Windows Store discounts, optional subscriptions to undercut Apple's App Store
The Redmond, Wash., Windows maker also announced on Tuesday an upcoming public beta of the next version of Windows in late February, ahead of a release sometime in 2012, MacNN reports.
Microsoft Web Services VP Antoine LeBlond touted the company's Windows Store, a feature in Windows 8 that resembles Apple's own digital storefront models, as being more friendly to publishers and developers. Though the software maker plans to offer in-app purchase and subscription features, developers will be allowed to use alternative options as well.
Leblond highlighted an application from The Daily Telegraph that used its own back-end systems to process subscriptions.
"Itâs not an app you could have on the iPad," he said, adding that his company was looking to find a balance between differing strategies from Apple and Google. Where Apple has quality control and a strict, and sometimes opaque, approval process, Google has a lax approval process that sometimes suffers from malware issues.
Microsoft is also looking to woo developers to its application store by undercutting Apple's 70/30 revenue split. The software giant will take a 30 percent cut only for the first $25,000 in app sales or in-app transactions before dropping its take to just 20 percent. The Windows Store will, however have a higher minimum price of $1.49.
The company will also require that touch-based Metro apps be offered through the Windows Store. Microsoft first teased the application store in a preview of Windows 8 earlier this year. In August, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky revealed that the company had an "App Store" team that was hard at work on the storefront.
Microsoft has been a highly vocal opponent of Apple's application to trademark the "App Store" name, arguing that the mark is invalid because it is generic. Apple fired back at its long-time rival by arguing that "Windows" is also a generic term.
For its part, Apple has taken flak for its rules on in-app purchases and subscriptions. In February, the company unveiled the terms of its subscription feature, banning links to external websites to purchase content or subscriptions. A number of prominent publishers and developers initially balked at the rules, though many eventually acquiesced. Apple itself conceded some ground in June when it loosened up on a restriction that prevented developers from selling content at a lower price outside of the App Store.