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Microsoft Programming

Microsoft Hopes Money Will Entice More Developers (engadget.com) 134

At Build conference, Microsoft announced that starting later this year, all consumer apps (except games) sold in the Microsoft Store will ship a whopping 95 percent of the revenue earned from app and in-app purchases to the developer. From a report: That is, if the customer purchases the app via a deep or direct link. If the customer gets your app via a Microsoft-assisted method, like getting featured on the Microsoft Store, then devs will get 85 percent of the revenue, which is still a pretty good amount.
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Microsoft Hopes Money Will Entice More Developers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft has been become that desperate, clingy ex-girlfriend. “If I pay you will you be our friends?!!”

    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2018 @10:40AM (#56573648)

      I see Microsoft more like the Cool kid from high school, who became a looser when he grew up. Who actively is trying to relive their glory days.
      But those Apple and Google Nerds, ended up on top, and now they are trying to fit in again.

      The App store idea is more or less opposed to the core Microsoft main selling point. "We have all the software you could possible want to run it" By having a Microsoft store, it is cutting into that idea, because they are trying to say, we only want you to use the approved Microsoft products.

      In general the App Store isn't a bad idea. Even Linux with APT and Snap is a similar process where software shown to be "safe","works", and "worth while" is posted on the store, giving you a safe place to get your software. However the issue has been, is what each store owner considers safe, works and worth while, is a crap shoot.

      Lets say I build a better copy and paste feature for Windows. Microsoft may reject it because it overrides a windows built in functionality, thus considered unsafe, or they will have those features in the next version of Windows (probably after seeing what I did in my program) and reject it as not worth while because that feature will be there soon.
      The Apple store is notorious for this.

      But for most developers they program for windows because they have too, because that is where the customers are, not because of any sense of loyalty to Microsoft. The App store for Microsoft vs. Selling by yourself, or on amazon.... Is just too cumbersome. While 15% is a bit high. However the biggest expense is the uncertainty.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        who became a looser

        As opposed to becoming a tighter?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        15% is high? You came to that conclusion how?

        Apple takes a 30% cut
        Google takes a 30% cut
        Amazon takes a 30% cut
        Steam takes a 30% cut

        Seems to me that the MS store is the best deal in town...

        • They're all high. These guys add extremely small value, but want to extract huge amounts of profits. But this is the PC, we shouldn't even HAVE an apps market there! No one on OSX really uses Apple Store except to get xcode, because you can get everything you need elsewhere. What works on a phone for social media shouldn't automatically mean it's a good idea on an actual work device.

          • by ELCouz ( 1338259 )

            These guys add extremely small value

            I wouldn't say so. They bring you the spotlight you need to shine. Try that to launch your software on your website vs well know app platform. Guaranteed you will take the 30% per transaction fee.

    • It seems like the classic "embrace, extend, extinguish" philosophy of Microsoft. I see the plan going like this:

      1) Get developers used to publishing their applications to the Microsoft store by giving them generous incentives and "free" marketing.
      2) Make it more difficult to download applications outside of the store on "security" grounds. We're already seeing this with mandatory driver and recommended application signing in Windows 10.
      3) Once you got them locked in, raise Microsoft's cut of the revenue bac

      • There are other parallels of this business model. m$ will still be around, like itty bitty machines, but their relevance will be small.
      • by Myrdos ( 5031049 )

        Look what popped up on my Windows 10 machine when I opened Visual Studio this week: Sideload Apps [junction404.com]

        Installing your own software is now called "Side Loading". I await the day when Side Loading will be disabled by default...

    • yes, they went from innovation to domination to running behind the fact a while ago now, maybe they should try rooting out the vampires in the basement and get some fresh blood instead for starters, get rid of the mastodon-mentality and explore new fields where no one has gone before like ... VR, or ... A.I. ... or ... blockchain or something lol ... or maybe self-driving cars or ... glasses you can wear that film and track everything OR
      beat musk to mars !!!!
  • Entire operating systems and huge software suites have been built by volunteers. Looking at things through the eyes of a bean counter limits them to myopic tunnel vision.
    • by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2018 @10:10AM (#56573476)

      Software developers need to eat, and Microsoft's 95% revenue share will benefit thousands of small developers along with the larger companies. The notion that only free software is good software is myopic at best; the open source work I've done has only been possible because I earn a good salary from a commercial software company.

