Microsoft sweetens the money pot for Windows 8 and Windows Phone developers

Microsoft sweetens the money pot for Windows 8 and Windows Phone developers
App developers of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 platforms have an opportunity to pocket some cash for their efforts before a single download of their apps are even executed.

The Windows Store has a health catalog of applications, but we can all agree there is room for more. Microsoft has a warm and cold developer situation when it comes to developers. The company’s flagship operating system by-and-large enjoys unrivaled application selection.

The Windows RT and Windows Phone platform do not have such a comfortable position. Even Windows 8 seems to have hit a bit of a barrier for apps related to the “Start Screen” that has dramatically changed the user experience. Microsoft is exploring all options to generate developer interest in the new platform.

There is an old saying, “Money talks,” and Microsoft is going to show devs the money when they successfully publish an app through the company’s “Keep the Cash” promotion. Developers can get $100 for each app that makes it to the Windows Store. The limit is 10 apps per store, so a developer can earn $1,000 for 10 Windows 8 apps, and another $1,000 for 10 Windows Phone 8 apps.

Developers certainly spend more time than what $100 would buy building their applications, but getting something on the front end before users even download the finished product is a pretty nice incentive.

Is there fine print? You bet there is! Obviously a modification of an existing app is not eligible for the promotion, neither is a simple app that just launches a web-page. Applications must “have a distinct and substantial content and purpose, including functionality.” Developers get $100 in the form of a Virtual Visa which expires 6 months after it is issued. Of course, it counts as taxable income, so hopefully you developers make some money for your efforts.

The promotion will continue through June 30, 2013 or until 10,000 qualified applications are published to Windows Store. Is it an act of desperation or a simple reality of what the company thinks it needs to do to compete with BlackBerry?  We do not think so, since the total payout for this promotion is only $1 million - petty cash for a company like Microsoft.

Whether this approach will work or not, we will have to see. It would be difficult to shake the appearance of a plea for developers to build applications with a promotion like this if more money were involved. A more subtle way might have been for the company to allow developers to keep 100% of their revenues from an app for a period of time before fees to Microsoft would begin getting collected. That is potentially worth a lot more than $100 to a developer and the outlay cost to Microsoft is not direct.

We will see soon enough if this adds a noteworthy group of additions to the Windows environment.

sources: Microsoft via The Verge



1. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

Marketing to devs is smart, but the big time devs and publishers from IOS and android aren't gonna care about $1,000 or less. Letting them keep 100% of their revenue would've made worth their while.

2. Rydsmith unregistered

Quality > Quantity. I'm sorry, but I just sold my L920 for an Optimus G (though I wanted the HTC One, no upgrade for over a year and $600+ out of pocket was not happening). The phone is a GREAT phone and the OS is just fluid and amazing, but to be honest the lack of applications was just too severe of a gap to recover. USAA recently pulled their banking app, and many others are following suit due to the fact that it isn't making financial since to keep their applications up and running when compared to the income it brings in. I know this is going to get downvoted but as a previous WP user (first 7 then 7.5 and most recently 8) all I kept hearing, and saying myself, is that the apps will come. Sadly, they never did for over a year and seem to not be coming. Hell, look at Hulu Plus. It has a Windows RT application, which is very easy to port to WP8 and they still see no demand to have it on WP8. Though WP8 can boast about its 120K+ applications, it means nothing when it's just Farting App #123542. I loved WP, but Microsoft just needs to throw more money than they are willing to to get developers on board. They need to get to the point that they completely fund the projects for them to get the ball rolling on WP8, or else it will be relegated to a sub 3% marketshare into oblivion.

3. ianbbaa

Posts: 332; Member since: Mar 20, 2013

I fear that it is too late for microsoft, i believe that all those "quality" apps from Play, AppStore will be upgraded regurarly and bring more goodies and stability....i focus on WP, wanted to switch, but after 5th year with android, followed basic apps and now some of my favourites are so good, stable, functions rich...that it is easier for me to stick with Android. I personally do not need tons of apps, i use 20 of them (free+paid), but they make my life easier, and even i focus on WP/W8...was watching every single info about it, awaiting something promising and what should i do??? Wait for another windows blue update? At that time, Android "might" be step further that now...

4. jsdechavez

Posts: 799; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

MS is just starting flexing its muscles. Too early to downgrade young tech.

5. PleaseBeObjective

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 31, 2013

"Developers certainly spend more time than what $100 would buy building their applications..." Not if you are Indian. Strange that Microsoft is doing all of these things when they have billions of cash reserves. Somewhere in the world, for far less than $1 million, some start-up company is going to create a revolutionary app. You would think that Microsoft might be the one to do this, since they certainly have the funds available. What's the problem, Microsoft?

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