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UWP apps to lose Microsoft Ad Monetization platform this June

Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft will shut down the Microsoft Ad Monetization platform for UWP apps on June 1, 2020.
  • Microsoft suggests developers begin the transition to other ad platforms.
  • Microsoft states that the program is "no longer viable."

Microsoft will shut down one of the ways that UWP developers monetize their apps later this year. The Microsoft Ad Monetization platform for UWP apps will shut down on June 1, 2020, according to a brief post by Microsoft (opens in new tab). Microsoft states that the platform is "no longer viable for us to continue operating the product at the current levels." The company suggests developers begin the transition to other ad platforms.

The announcement sent developer communities into discussions on the web about the future of UWP app development and the viability of developing UWP apps. Some developers discussed stopping development of new UWP apps as a result of this change, though the vast majority that I've contacted are sticking with their current plans. Others expressed frustration regarding the decision, including the fact that rather than a full blog post, the change was announced in a brief forum update.

Ads are considered a necessary "evil" by many. Some pointed out within the UWP Community Discord Discord that ads can also be useful because they drive people towards purchasing the ad-free version of apps.

There are several options for monetizing UWP applications, including donation models, freemium models that lead to people paying to remove ads, and, for now, the Microsoft Ad Monetization platform. Developers have to weigh the value of each monetization method and determine which is best for their applications.

Microsoft's suggestion to developers to switch to another ad platform could prove difficult. MSPowerUser points out that many ad platforms lack SDKs for UWP apps. As a result, monetizing apps through ads following the cutoff in June could be difficult or impossible.

At this time, Microsoft has not issued a statement regarding which ad platforms it recommends or which will deliver similar functionality to the current program.

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 sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

27 Comments
  • https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-uwp-not-dead-evolved There goes that argument.
  • Aged like milk :)
  • Well, that's the "Kiss of Death" for the UWP platform. If developers can't make money off of it, they won't develop for it. Period. Win32 is the albatross around Windows' neck that just won't rot away............
  • They can still release paid apps!
  • "Win32 is the albatross around Windows' neck that just won't rot away.."
    While true, I should point out that Win32 also has no native Microsoft ad platform either ;)
  • Win32 doesn't need an ad platform. Whereas UWP did. Face it...UWP is and has been doomed.
  • Why does Win32 app development not need an ad platform but UWP does? Do win32 apps magically generate money somehow by existence?
  • Win32 apps magically generate money by SALES. They aren't free, therefore they don't NEED ads.
  • Not really I think, sounds like less free but poor quality apps (or many trackers) and more paid but better quality apps (bit like Android vs iOS).
  • No words for it... 😶
  • Are there any viable alternatives though?
  • AdDuplex is the big one.
  • Vungle has a UWP SDK - https://publisher.vungle.com/sdk/sdks/windows
  • What's the logic of this on the eve of launching Windows X? They should be doing everything they can to incentivize development on their new platform.
  • There isn't logic, at least through a consumers point of view. This is just more unnecessary internal tug of war. Given their messaging, it's clear that 10x should be avoided at this point. Anybody who buys a 10x machine should expect one to two years of support at best. RT all over again.
  • People also said that about WOA but it still gets updated. Also RT got longer updates than the average Android device (3 years of main updates and 4 years of security, maybe even longer if they could upgrade to 8.1 which has extending support to 2023). Not all that bad actually.
  • While I don't think removing ways for devs to make money is going to help anything, I always refused to use apps that had ads. If there's an app I needed, I would just pay for it. I didn't want to see the ad in my app. It always ruined the experience for me. Evidently Microsoft didn't see the need in supporting the app model any longer. It's not like we have 5-star apps launching in the Store every day. Most apps people were downloading from the store were probably 1st party or paid apps anyway. Apps like games, Office, music production and photo editors are all mostly paid apps anyway. "Free" apps were all mostly first-party or PWA anyway.
  • There are ads in Windows 10. Do you still use it? https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/17/14956540/microsoft-windows-10-ads-tas...
  • Influx of subscription-based apps coming soon.
  • When you look at iOS vs Android this is what you see, actually. iOS is flush with IAP and subs, whereas Android is still primarily ad-based (sometimes full screen ads) with option to disable.
  • I see another nail being driven into the coffin of the Windows Store (and Windows itself) by a company bit by bit further distancing itself from Windows.
  • The store is rumored to begin shutting down this summer.
  • Not the consumer Microsoft Store, and you conveniently leave that part out.
  • If the store shuts down, and I've got my GO in S mode...then what?
  • There are no words to describe this idiocy and sadly given Microsoft's track record it won't be the last.
  • Tablet mode is garbage in Window 10 anyway. UWP needs to die.
  • The best way to monitize an app is with in app purchases. The fact is Microsoft advertising sdk hasn't work in years. Do a search for Microsoft advertising sdk no ads error and you'll see msny developers have had 0 fills for a long time now. This is just Ms shutting down a program that never really worked. I would like to see MS doing more here's a dollar to spend on apps promotion like Google does all the time.