      • Microsoft developers managed to eat for about four decades just by making software people wanted to buy and platforms that were easy to develop for, without taking any cut of the revenues from other software running on their platform.

        In a world where so much everyday stuff is now done with mobile and web apps, any barrier to writing or distributing Windows-friendly desktop applications seems like a bad idea for Microsoft. I'm not sure it matters whether it's 15% or 5%. It's not 0%.

        • If Microsoft were smart, they'd make it free. And then in 5 years once it's established and everyone uses it, bait and switch by demanding as much money as they want. They have zero leverage right now.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          Microsoft developers managed to eat for about four decades just by making software people wanted to buy and platforms that were easy to develop for, without taking any cut of the revenues from other software running on their platform.

          Microsoft started taking a cut in 2001 when the original Xbox came out. I thought Microsoft was founded in 1975, not 1961.

          • by Desler ( 1608317 )

            Except this is a discussion about Windows not the Xbox.

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              It was also about what Anonymous Brave Guy referred to as "platforms". I took the use of plural to include platforms other than Windows.

    • Myopia != tunnel vision.

      different things bro.
    • by Desler ( 1608317 )

      Yes, and yet most people will still pay for Windows even with all of its downsides over your volunteer OS.

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Most people won't...
        Either it comes with the hardware they bought, or they pirate it. Very few people will make a conscious decision to purchase windows.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What operating system was written by volunteers? I know Linux isn't one of them, most of those developers are paid. Maybe a huge software suite, but I'm having trouble naming one. Most either are funded by foundations or have huge number of corporate developers provided by companies with an interest in the success of the project (see LLVM with Apple and Google, same with webkit).

    • I think you can make the case that there are some indie games out there (still paid devs) and some open source utilities, but usually commercial software surpasses the volunteer stuff.

      A lot of OSS SW btw is non-volunteer.
  • There should be one package manager to download from one or more sources.

  • by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2018 @10:13AM (#56573498)
    Lets say that the total cost of developing my app is 70 currency units - 5 programmers worked on it, I had to pay them and myself a salary for 2 years. And the app then sells for 100 currency units on the Microsoft Store - that is the equilibrium price for this app - giving me 30 currency units max profit per sale. If Microsoft then takes 15 currency units from that "for use of the app store", I am left with 50% or "half" of the profit I would have made per unit sold without use of the store. Depending on how many units I sell at 100 units a pop, that may be hundreds of thousands of Dollars or millions of Dollars Microsoft took from me, or more, for the simple privilege of using their "Store Cloud". Does that make economic sense? Giving up a whopping 50% of the potential profit margin for an app to MS, for a little product page on their App store?
    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2018 @10:30AM (#56573586)

      Lets say that the total cost of developing my app is 70 currency units - 5 programmers worked on it, I had to pay them and myself a salary for 2 years. And the app then sells for 100 currency units

      Well there's your problem right there. If you really wanted 30 units of profit you should have charged 115 units for it on the App Store (well really a little more but you get the gist).

      It's not like expenditure and profit are not intertwined; you could also have reduced costs of production by buying crappy paddles for your ping-pong table.

      But 15 units of profit is STILL A PROFIT. And 15% of some much, much larger number is still in absolute terms much larger than 30% of a much smaller number...

      Does that make economic sense? Giving up a whopping 50% of the potential profit margin for an app to MS, for a little product page on their App store?

      When the "little product page" enables millions of people literally one click away from purchase (because they have registered payment methods) to see your product, then HELL YES that makes sense because you have an order of magnitude (or more) chance of a sale.

      You seem to have forgotten how hard it is to sell software to real people.

      • And 15% of some much, much larger number is still in absolute terms much larger than 30% of a much smaller number...

