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Microsoft entices developers this holiday season to build more apps

Microsoft is showing how valuable the Windows platform is as it tells developers that it anticipates roughly $100 million of Windows Store gift cards will be available this holidays for use on Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox digital content. The company says that during the holiday season, developers will also generate 2.5 times more revenue than during the rest of the year.

Microsoft says of its conversations with game publishers:

"Now when we talk with the top game publishers the conversation is more along the lines of, 'Hey, let's collaborate to bring a full portfolio of your games to the platform in the same timeframe,'" says Guggenheimer. "And we're going to see a wave of those portfolios this holiday. This multi-title approach allows publishers to more quickly gain expertise in developing on the platform and start generating revenue, while allowing our Store to deliver more popular titles to our customers, sooner."

The company quotes Anatoly Ropotov of Game Insight as saying that games are more popular than any other downloads right now in the Windows Store.

"Windows Store is a pretty open platform that has a lot of space for new developers to come in and find niches and genres others haven't released. The growth of the platform and its velocity show that it's not a quick fad, it's here to stay," says Ropotov, who attributes the company's speedy success to investing in Microsoft's cross-platform tools and monetization resources. "Once we discovered the Stores were coming to Windows, we decided to take some of the in-house C++ games that we had developed on other platforms and add support for Windows Store. We've paved this road and created a showcase product of free-to-play games on Windows and Windows Phone that could work for other developers out there."

And with support for middleware providers like Unity, developers can target multiple platforms to bring in more revenues.

Taking advantage of this, Game Insight's portfolio of more than 35 games uses a variety of middleware, including Unity. On the Windows and Windows Phone platform, the number of Unity-based titles has increased 10 times in the last year.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Chuong's passion for gadgets began with the humble PDA. Since then, he has covered a range of consumer and enterprise devices, raning from smartphones to tablets, laptops to desktops and everything in between for publications like Pocketnow, Digital Trends, Wareable, Paste Magazine, and TechRadar in the past before joining the awesome team at Windows Central. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, when not working, he likes exploring the diverse and eclectic food scene, taking short jaunts to wine country, soaking in the sun along California's coast, consuming news, and finding new hiking trails. For news tips or to connect, please message him on the Signal messaging app at +1 (424) 666-7438. 

