Microsoft wants serious, non-gaming developers to make more money

Planned dev deal tweak lets programmers keep 95 per cent of revenue


Build Microsoft says it will take less money from Windows developers selling apps in its store, making its marketplace significantly more appealing than competing app stores in certain cases – assuming revenue share rather than market size is the primary consideration.

In a blog post published on Monday, to be explained on Tuesday in a Build keynote, Microsoft plans to reduce its share of the revenue it collects from third-party Windows apps sold in the Microsoft Store - so long as they're not games.

Under current terms, Microsoft collects 30 per cent of revenue from apps and in-app purchases sold through its store on a non-subscription basis and 15 per cent of subscription-based non-game apps and in-app purchases.

"Starting later this year, consumer applications (not including games) sold in Microsoft Store will deliver to developers 95 per cent of the revenue earned from the purchase of your application or any in-app products in your application, when a customer uses a deep link to get to and purchase your application," Microsoft says.

This rate is comparable to the Google Chrome Web Store, which charges 5 per cent of sales made through the Chrome Web Store API; Apple's App Store and Google Play each let developers keep 70 per cent of revenue.

When Microsoft plays a role in the sale – aggregating the title into a collection or featuring the app in a Spotlight – developers instead keep 85 per cent of net revenue.

Game makers get no relief and continue to pay a 30 per cent of net revenue.

The revised rate will apply to consumer apps for Windows 10, Windows 8.x and/or Windows Phone 8.x, on PC, Windows Mixed Reality, Windows Phone or Surface Hub. It won't not apply to Microsoft Store for Business and/or Microsoft Store for Education purchases.

The changes will take effect whenever Microsoft gets around to revising the terms in its developer agreement. ®

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