> When Microsoft delivers a customer through other methods (tracked by an OCID), such as when the customer discovers the app in a Microsoft Store collection, through Microsoft Store search, or through any other Microsoft-owned properties, then you will receive 85 percent of the revenue from that purchase.
> When there is no CID or OCID attributed to a purchase, in the instance of a web search, you will receive 95 percent revenue.
So this is all about rewarding organic discovery, or paid discovery outside of Microsoft channels.
In other words, by allowing your app to be discovered first through the Microsoft Store search, you're paying Microsoft what amounts to a 10% commission.
And then, regardless of how it was discovered, you're paying 5% to Microsoft just for being on the platform.
It will be interesting to see what effect this has on the ecosystem. On the one hand, it seems like a reasonable shifting of costs. If you rely mostly on Microsoft for acquiring new customers, then Microsoft should get a little bit more of a cut, and if you rely mostly on your own marketing methods, then it should get less. But on the other hand, part of the strength of an ecosystem-based business model is that it's a one-stop shop, and one would think that Microsoft would want to incentivize discovery happening within that ecosystem, not to disincentivize it.
I'm assuming you mean if it has Azure Analytics packaged into it? Otherwise, I've never heard of WER (read: Watson) being available external of Microsoft; which could have been (and still could be, plausibly) a huge trove of information (if we're talking purely on a bug trends for various devices/flavours perspective).
Of the services on offer, only payment processing has significant cost to Microsoft. Things like crash reporting are solved problems whose cost should be approximately equal to the cost of hosting the data.
Fraud reduction accounts for the majority of that percentage.
Patreon has established that they will completely go out of business at 5%.
Steam is taking 30% and Epic is taking 12%. Salaries, servers and regulation are expensive.
Microsoft offering 5% is a steal.
This is neither unique to PayPal or the actual floor.
2.9% + (roughly) $0.30 is pretty much the standard across all public facing credit card processors like PayPal (and their subsidiary Braintree), Stripe, Amazon Pay, Authorize.net, and more. I have heard rumors Stripe offers rates as low as 1.8% for large volume processors. Adyen charges $0.12 + 0.6% + interchange fee making them extremely lucrative for their customers (including Uber, Netflix, Etsy, Spotify).
Given Microsoft's size and expertise, I'd anticipate they are operating close to interchange rates around $0.10 + between 0.8% and 1.6%.
> if you rely mostly on your own marketing methods, then it should get less
That's usually how it is. You rely on your own website and blog for organic results and Google or Facebook or some other channel (billboards, TV, podcasts, etc.) for paid advertising. Microsoft and other app stores don't really fit into this equation, they're only good for partnership deals and SEO is harder to do in an app store.
Microsoft is just recognizing the reality for customers and realizing that they can possibly make up for it in volume. If I'm saving 10% from this new fee structure, that's more cash that I can re-invest into advertising in outside channels.
That's usually how it should be.
But if you collect payments through Apple App Store or Google Play because your apps are available on their platforms, even if customers didn't discover it from the stores but through your own marketing methods, the platforms get the full 30%. There are some ways to circumvent this, but not really.
[assumed flow is potential customer sees marketing/advertisement, clicks to website/ad, or goes to app store and searches for your app to download it, pays from within the app]
And in fact this change specifically excludes Xbox (and, curiously, all games in general), which is the (remaining) Microsoft platform that's closest to iOS in terms of being locked down.
You are still free to circumvent all royalties to Microsoft by not listing your product on their store at all and marketing externally and keep 100% of the revenue, which is similar to the Mac, but the Windows Store is more akin to iTunes or Google Play.
Same if the customer thinks of buying your product at your own brand store, but then forgets, later they see it in a different store and buy it there. They pay the same RRP, but you see a smaller slice because the store keeps a cut.
Is this a problem? Not necessarily, if you're so sure customers would come back to your store then you can just refuse to sell it to other stores except as a retail product (so they couldn't afford to offer the same price as you)
It can be a problem if the store owner has some special privileges you don't have. Maybe they're the only one licensed to sell booze in the whole country. Or, take Apple, the only ones able to sell apps that actually work out of the box in an iPhone.
