To be fair, Sinofsky did kind of lead on to that claim himself during the keynote… So the apology should come from Sinofsky.

      Not only that, but the claims aren’t completely untrue either, because if your app can be listed in the store, while having the application and payment processing handling elsewhere, its not that bad.

    2. Nobody in his right mind could possibly have believed that Microsoft would take a 0% cut. Credit card processing fees alone would eat up 2.5%. On top of that, you’ve got servers, validation, call centers, etc.

      The thing is, though, that Microsoft could easily have picked a number like 25% or 20%. Just to rub their faces in it.

  4. Makes me wonder, if there’s a 5 machine limit, will there be ways to deactivate machines once they’re out of commission so I don’t have to worry about my 5 “activations” running out once i’ve cycled through 5 machines or virtual machines.

  5. What about non-Metro ClickOnce applications having some sort of App Store , and apps that have a Metro and non-Metro version ?

  6. Thanks for the excellent article!
    My heart started pounding until I read “(legacy non-Metro Style apps), Microsoft will not charge any fees for the listing”… but it wouldn’t have worked otherwise – they should have started charging 20 years ago! :)

  7. Microsoft is already the only company taking money for their IDE.
    The ultimate version already costs: € 15.299,00!

    And now they are also taking the developer profits on their OS platform? I was always pro Microsoft because of their developer tools and the .Net platform.

    But i’m thinking to change now, you’re just the same as Apple.

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