93 Comments
  • Good for OS.
  • How do I get into Windows Phone app development anyway?
  • Channel 9 has a ton of resources available for starting out in universal app development!
  • Try downloading source code and tinkering with it!
  • Best get a windows 8.x laptop or install windows 8. You won't have access to any 8.1 tools if your running windows 7. Also make sure if your going to run windows 8 on fairly old machine make sure it support hyper-v and is SLAT enabled. Check this link out for how to check, I'd type but phone is about to die -.-. http://www.intowindows.com/check-if-your-pc-supports-windows-8-hyper-v/
  • You can't. You have to have Windows 8.1 Professional installed. You cannot install Windows Phone SDK on regular windows. Speaking about entry barriers. Any questions about why there aren't as many original apps on WP?
  • Not entirely true - you can install the SDK and develop on Windows 8 and Windows 7. You can even develop on a Mac. The only limitation is the WP8 emulator that needs Hyper-V, so W8 only. You can still write code and deploy to a device without the emulator. It's more difficult, yes, but not impossible. There are online-only alternatives (PhoneGap Build, Telerik AppBuilder among many others) that can make web apps compiled for the 3 main platforms (WP, Android, IOS).
  • I want an update for Instagram beta...
  • Buy 6tag
  • That suck ... An official app is not update for half year. And u say "buy 6tag" lol...
  • 6tag has no real time notifications... Instagram does
  • An average user doesn't know about 6tag, because of this we need the official app to be of high quality so people will use WP and tell their friends to buy it. Because of this rain I don't tell any of my friends to buy a WP because they won't like the apps
  • I always suggest my friends to buy WP. And one of them just switched to WP and is happy with the OS. And one more friend is planning to buy Lumia 730 next year along with me.
  • I take it you're not from the USA, I hear that overseas the app situation isn't as bad. Here is all about the apps and on WP they aren't as good as on IOS and Android. Also Nokia or Lumia isn't well known so people won't buy them.
  • Your a messiah of windows phone.^_^
  • Who are you Tom Warren or Ed Bott?
  • Who's tom warren?
  • I didn't remembered where he works but yeah he is a tech journalist.
  • Is he that guy who gave up on Neowin for that fake ass site that has nothing but fanboys?
  • A traitor, I can't see him using apps as much as he claims which was the reason he says he switched from WP to an iPhone as his daily driver. Honestly, as long as social stop lets you read, post, receive updates/feeds then you should be okay. Tom has simply been convinced by the staff at his new gig (2 years now I guess), that Apple is king as that's all they use over there. He use to run a site called winrumors which at the time was the best Microsoft informative site out there. I am deeply saddened and disappointed with his moving on, but not surprised as his writing style add tone against Microsoft was being reflected in his articles oh v her at his new job..... Everyone here knows where that is so I won't mention the name. I also don't wavy this post to be removed.
  • I've read a few of his things and I guess what gets me most is that as a supposed "expert" in Windows, he is probably the most whiney "expert" I've ever run across in some twenty years in IT. It's always a pity party for him over the most minuscule of issues. Personally glad to see him go. I know experts in the IT field, myself included and his attitude is closer to a 7 year old child than a seasoned professional. Sad and humorous at the same time. And the same for his buddy Ed.
  • Who?
  • Exactly. But apparently they've abandoned WP because they couldn't find an app. Too funny. http://www.cultofmac.com/306051/diehard-microsoft-fans-abandon-windows-p...
  • I am using a WP since 2011 and have been a great promoter and supporter of Microsoft and it's services and products..But now I think that Microsoft is ruining it all..Am starting to believe in DJCBS now..Have been waiting for a big flagship like that of 1520/1020/930 with a new processor and 3 Gigs..But now my comments are gonna be different..!!
  • It hasn't been long since the Nokia/Microsoft deal f finalized and you're complaining about a flagship already? Nokia is to blame for the hardware prior to 2015, now in 2015, if Microsoft doesn't bring new hardware then have at them, but also blame other OEM's as well, as Microsoft isn't the only manufacturer of windows phones. May I ask what it is you're looking for in a device? My 1520 works fine for me!
  • Take a year more to finalize while the rest of your competitors move ahead..!! Am blaming Nokia as you say..But oh they say that they are in Microsoft now..!! How can I blame others when Microsoft can't concentrate on their own OS and bring things fast and worldwide to it's OS and increase it's market share to lure more devs (helps in bringing more apps to the OS) and new OEMs..!!
    Am looking for a Snapdragon 801/805 with 3 GB of RAM and a HD Display with a 41 MP+ Sensor and a 5er in front..!! Oh your 1520 doesn't seem to have all of those..!! And for many their 4.0.4 Droids are the best..!!
  • You have a very specific request from a very large company that doesn't know or build for you personally. I don't think you're mentioned in the Lumia roadmap.
  • That's the problem..I who requires a high-end device is not being heard by a 'very large company'..!! And along with me a lotta folks need it too..And our request is not being heard by Microsoft which is going to be a problem for Microsoft but not for me or any other user who can easily switch to some other OS and increase their market share..!! Just like Ed Bott or Tom Warren..!! No company builds for a specific individual..But HTC made the M8 which I would have bought had it been released in mah country..!!