So far as I know, Microsoft aren't yet as abusive as Apple here. But I suppose that isn't helped by the fact that Microsoft's store isn't exactly a wild success.
If they visit your website but don't click the link, then there's no way for the Store to attribute the sale to your website, so you'll probably be charged full freight (15%).
under this model, it encourages (perhaps) some of the smaller/medium Enterprise vendors to give up having to deal with a payment system at all, in exchange for simplified distribution (if I read this correctly) and no more payment handling, and in exchange MS gets a 5% cut.
This to me makes complete sense. Most of the Windows ecosystem for software is mostly out side of Microsoft's hands. Indeed, it is the #1 strength of the platform beside its ubiquity.
I actually think this is a brilliant insight on the side of Microsoft, by inverting this model they get a non-zero slice of a a pie they previously did not have.
It also encourages more vendors to uptake the distribution model via their Store, which I think is ultimately what they want more than a cut of sales in aggregate.
Say nothing of the home user, who beyond MS Office perhaps never transacts at all with Microsoft when they buy other software.
I see a lot of Google ads going to apps and once they are there. Stop the ads.
You have one side that's actively working to make Windows obsolete and another that's flailing about trying to make it relevant somehow.
I'm a bitter ex-Windows Phone user, so my perspective could be colored.
When you are looking for a new Windows app, does opening up the store even cross your mind?
I nearly always go to a web search + download first. Or if it's something dev-centric I look at scoop or chocolatey. The Windows Store is far, far behind in my mindshare.
There are a few glimmers of hope though. Python has begun to distribute via the store which is cool. And the Linux distros available are helpful in some edge cases or for a quick dev environment.
I also have a couple of other games and utility apps.
Having the sandbox around is really nice from my user point of view.
Then as Windows/Web dev, I do like the rebooted version of COM as well.
I found things closer to what I was looking for than I did on the web too, but still came to the conclusion that what I was looking for doesn't exist (a good non-mobile app for marking up pdf's with a stylus - the closest I've found is Microsoft Edge of all things).
I guess this is the final attempt. We'll see if it works.
That said, I'd say the Store is not breaking any records. It looks like their reaction to that is to allow other stores on Windows while taking a step back and concentrating on being a good platform.
What's the most popular app on Windows Store anyway? I use Windows 10 every day and I've never noticed anything outside of Bejeweled, Candy Crush and other "mobile" type games.
Windows is continuing to expand to ARM even without phones right now. The HoloLens 2 is reported to be built around a Qualcomm Snapdragon.
Windows 10 ARM tablets/netbooks are a product again, in trying to compete with Chrome OS, and it isn't a repeat of the Windows "RT" tablets because Windows 10 on ARM now supports x86 emulation and a lot of classic 32-bit Win32 applications.
Just because you currently don't have a use for the Store doesn't mean that no one has a use for the Store. It's nice finally having a proper central app installer/updater without every application developer installing their own baroque updater and running it on every Windows startup. Getting rid of the Apple Updater alone by installing iTunes from the Windows Store is such a relief.
Currently I'm seeing much more dev excitement for platforms like Electron where you can slap a wrapper around your existing web tech but damn would I love to see a renaissance for native Windows apps. I feel like Microsoft botched native Windows dev by having many and competing eco systems, some which feel incredibly outdated. It says a lot when even they prefer Electron for stuff like Visual Studio Code.
This also aligns the incentives on what the platforms advertises, to some extent.
Interesting considering the rise of Epic Store
There are costs to targeting the Windows platform, especially if you're doing things their new preferred way (UWP). Primarily a slow, difficult to work with development kit. Lots of mysterious crashes that you can't do much about, lots of leaky abstractions over COM.
If anything, Microsoft should be paying developers to target their store. I do personally prefer modern apps and the experience of the store, I just know not to reach for it first. As a customer I would appreciate more apps, they need to figure out a way to make the platform more appealing for developers.
All that lead to was a bunch of similar looking apps of questionable quality flooding the store.
