Developers react to Microsoft's plan to shut down its UWP Ad Monetization platform

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What you need to know

  • UWP developers expressed frustration with Microsoft regarding its communication about the Ad Monetization program.
  • Microsoft announced that the program will shut down on June 1, 2020.
  • The announcement came in a brief forum post rather than a full-length blog post.

Earlier today, Microsoft announced that the Microsoft Ad Monetization program for UWP apps will shut down on June 1, 2020. Now, developers and UWP users around the web are discussing the status of the Universal Windows Platform and what the changes mean for developers.

While Microsoft directed people to start migrating to other ad platforms, it did not highlight any specific alternatives. Furthermore, the announcement came in a short forum post that led many developers to criticize Microsoft for poor communication.

We reached out to developers and took a look at some of the prevalent opinions appearing online. Here are some of the immediate reactions to the news from the UWP development community.

Sergio Pedri, the developer behind Legere states,

Personally, while I can see how this was a "necessary" thing to do for MS, if maintaining the service was no longer viable for them, I do feel like they've lost yet another occasion to show proper communication with developers on their platform. This is once again hurting developers' trust in the ecosystem, and that's not good. Also, the lack of alternatives is an issue for lots of small indie devs that heavily relied on ads as their main source of income.

Arlo, the developer behind Spotimo and a well-known UWP Community leader states,

When it comes to the community, the main pain point here is a lack of deeper communication with devs as to why something that seemed essential is getting the axe. There isn't much for real alternatives, so we feel like a proper explanation is in order, at the very least.

Fons Sonnemans, a Microsoft MVP and UWP developer shared a strong opinion on the change from Microsoft.

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Yair, the developer behind QuickPad states,

The main issue that bothers me is how this and other recent developments with UWP were communicated. I would reiterate what [others] said, how the lack of proper communication confuses and hurts developers. Revenue from ads themselves are pretty low, and the fill rates have been bad for a long time, many developers just used it to drive in-app purchases, but there needs to be a proper alternative as well as better communication.

Matthew, one of Quarrel's developers states,

I think it is really disappointing to see Microsoft do this without any proper explanation however there are alternatives, UWP will live on, and I will continue to develop for the platform.

Lance McCarthy, a Microsoft MVP, shared his thoughts on Twitter, including this reaction to the initial news.

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Niels Laute, the developer behind Huetro states,

Although I don't use or like ads myself, they are part of a Store ecosystem and developer story. Pulling the plug (without any clear alternatives) on this doesn't send an encouraging signal to existing and new developers. And apparently only because of... what, server costs? They run one of the biggest ad platforms in the world with Bing! Weird timing also, just before the launch of Neo and 10X. And millions of new potential customers that are going to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. And a few months after they make the developer payout better for devs (from 30-70 to 15-85). We know the Store is far from what the iOS/Android versions are... but this is just weird. And another chapter of the confusing and inconsistent Store/developer story on Windows 10.

A developing story about developers

The news of Microsoft's change regarding ad monetization is still fresh. We'll have to see if Microsoft responds to the internet backlash and what it says before we can weigh in fully. For now, developers are in many forums and on Twitter discussing how to move forward with app development and if the upcoming change affects them.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at