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23 July 2012, 16:52

Microsoft details Windows Store app pricing

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Windows 8 logo

Microsoft has provided further details on how third-party developers will be able to earn money for their applications through the Windows Store for the company's upcoming Windows 8 operating system. In a post on the Windows Store for developers blog, Microsoft's Antoine Leblond says that, in addition to offering free apps, developers will be able to set the price of their apps using a pricing tier system.

Unlike Apple's Mac App Store (which allows a minimum app price of $0.99), the minimum price for apps in the Windows Store is $1.49. Pricing then go up in $0.50 increments to $4.99, with higher tiers available up to a maximum of $999.99. Alternatively, instead of setting their own price when submitting an application, developers can allow a member of the Windows Store support sales team to select a price tier for their app.

Zoom The new Metro-style start screen in Windows 8
Source: Microsoft
Developers will also be able to monetise their apps using in-app purchases – allowing users to unlock additional functionality or in-app items – or by integrating advertising when the app is in use. They are, though, not allowed to place advertising in the application's Metro tile. Microsoft will retain a 30% commission fee on the first $25,000 in sales of each app (including in-app purchases). However, for apps that make more than $25,000, this will be reduced to just 20% of sales on future sales.

In order to be accepted into the Windows Store, Metro-style apps must meet a minimum set of requirements. These include supporting all Windows 8 platforms (x86, ARM), conformity with the Windows Runtime type system and various privacy-related requirements. Additionally, apps must launch in 5 seconds or less on a "slow system", and must be able to suspended in 2 seconds or less.

According to Microsoft, when Windows 8 – currently available as a Release Preview – is released on 26 October, consumers in more than 200 countries will have access to the Windows Store. Pricing in these countries will be dependent on current exchange rates and will be rounded up to the available next available pricing level.

To sell apps in the Windows Store, developers must open a Windows Store developer account – $49 (£32) per year for individuals or $99 (£65) per year for companies – and agree to the App Developer Agreement.

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