Microsoft Releases Details On Windows App Store

In addition to improving relations, Microsoft will try to woo mobile developers away from Apple by giving them 70% of the revenue sold from applications.
When Microsoft brings out its application store for Windows Mobile later this year, it wants to mirror the success Apple had with its App Store. But the software vendor said it will be more open and transparent about what's allowed in its store, which could help it draw developers away from Apple.

Developing programs for the iPhone and iPod Touch can be lucrative for content creators, but there's growing frustration with Apple's vetting process. For example, Apple recently pulled a South Park app because the content was "potentially offensive." For its Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Microsoft said it's aiming to be more up front about how it vets for security, content, and bandwidth consumption.

Software makers will be able to log in to a developer Web site to see how far along their apps are in the submission process. By comparison, developers said Apple offers no clear timetable for approving or rejecting apps, and some small content creators have said large companies like Google get fast-tracked.

Content creators for Microsoft's mobile platform can submit up to five applications per year for $99, plus $99 for each additional app over that limit. Developers can give away programs or sell them at a starting price of 99 cents. Software makers will get to keep 70% of the revenue from sold apps, which is the same percentage they receive from the App Store. Microsoft has not revealed what type of payment system will be used, and it could be mulling some form of carrier billing. Apple uses its iTunes ecosystem for billing, Android uses Google Checkout, and Research In Motion will use PayPal for its upcoming BlackBerry App World.

Developers can use the Windows Mobile 6 software development kit and .Net Compact Framework 3.5 to create applications for Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Microsoft plans to accept applications for approval starting this summer, and the app store is expected to launch later this year alongside Windows Mobile 6.5.

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