You can get a sense of the problem by browsing their "new and rising" feed:
Ultimately I don't think the difference between 15%, 5%, or 0% is that meaningful to an app developer. It's not going to turn your small number of Windows customers into a huge number, and 95% of a small dollar amount is not much less than 100% of a small dollar amount.
If only they had spent that money on actually making the OS better. Imagine that.
What do you think they were trying to do? Apps are what make an OS good. Even if they caused 10,000 trash apps to be created and only 100 good ones, that's still 100 more good apps than they had before.
Also their own apps were poor. I remember Skype for WP 8 was absolutely unusable. MS is composed of many teams and many of them clearly didn't give a shit about WP.
You can also publish command line apps to the store. Which is cool...
I only bought items on the Windows Store because I had a few $25 Windows Store vouchers as well.
They stopped selling Music around January 2018?
Apparently Microsoft believes that there is demand for a Windows Store and its apps, but games on the Windows Store are so successful that they don't need the cut.
I would not have thought that possible, but I don't have access to Microsoft's business metrics.
That said, I don't have access to any data about sales - it's possible that just as many people buy it regardless of what store it's sold on. But I would suspect that is unlikely given how easy it is to pirate something and gamers' tendencies to believe they're owed a game.
I found out that our app was crushed after 2 weeks of development.
Basically, they won't let us in because we use Electron.
Electron is developed in part (primarily) due to Github which they now own.
TWO WEEKS I spent porting to the MS App Store only to have them just crush us ...
It's great that I can make 95% of zero...
But seriously. If anyone from Microsoft is listening - please unblock us ;)
I'm considering submitting this as a PWA but it's missing a lot of features as a PWA.
That kind of transparency really helps build confidence in Microsoft Store as a platform. It's important to show that the team is accessible (and, frankly, human). It also helps to correct misleading narratives (e.g. "MS Store doesn't Electron apps").
We were eventually approved!!! so if you had any impact here I really really appreciate it!
They aren't rejecting your code because you use Electron. They are rejecting your code because you use Electron to browse the web.
To see why this is a bad idea, one only has to look so far as the third post currently on the from page of HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19321775 Do you think that microsoft can reasonably rely on this patch being promptly applied to all the electron apps in it's store?
Electron may primarily be developed by GitHub, a recent acquisition, but it is not well suited for this purpose.
You can see that this post is tricking other people in the replies to it, e.g. the one discussing slack, the first reaction of the microsoft employee that kindly replied, and the person who replied saying "I have a electron app in the microsoft store".
Your package-lock.json references electron 3.1.3, which was released at the end of January, while that vulnerability was only patched Feb 27. I think (but you should check) that 3.1.5 includes the patch. Edit: It doesn't. The only way to get this patch seems to be to update to Electron 5.x.
It's not even a disclosure. I don't claim it's because they're blocking electron apps as a blanket.
I get the impression they don't do extensive Q&A with their products.
Eh, half the problem is that there are far too many options to maintain
Microsoft devs have even contributed to the tool mentioned in that article (and Microsoft is listed in the MIT license copyright statement):
They don't want things 'browsing the web' without you being forced to use MS Edge.
It's not really 'browsing' as you give it one URL and if that URL works you 'capture' it for offline storage.
You weren't even blocking code from common malware providers such as ad networks last I checked... Glancing at the code it looks like you still aren't.
It's not like Microsoft really needs the revenue from the half-dozen apps available in their store right now. What they need is momentum.
If I were in charge of making this decision I would pull the levers on every incentive I can give developers, cause God knows most people don't even remember the MS Store exists...
I downvoted your comment because you aren't being intellectually honest to suggest it makes sense for them to provide payment processing, update management and DRM for free to app developers when at the very least they'd be losing big on the credit card processing side. So your comment reads as an elitist jab against Microsoft and not actual constructive criticism.
Apple takes the massive cut they do in their app store because developers can't really afford not to pay for that level of access to users.
One day when (IF!) Microsoft's store becomes relevant like that, they can think about what share they're entitled to
Finally, but also importantly, I don't know where in God's green world you got "elitism" from... which is pretty rich coming from someone calling my comment intellectually dishonest and "not actual constructive criticism".