Microsoft Unveils Developer Strategy For Windows Mobile 6.5 And Beyond - InformationWeek

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3/11/2009
10:03 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Microsoft Unveils Developer Strategy For Windows Mobile 6.5 And Beyond

Microsoft has announced details on its strategy for working with developers to get their apps on the new Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Microsoft is going all out in getting developers lined up prior to the WinMo app store launching, even though there are more than 20,000 applications already in existence for the platform.

Microsoft has announced details on its strategy for working with developers to get their apps on the new Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Microsoft is going all out in getting developers lined up prior to the WinMo app store launching, even though there are more than 20,000 applications already in existence for the platform.Yesterday I discussed the Mobile Incubation Week, where MS is rounding up developers with innovative ideas for new WinMo software. Today, it is putting out some details on how it will work with existing and future developers who want to put their apps in the new app store. Clearly, MS isn't approaching this half-heartedly as another "me, too" idea. For starters, MS will take a 30% cut, and give the developers 70%. My understanding is this is pretty reasonable for the service Microsoft will provide, which includes the distribution infrastructure and payment processing. Both of these are usually a huge headache for someone that likes to design UI's and code programs. I've talked with a number of developers over the years and more than a few have voiced discontent with current royalty rates provided by other app stores, some of which only give 50% of the revenue to the developer. There will be an annual $99 fee to remain listed in the store, but that fee is waived for students that are enrolled in the Microsoft DreamSpark program, a program that gets students professional quality development software and platforms at no cost. The press release also disclosed that the app store will open in 29 countries, which allows the developer to reach a broader audience. MS should be able to provide its developers with some interesting market data on what locales are buying their software. There is still no info on the expected launch date. With as much hype as the store received last month when it was officially announced and with the recent announcements enticing developers to join in, I'm really interested in seeing what the end result of this will be. I just hope it is sooner rather than later. Realistically, though, I think you're looking at at least two to three months, as it will take time to get developers signed up and get their apps loaded and information like screenshots, descriptions, and pricing strategies finalized. MS needs to launch this right, but it also needs to happen soon, well before WinMo 6.5 launches sometime in the fourth quarter.

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