The Windows 8 app store in the consumer preview has been somewhat lackluster in terms of quality, but this can be easily explained. The beta version of Windows 8 still doesn’t allow developers to charge for metro applications, which means the most polished offerings likely won’t surface until release on October 26th (pun somewhat intended). We have to admit we’ve been a bit curious as to how Microsoft will handle transactions in the Windows 8 store, and in a recent blog post, the Redmond based software giant finally released a detailed breakdown of what to expect.
App makers will have the flexibility to charge between $1.49 at the low end, and $999.99 on the high end, with no exceptions allowed. Few will argue that $999.99 is too low, however leaving out the $0.99 cent price point is an interesting decision, and one that will likely be scrutinized in the days to come. iOS and Android have proven that consumers are far more willing to take the plunge on a $0.99 purchase, and $1.49 could potentially cut into their volume of sales compared to other platforms.
To help make up for this however, Microsoft has offered to only take the industry standard 30% commission rate on sales up to $25,000. Anything sold after this amount will drop to 20% going forward. To a company like Rovio who makes a killing selling Angry Birds, this can mean a potentially much larger paycheck from Microsoft over competing platforms. The Windows 8 app store will also offer an Android style “try before you buy system”, along with in app purchases that will allow you to upgrade to the full version, or unlock additional features.
Perhaps the most interesting new development here is how they will handle billing. Microsoft will optionally allow developers to use their own billing system, which would allow the Kindle app for example to sell book’s without leaving the metro app, and also potentially without offering up 30% Apple insists on in iOS. I suppose we will get more details in the days to come, however, so far this looks just as competitive as the other guys, with a few interesting perks for the larger developers.