Windows 8: No 99 Cent Apps For You - InformationWeek
Software // Operating Systems
09:45 AM

Windows 8: No 99 Cent Apps For You

Cheapest Windows 8 apps will be 50% more expensive than least costly Apple apps, Microsoft reveals.

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Microsoft has released pricing details for apps that can be purchased from its online Windows Store once Windows 8 goes live--and bargain hunters might be disappointed.

Unlike Apple, which allows developers to charge as little as 99 cents for an app, Microsoft has set the minimum price for Windows 8 apps at $1.49.

"You, as the developer, are always in control of the pricing of your app," said Arik Cohen, lead program manager for Microsoft's commerce and licensing team, in a weekend blog post.

That's only partly true. Developers can choose a price tier for their app, but it's restricted to between $1.49 and $999.99. That range matches Apple's app pricing on the high end, but it's 50 cents more expensive on the low end compared to the minimum price for iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch apps.

That might not seem like a lot, but given the propensity of some mobile users to download hundreds of apps, it could add up. It also sets up a scenario where the Windows 8 version of an app could be 50% more expensive than its iOS-based counterpart. Cohen did not provide an explanation for Microsoft's pricing structure.

[ Considering a Windows 8 ARM tablet? Here's what you need to know now: Windows 8 ARM Tablets: 8 Must-Know Facts. ]

Users running trial versions of Windows 8 on tablets or PCs can currently download and use all apps on the Windows Store for free. That will start to change, however, once Windows 8 is released to manufacturing next month.

"At Windows 8 RTM ... all developers signing up for a company account and living in one of the supported countries will be able to publish and offer paid apps," said Cohen.

Microsoft has said that the Windows Store will be the sole source of apps for tablets running Windows 8 RT, a version of the OS that runs on ARM-based processors built by Qualcomm, Motorola, or Nvidia.

Users of PCs or tablets that run x86 chips will be able to download Windows Store apps and also install traditional applications from other sources.

Windows 8 systems and upgrade packages will be available to the general public starting Oct. 26, Microsoft announced last week. Consumers who purchase a Windows 7 PC between now and Jan. 31 can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $15. Users of Windows XP, Windows 7, or Windows Vista will be able to purchase and download Windows 8 Pro for $39.99.

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User Rank: Apprentice
7/27/2012 | 4:42:04 PM
re: Windows 8: No 99 Cent Apps For You
@GA Programmer

It's utterly stupid, but that doesn't mean that it's not true. I see reviews in the iTunes store all the time complaining because something was 1.99 instead of .99 or free-yet there's something that isn't perfect.

What happens-& this has been studied in micro-economics-is that folks' expectations are instinctively tied to percentages relative to a desired price, whether it be market rate or here the desire to pay the minimum price. Thus they scale to whatever actual $$ are involved.

MS absolutely has the right to set whatever minimum price it wants. It has to recover its up front rollout costs and there are ongoing infrastructure/processing expenses. Maybe that legitimately adds up to a floor price of $1.49.

Still, they are at ground zero. Long term profit-arguably long-term survival in the mobile market-can only be achieved by luring lots of users. Amazon has perfected the art of underpricing to gain market share. Microsoft could learn from them.

Why not offer an introductory minimum price of .99 for the first six months? Announce that it's a promo to give people a chance to see how great the new Windows 8 is, etc., etc. That way you match Apple/Android and give people an incentive to front load their phones with all their favorite apps. If you've got mindshare, you can expire the introductory price as planned. If not it won't matter.
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2012 | 2:37:01 PM
re: Windows 8: No 99 Cent Apps For You
Sorry, I just have to laugh at some of the claims here. You're telling me that someone who spends over $200 on apps (most of which, let's be honest are frivolous) is going to be upset because each one costs $0.50 more? Not to mention the fact that many of thosecost more than $0.99 (most iPad apps I have seen are $1.99, which is $0.50 MORE than the ones for Apple) .

I am just not buying this arguement. Just more IW Microsoft bashing and Apple praise IMO.
User Rank: Apprentice
7/23/2012 | 8:13:28 PM
re: Windows 8: No 99 Cent Apps For You
In response to Terabyte Net, Microsoft is not just setting other people's prices, they are setting a minimum price for their service. They get a thirty percent cut and appear to have made the decision that it is not worth being the broker on a 30 cent sale, but want a minimum 45 cents to make a transaction. Since they are paying for the credit card processing, etc, they should have a right to set a minimum price on that. I will leave it to them to decide what price is in their best interest. It does not seem to be the best strategy when they are desperate to gain market share...
Terabyte Net
Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/23/2012 | 5:58:41 PM
re: Windows 8: No 99 Cent Apps For You
It should not be legal to set prices. It's none of MS's business how much a developer charges. Just another reason why it's time for a change at the top of MS. They need to bring Gates back like Apple did with Jobs or MS's day in the sun will fade quickly. I'd hate to see that, but MS has made some HORRIBLE decisions in the past few years since Gates left. Fixing prices is just another foolish move. They have 0 mobile market share so they start out 50% more expensive? Come on, how does that make sense? It would have been like Vizio coming into the US TV market at 50% more than Sony and expecting to become the largest TV vendor. They did just the opposite and where is Sony today? Losing $ so fast they can't plug all the holes. As a shareholder it might just be time to start chatting with other shareholders about a change at the top.
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