        That is true, but is there any evidence that selling via Microsoft's store is likely to generate a much larger number of sales to offset the fee?

        Book publishers have been making this argument for decades to try to hide their increasing irrelevance in the online era. Of course they're justified in paying the author who did most of the hard work $2 for each $40 book sale, just look at the valuable editing and marketing work they did! Except that actually plenty of publishers just phone it in on the editing si

        • That is true, but is there any evidence that selling via Microsoft's store is likely to generate a much larger number of sales to offset the fee?

          There is evidence in terms of seeing top listed apps that have been there for a long time and are making a healthy profit.

          But the thing is just the facts of the situation alone are enough - like I said, millions of people with already registered credit cards, vs you and your own brand of confusing ordering interface you set up.

          I'm not saying it cannot work, just th

        • Discoverability and trust are major problems for many small developers. I.e. you can throw up a webpage with your product but first people need to find it and then they need to trust you enough to enter their credit card details in some random webpage. Those are two major hurdles to overcome and it can be worth a lot of money to small devs to solve this. Of course right now the Windows store isn't a big player so the benefit is limited, but that's what MS want to solve here. By getting more devs on board th

    • Giving up a whopping 50% of the potential profit margin for an app to MS, for a little product page on their App store?

      Considering this is the Microsoft App Store we're talking about... I don't see how a whole eight dollars is going to make a difference one way or the other.

    • Good point, but if you cannot make a product with more than that lowish margin...well, unless you sell a ton of licences, your business model is not sound. Of course, with s/w the delta cost of "production & shipping" is (support & ongoing dev. cost aside) pretty much zero, so if you do manage to produce a "Unicorn" then it's all gravy

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Lets say that the total cost of developing my app is 70 currency units (...) giving me 30 currency units max profit per sale.

      Something tells me you haven't actually run a business if you think you can spend 70% making it, ~0% marketing and selling it then pocket the rest as profit. Sure, you can set up a little web site with a payment processor for very little but nobody cares you exist. And even you got somebody's attention there's probably a hundred other tower defense apps so why should they play yours? Sometimes it's just about putting a "good enough" app in front of a bunch of consumers so that they'll start using it and not

    • The 5th highest grossing app on the iTunes store in 2014 earned its developer less than $5k.

      Peanuts.
  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2018 @10:24AM (#56573558) Homepage
    throwing effort at a money train that left the station 6 years ago with Steve Jobs as its conductor is a classic microsoft blunder. Steam is for games, google is for word processing, Chrome is for browsing...what are you for again?

    pack it in and put the paddles on your cloud platform while you still have a chance to compete with it...and for god sakes stop asking cloud customers for feature suggestions you just come across as desperate and directionless as always.
    • "google is for word processing"

      You obviously work for a major industry. Word is still the defacto choice for work processing.

  • wha? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2018 @10:25AM (#56573562)

    Money? Entice developers? That's crazy talk!!

    We prefer sensitivity training and 30 page codes of conduct, my fried :)

  • Have a games store more like steam with
    no / limited sandboxing (at least multi exe and open dir's to logged in user) and no
    work shop / mods or at least open dir to install mods.
    OpenGL
    Does not need to be an Universal App
    open to dos box games / say things like classic doom with wads that can be used with your own ported exe.
    full video mode control
    let Nvidia Control Panel / ATI one link to store games.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wasted enormous amounts of time developing an application, getting it to build with their inane tools and waiting forever for them to accept it in the store, all the while getting insulted by their completely incompetent, might-as-well-be-robots Indian "support" "people", only to realize that the Microsoft Store is a pure scam. You don't get a single page view of "exposure". It didn't take me long to realize that it was a dead end after that, but it took me another eternity to get their fucking retards to

  • Between VS code, typescript, Linux subsystems, neat new hardware concepts, a new CEO and serious pressure from competitors like Google, Apple and Amazon and now this MS seems to be inching it's way back into the heart of opinion leaders, i.e. us.