  • Talk to HTC. I personally reached out to them regarding accessories like battery packs that you can snap on your phone for extra juice, etc, but to no avail. Don't get me wrong, I know the 1520 is too large for some, but as far as specs go, it's high-end for me for now, but I'm also looking to see what comes next. I love Nokia, but I believe they should have focused on making devices thinner with better specs and removable SIM cards, etc, because this is what people were calling for, but they chose to basically focus on they camera aspect only as they had the design principal nailed already which they rehashed from the N8 as well as others they already had from their Symbian days. But even in that aspect, Nokia design team didn't seem to improve on those existing designs when society was clearly calling for thinner, larger screen devices, better spec'd devices; but hind sight is 20/20. I'll bet if they had it to do all of over again they'd take a different approach and I don't mean choosing WP; I'm mean with Symbian, maemo, sailfish, or any of their other failed mobile attempts. I don't think Nokia would be alone either, ask blackberry if they would do anything different.
  • Don't wanna argue more there are a lotta aspects to be pondered over..!! Enjoying the weekend..!! :P :P
  • There's no argument. You just expect the world to revolve around your personal desires. The argument is with yourself. But we do appreciate having a glimpse into your mind.
  • And the Lumia roadmap was Nokia and all of the units we're seeing were already in the manufacturing stage before the Microsoft purchase of Nokias devices and services division finalized. Do to think Microsoft would just pile all of the devices Nokia had already manufactured into a pile and burn them or bring them to market and make what money
    they can on them before investing millions into new flagship devices and make whatever profits they can? That would just be poor business decisions, especially since consumers are looking for devices at cheaper prices. Everyone is looking to get good devices off contract so carries won't have control and honesty, Nokia had a good plan because devices like these are cheap enough and companies like blu offer cheap units with slightly better specs, dual SIM capability, and larger screens for basically the same cost. Everyone can't afford what you or I can; we are the minority in this situation and people looking for cheaper devices are the M majority: Now as a business owner, what segment would naturally invest more in until you're client base grew enough to invest in higher end devices????
  • I'll see if I can finish my other app in the next few days....
  • Games or weather app???
  • Niche app. Atm, its just a list of Amateur Radio repeaters in the Cincinnati region and nets that occur on them. For Hamvention's sake I might change it altogether to include all of Ohio. I really just stopped after I got the base of it complete.
  • Call it the Markiplier Radio and I guarantee you, you'll get thousands of downloads :P
  • Feems Saster...
  • Go masturb8 or something..
  • I need CoC
  • Probably not the best app to abbreviate...
  • That's the joke
  • Is it really?  I assumed he wanted Clash of Clans and was just too lazy to write it out.  If he was really trying to make that joke, then my bad i guess...
  • Or he really wants some CoC
  • I wanna get my app out by next weekend :)
  • Ones that are repeat developers need inexpensive access to devices to help texting and make things go smoothly.... Phones and tablets.
  • The problem is that it was recently announced that Microsoft is cutting back on how much developers make off of their apps in January. I think if I remember correctly the percentage the developer gets for each app they sell is going from either 75% or 80%  down to 70%.. Doing that will give Microsoft more money and the app developer's less money. Not a real smart move on Microsoft's part. Especially when they're trying to compete with Google and Apples app store's.
  • That's not a problem at all.  MS went to a flat rate format just like Google and Apple do - and they did it at the same percentage.  The discounts on the rate only kicked in once you went past $100,000 in revenue from an app.  Most developers wouldn't budget to anticpate that and it can make things messy.   The other thing is they are setting their Store up differently anyways, allowing access from one store to Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, Phone, and even Xbox for the right app.  They are also probably building a way to dynamically manage the UI across the different platforms.  So the upcoming Windows Store is a different beast.   It's too complicated to offer revenue discounts and it didn't work to draw added developers.  Gradually adoption will do that and the percentage will not matter.  And that adoption is likely to accelerate with Windows 10 and the Universal App Store.  Within 2 years from launch, the Windows 10 Store will be on devices that serve well over 500 million customers.  That's based on industry projections at the moment.  The fragmented nature of the current Windows marketplace is the major problem.  They are solving it and creating a unified front that will all users to buy an app once and use it on phone, desktop, laptop, and tablet.  The in-app purchases should translate as well.    The key to watch is this year.  There's some data suggesting that the 2-in-1s and low cost tablets with Windows are outpacing Android tablets for the Christmas shopping season.  Significant growth there will have bleed over to Windows Phone as preparations for Windows 10 are made.   Android and Apple aren't going away, but Windows 10 could make a significant dent in all markets because it offers a unified front that no other ecosystem can offer.  That's why there's no need to discount access to the Store.  There's not going to be another Store that can offer what the upcoming Store can offer.  None.  Nada.  Zip. 
  • Buy a candy for this article from my side..!!
  • Well, the developers are going to be making less money for the software they creat & sell. Do you think that profit cut for them is going to entice them or any new /other platform developers to develop apps for Windows or Windows Phone? I personally wouldn't, if I had a company that did that type of stuff.There are even phone manufacturer's that have ditched Microsoft. Yes, I know Microsoft bought Nokia's Mobile division. I'm talking about Huawei or whatever their name is.Samsung has, too.
  • Well 80% of devs don't rely on app making as a source of living..It's the same on every platform now so I suppose it won't make a huge difference..!!
