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Windows 8 store apps to still take 30% cut; Metro iTunes OK

updated 12:25 pm EDT, Fri September 16, 2011

Microsoft still wants app cut but open to Apple

Microsoft in the wake of the Windows 8 unveiling has clarified its stances on apps. Despite claims that Windows Store apps would be free, a check of the developer terms mentioned in the Windows Weekly podcast has reportedly shown that the policy only applies to conventional Windows apps. Those written to take advantage of Windows 8's Metro interface will require giving Microsoft the industry standard 30 percent cut of sales.

The strategy, if correct, suggests that Microsoft would profit from being the default choice for Windows apps, much as Apple hopes for the Mac App Store. It could simultaneously fork Windows 8 app development where those who want to be in the Windows Store are pushed to either use an older, desktop-oriented interface to get full profits or to lose 30 percent of their revenue to publish a modern and tablet-native version. Microsoft won't require that apps publish through its store but will give much more exposure to apps that go through its official channel.

During the Financial Analyst Meeting this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer did say there wouldn't be any objections to key competitors writing apps. His company would "welcome" a Metro-native Amazon Kindle app and even Apple's iTunes rearchitected for the new layout. The remarks weren't a confirmation and did come with skepticism, particularly given Apple's frequent insistence on having more control over its own interface that might make it post a classic app instead.

"I don't know what we'd see there, but we'd certainly welcome those [apps]," Ballmer said. "And, because of compatibility [with non-Metro], there's certainly a path forward for everybody."

Apple may have to at least consider a new look. ARM tablets don't have to run Metro apps; without backwards compatibility for legacy apps, though, iTunes wouldn't port directly without at least a recompile to support ARM as well. A traditional-looking app might discourage Windows tablet owners who could go to the touch-native app from a competitor.

by MacNN Staff



  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So by charging a cut for Metro apps, they're inadvertently offering incentive to leave your apps the way they are, and not make Metro apps. The developers will now have to ask themselves "If I make a metro app, will my sales increase enough to justify the 70% cut of revenue that I will get?"

    MS should be saying "the Windows app store will be great for your sales, Metro or not, and we'll do the work of attracting customers, handling downloads, payment,etc. For that we're collecting 30% commission." Don't make developers have to guess which model is better.

  1. dorito8521

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In-App Purchases

    Would the 30% extend to in-app purchases like apple's policy? Would this mean that, should Apple or Amazon use the metro-style with iTunes and Kindle respectively, that Microsoft would want a 30% cut of all purchases? That'd be pretty disruptive.

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