    I can't complain. And who knows, I might someday check out this new surface stuff they're offering. And Win2k was the last OS of them I used.

    Isn't it nice, the wonders real competition can do?

  • I can keep 100% of the revenue by distributing it myself.
    • But what if that is 100% of $0.00 because nobody knows about your app?
      • by CHK6 ( 583097 )
        The Internet had an open market before the App Store and will continue to have an open market during an App Store. If Microsoft decides that the ONLY way to install an app on its platform is via their App Store, then they are no better than Apple.

        What does Micrsoft want more of? Platform users desiring their products and services or making money off the backs of independent developers?
        • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

          Open, and full of malware...
          How do i know that your website offering software downloads is legitimate and not one of the many scam sites?
          The average slashdot reader might be clued up enough to verify the legitimacy of a site, but clued up users are more likely to be running linux anyway. Most end users have no idea how to do this, and shouldn't be doing so. If you're using microsoft's os then you should be acquiring software through their store and nowhere else unless you really understand what you're doing

          • by CHK6 ( 583097 )
            You have a lot of blind faith in an App Store's ability to weed out Malware for the general public. And who's to say that in the future the App Store doesn't add it's own special sauce to a binary? Developers should pay a flat yearly rate for a listing in an App Store and take 100% of the profit.
        • Apple does not require you to use their store in OSX. If you're trying to compare Windows to iOS then that's a bad comparison, instead compare Windows Phone to iOS, or compare Windows to OSX.

      • It's not like people are currently going to the Microsoft Store to look for apps they want. SEO on Google is far more important in getting people to your app, even if you use Microsoft Store to distribute it.

      • Nobody will know about your app on the Microsoft store either. If you do care, then put up a free demo/limited version and they have to go to you to get the full applicatoin.

    • Craaazy talk! Yeah, I'm thinking if it takes more more than 10 minutes to code, it's *not* going into the App Store where big brother is going to take a 50% cut.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      How do you expect to process buyers' payment and still keep 100%?

    • Who do I go after if it has malicious behavior?

      Fly by night mom and pop web app?

      Pass

      I do buy games on the PS4 store
  • And they wonder why they're hemorrhaging customers? You didn't have to pay to publish apps before the app store.
    • Beats the Google and Apple options
  • by najajomo ( 4890785 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2018 @11:37AM (#56574130)
    Only eleven mentions of Microsoft on the front-page :]
  • The Microsoft Store (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sirber ( 891722 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2018 @12:12PM (#56574360)
    is a niche market filled with bad desktop apps no one wants.
  • by karlandtanya ( 601084 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2018 @12:47PM (#56574632)

    A new era in Hollywood Accounting, that is.
    If the folks (collectively; obviously you can have more than 1 coder on a project) that actually write the code get 1% of gross for longer than the time it takes for Microsoft to gain control of the project I'd be stunned.
    Heck, I'd be surprised if it happened at all. Maybe to one or two "loss leader" projects so they MS can trot those out and say "You, too can become rich selling magazine subscriptions in your free time and summers".

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2018 @12:51PM (#56574666)

    I have no XBox, so I have to ask... hey, wait, I remember something, from when my Laptop with Win10 arrived and I removed a bunch of preinstalled junk... I think I remember something like this flying off the SSD with a bunch of other useless crap, could that be it?

    What is it for?

    • It's built-in to the OS now. You odn't have to use it, and you actually can't use it at all until you register an account with Microsoft (which is 10% optional at the moment).

  • I must be weird, I haven't bought anything through the app store, ever.
    • I tried bringing up Minesweeper in Windows 10, to get a harder-to-use version that advertised that I could get an ad-free version by paying money. Every time I think about the Windows Store, I remember that.

      Is there anything interesting on it?

  • I thought this was about the software: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] ...

  • It would entice me! However, ageism is such a problem now, that I wouldn't have a chance. They'll get some young fellows who pretend to be developers.
  • Microsoft's only strength is money and many mind challenged fanboys who know no better. When the money runs out, the fanboys will find another deity to worship. MS is dying.

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