Windows 8 Store: No 99-Cent Apps
If you were looking forward to buying 99-cent Windows 8 apps at the Windows Store, forget about it. According to Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows 8 app pricing details, developers’ app pricing starts at $1.49, progresses in 50-cent intervals to $4.99 and can run up to $999.99.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) developers are able to sell their apps starting at 99 cents in either vendor’s store, and, let’s face it, these days 50 cents is 50 cents, especially considering that some users download hundreds of apps. Still, Windows 8 developers may allow customers to try an app for seven days before requiring payment for the full version — an offer not available in the Apple or Google stores.
“You, as the developer of the app, are always in control of the pricing of your app,” wrote Arik Cohen, Microsoft Lead Program Manager, Commerce and Licensing team, in a blog post. “When you onboard your app, you set its price (and the price of any in-app offers that your app provides) by selecting a price tier.”
Right now, until Windows 8 heads off to manufacturing, users can download and use for free all Window 8 apps available at the Windows Store, Cohen said.
“Currently, all the apps that are available in the Windows Store are free for customers to acquire — keeping with the preview nature of the Windows 8 releases to date,” he said.
Microsoft will take the industry standard 30 percent cut of every sale up to a bar of $25,000, but pares its share to 20 percent of everything above that measure, in effect, enticing successful developers with a more lucrative proposition for higher sales.
The vendor’s removal of the 99-cent app-pricing level has prompted a fair amount of online chatter so far, with comments ranging from “interesting,” to applauding the higher prices as beneficial to developers. It’s hard to say why Microsoft dispensed with the 99-cent pricing floor — maybe it was about de-clutter as suggested here — or to give developers the opportunity to make more money by starting from a higher base to hit the $25,000 bar sooner.
As for Windows 8, upgrades are slated to be available Oct. 26, 2012. Buyers who purchase a Windows 7–based system up to Jan. 31, 2013, can upgrade to Windows 8 for $15 from Microsoft online. Windows XP, Windows 7 and Vista users can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99.