  • Maybe they believe they no longer need that incentive with windows 10.
  • Still waiting on family fued....coming soon...
  • I am waiting for candy crush saga and soda. Also for minecraft pe... Blooms td 5. Snapchat. Fun run...
    Or I could just install android on my dell venue 11 pro and my problems would be solved. Except console os is still in development... Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Candy Crush Saga is already available for WP. Check it in the store.
  • Minecraft also.
  • Not windows phone, windows 8. I am talking about windows 8. I don't know why King didn't bring soda crush to windows phone nor why they havn't brought any to windows 8. Minecraft pe is only for windows phone. I know alot of people say to play full version since I am on windows but I want the PE version, it is touchscreen compatible and I can play with people around me who have PE on there devices.
  • I downloaded BlueStacks on my surface pro so I could play clash of clans.
  • Dude you don't keep up with the platform you use(WP), otherwise, you would know candy crush saga went live already!
  • Resuming..........................
  • Now, Loading............... ...
  • Restarting..................
  • Please wait..........
  • And then...Start Screen.
  • I had that problem, where it kept saying resuming after turning the screen off then on, and I fixed it by just resting my phone. Never does it now.i think it had something to do with apps that updated the lock screen.
  • Checking for updates...................
  • Downbloading............
  • You can not play this file in this device.........
  • Reporting bug........
  • Apps that are updated with 8.1 features resume less the problem is that developers aren't updating the apps.
  • I think the following app developer needs to join this program: Microsoft Corporation
  • Lol :D
  • 100 milion $ ? Or million of 100$ ? I am so confused
  • Both mean the same thing
  • It's 99 millions plus 1 more..!!
  • Msft we kindly need an update for Instagram. I know 6tag is there but it doesn't meet the state of art technology. Focus on finishing what is there then introduce new apps to the store after all is done.
  • "State Of The Art Technology"..?? Ye need an app or a fighter jet or what..??
    And Microsoft isn't the one making all apps..!!
  • Good one.
  • I haven't said msft is the one that makes all the apps.
  • So how is Microsoft responsible for Instagram not being updated..??
  • Sounds like a good question to post to the developer of the app...who isn't Microsoft. Facebook owns them...not MSFT.
  • Lets see we get decent fb app.
  • What's wrong with the current one? No problem on my 620.
  • Meh. WP is dead unless Windows 10 helps improve the app situation in a big way. With extremely few exceptions, the apps we have are either unofficial of severely lacking in features compared to Android and iOS. Two years ago, this was acceptable, but all OS's, including WP, have advanced so much since then that people demand more. And they GET more in Android and iOS versions, but WP versions for the most part still have the same functionality they had 2 years ago. Look at the pathetic Netflix app, one of the major apps on any platform. It hasn't been updated in any significant way in more than 2 years on WP. That's just not acceptable. I'm staying with WP until the bitter end, but I can't suggest it for anyone else. Sadly.
  • FYI....Bridge plus dailer is Very good dialer, on WP (only dialer which works on WP) windows to windows phone voice is very clear, tried from windows to android and symbian other person can hear echo (intermittent), but takes long time to connect, any way something better then nothing
  • WP is definitely growing in popularity as can be seen with the new app releases, windows 10 will definitely improve this as the free 8 1 os has done.
    Ms has supported dev for a long time with development kits ( I remember coding in notepad).
  • It`s a good article, but people needs to realize that app developers are not enough. Users needs to support the app developers. And not just the big ones. Indie developers or small teams like mine work hard to bring their stuff to the platform, and when there is little result in revenue, than makes us think if it worth the effort. We brought 2 game to WP in the last month or so (GetOuT! EDDY and SnowLogic). Both of them are universal app, which took us over a year to develop, and we can`t seem to get enough purchase to justify our next project to be available for WP. So overall we are satisfied with the support from MS, but not from the users. And I don`t want to hurt anybody, as everybody needs to decide what to buy and what not to buy, but it`s a clean fact the people spend more money on iOS or even on BlackBerry as on WP. Android is just the worse from this perspective, so don`t think I`m or we are against WP. We all in our team has WPs as well and we love them. :)
  • Am glad you clarified that windows phone is not the worst when it comes to app purchase,the low users also counts as much as the high users on android, in google play store there is just so many freaking app base that does nothing useful to alot of people or is too similar in function to others with no specific distinguishing factor,as for app store,i cant comment,never used an iglass
  • Those Windows Store gift cards are still not available here in South Africa
  • want more apps? 1)STOP  being an ass to developers and deliver a competent SDK and API set that is not the most restrictive out of all mobile operating systems. 2) STOP waging war on your OEMs and let them customize windows phone just as they do with windows. 3) STOP talking and start shipping windows phone 10 and put it on par with iOS and Android feature wise. 
  • Good to get independant developers motivated but the only apps that I really want and keep me thinking about bailing are apps for companies I use. I'm not alone.
  • I gave up developing for WP 18 months ago, when Microsoft gave up on Indie developers and XNA
    And MS gift cards not available in UK, MS still does appreciate global markets outside US
  • Please develop Top Eleven Be A Football Manager for wp8.1
  • hi there! play new game on Windows Phone 8 http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/store/publishers?publisherId=Oriplay%2... "Drop Hunt", "Lamphead"