Windows Marketplace details for developers

Microsoft this morning released a little more information about its Windows Marketplace for Mobile (that name sounds pretty official now), centering on what developers can expect with regards to Windows Mobile 6.5.

Here's the bottom line, in handy bullet points:

  • Annual registration is $99 and includes submission of five applications. Each additional submission within the annual period is another $99.
  • Devs will set their own prices.
  • Devs will keep 70 percent of the sales revenue.
  • Student developers can have the registration fee waived through the DreamSpark program.

Before anyone starts with the M$FT comments, that 30 percent cut Microsoft takes is right in line with what Apple's doing in its App Store, and the rest is pretty much in line, too. What remains to be is see is what the ramifications will be on other vendors, such as Mobihand and Handango, and whether large software houses such as SPB and SBSH will join in.

Full presser can be read here (opens in new tab).

Update: Video from Marketplace Product Manager Inigo Lopez and Eric Nelson of the Developer Experience team after the break.

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

  • Looks pretty good to me with a couple of acceptions/questions? 30% is very good! Does the Standard and Pro version of each piece of software count as 2 applications submissions. And do updates to the product not count as submissions(Id assume not but if they do some silly full re-approval on updates and do count it will definitely hold back their catalog and growth even more). Otherwise developers with established catalogs can only submit a total of 2.5 applications(my top 3 apps are on both Standard and Pro) without getting blasted by the $99 a title fee. I have 8 main apps that even if Standard and Pro dont count for 2, I will have to wait to see how sales increase before submitting my lower price bargain offerings(like Euchre and ListWatch) which may hurt their initial catalog. I think that limitation is going to scare some developers away though will also help with the "crapware" problem that iPhone is suffering from. It should be something like the next 5 submissions should be $250, and/or hopefully offering exclusions to established developers.
  • Birdsoft, how does this compare to selling on Handango? Do you think the marketplace will help increase sales vs your current methods and do you think this will be more profitable for you?
  • Yes, and yes. A more consistant store on ALL devices should help a lot over the fragmented market. [snip] I wrote a bunch more on Handango, but I guess I dont need to go that detailed. Lets just say Handango now takes 50% of almost every developer's cut(the unexpected extra 10% this year has about crippled me on WM side when combined with the slower market) and does some questionable things as they tried to get bigger than the market allowed and hurt themselves and the developers to make up for it. If we have to start over with a store on every device and the promise of a 30% cut again, I'm game.
  • Is there any plan for free apps? The iTunes app store has lots of free apps--some are demos for paid apps, and others are just plain old freeware. Hopefully free apps won't count against a developer's 5. Overall it's a good plan, but I don't see the point behind the 5-app limit. MS needs to make their store as attractive as Apple does, and charging devs to add more apps isn't a good move. Is WM overflowing with great applications or something? Also, big cheers for making it free for students. I already get stuff through dreamspark, it's a good move.
  • Yes you can submit free apps to the Marketplace. And the 5-app limit will help MS "filter" lame "Fart" apps developers. Which is IMO a good thing.
  • Do you think developers will have apps for WinMo 6.1. Or is this app store only going to contain apps for WinMo 6.5?
  • is the sound on that video crap for anybody else?
  • Yep. It's no WME/TiPB/CB/TC podcast, that's for sure. :)
  • IMHO, and as WM software developer as well, I feel frustrated on how complacent Microsoft is with their mobile o/s platform. And this mediocre app. store is another fine example of how they are going to screw things up yet some more. They should be focusing on getting more developers and attention by innovating rather then simply copy-and-paste the app. store model, and worse, put limits on how many apps. developers can upload. 70/30 is joke. They should make it 80/20 *at most* to get more developers back. Drop the 5 app limit. And charge $50 instead of $99 for unlimited registration (NOT a yearly subscription)! WinMo has gotten its lunch eaten by mostly the iPhone and RIM. Microsoft needs to do much better to bring developers *back* to WinMo. It's sloth attitude is going to kill WinMo and by 2010, nobody will care what version 7 has to offer. Honestly, if it were up to me, I would have fired the majority of the people running that group and revitalized it with fresh blood and an improved spirit. Microsoft needs to support its developers a lot better for this platform to survive. A better business model with a *better* app. store then the competition (not just a copy cat), and much improved communications with the community. Without this, it's no wonder why so many WinMo developers have defected to the iPhone.