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Microsoft to take 30% cut of Metro apps under Windows 8

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 
New Metro-style apps designed to run on Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 for tablets will copy Apple's App Store business model of charging a 30 percent fee from developers, allowing the potential for Microsoft to regain control over software in segments it has lost to Apple's iTunes and Google search.

At its BUILD conference with developers, Microsoft has made it clear that while existing Windows 7 desktop apps will continue to move forward in Windows 8 with few changes, the new Metro layer of "touch first" apps that will be targeted at consumers in new PCs and in particular new ARM-based tablets, will be sold through Microsoft's Windows 8 app store with the same fees Apple charges in both its iOS and Mac App Stores.

Windows 8 = Windows 7 + Metro

Recapping Microsoft's announcements, Windows bloggers Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott explained that Microsoft said it will allow its enterprise customers to use Windows 8 essentially as a minor update to the existing Windows 7 by turning off the Metro layer via an IT policy across their users.

For consumer PCs, Windows 8 will ship as essentially Windows 7 overlaid with a new layer of Metro animated graphics capable of running new Metro apps. On standard x86 PCs, this will allow users to run both existing Windows apps as well as downloading new Metro apps from Microsoft's new Windows 8 app market.

On ARM tablets running Windows 8, only the new Metro apps will run, as the president of Microsoft's Windows unit, Stephen Sinofsky, pointedly clarified earlier this week. While PC makers can continue to sell x86 tablets, these devices, ranging from Tablet PC to UMPCs to Slate PC to convertible notebooks with tablet features, have never sold well in the past due to their performance and efficiency compromises and their significant cost premium over modern ARM tablets.



Ported classic apps not likely on Metro tablets

While it's technically possible that Microsoft could allow existing Windows 7 apps to be recompiled to run on ARM processors, Microsoft has carefully avoided promising anything along those lines.

Thurrott noted that "months ago they [Microsoft] did an unfortunately confusing demo where they showed an old version of Office running on ARM, which is never going to happen. And I think the reason they did that is because they wanted to say, 'look, this isn't [Windows] Compact, Embedded or some other weird thing that looks like Windows, it's Windows.' [] That's actually not going to happen in real life. I don't know why they did that demo."

In a statement to blogger Joanna Stern, Mike Anguilo, Microsofts vice president of Windows planning said "there is a significant amount of marketing that we are capable of doing that can get through we can afford to tell a story and tell it long enough and clearly enough. We will make sure it is absolutely clear where your legacy apps will run.

Stern added that "he followed that up with a kicker: 'porting things and whether we open native desktop development are either decisions that are either not made or not announced yet.'

Microsoft now appears to be willfully skirting the question, preferring to leave the decision of whether to support the potential for porting existing Windows apps to ARM tablets in a nebulous, unknown state. However, it is known that today's x86 apps will simply not run as well on ARM chips, because those chips currently lack the same horsepower and work differently, making the real world migration from the desktop Intel architecture to the mobile ARM architecture far more complex than a simple recompile.

Microsoft has previously supported the ability to deploy Windows XP apps on both Intel x86 and Intel's Itanium hardware, but porting software titles from one processor architecture to a very different one involves lots of optimization work tied to the design of that architecture, particularly when porting in the direction of a slower, simpler architecture optimized for efficient operation rather than raw speed.

Additionally, the potential possibility for developers to port their Windows apps to ARM doesn't mean they would, as the dearth of Itanium-compatible Windows apps illustrates. Windows 8 tablet sales would need to justify the porting effort. Apple would be unlikely to be in any rush to port iTunes to Metro, for example, making it more complicated for Windows 8 tablet users to seamlessly use iOS devices with their tablet.

Microsoft needs a Metro app store

Another factor involved with porting classic Windows apps to ARM is that Microsoft does not appear ready to impose the same App Store-like policies (and fees) on classic Windows apps that it plans to require for Metro apps.

Microsoft would be hard pressed to push the entire existing Windows app ecosystem into an app store bottle within the next year, but if it allowed "side loading" of ported, classic apps on new Windows 8 tablets, it would erase the momentum behind the first step of that effort: pushing developers to submit their apps to its new Windows 8 store for at least Metro apps.

Apple similarly didn't allow developers to port apps to the iPhone or iPad using native Mac Cocoa APIs (or Flash, or Java, or BSD APIs), leaving the iOS App Store as the only option for distributing native apps to iOS users, apart from the open HTML5 web platform. The success of the iOS App Store was then brought to the Mac, where it remains an optional, not compulsory, way to deliver Mac software.

Microsoft has attempted to copy Apple's iOS App Store before, first with its Marketplace for Windows Mobile, an effort from 2009 that it abandoned within months of requiring developers to modify their apps to fit certain specifications and pay to list them in the store. It then resurrected the store as the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, this time requiring developers to rewrite their software entirely in Silverlight using the Metro UI.

For the Windows 8 store, Microsoft is asking developers to again rewrite from scratch using a revamped Metro UI and a new web-based development environment. Allowing developers to skirt the store to sell their existing Windows apps to Windows 8 tablet users would defeat the entire premise of delivering the new Metro environment.

Using Metro to push iTunes and other competitors off the PC

Speaking to analysts, Microsoft said it would support the idea of allowing competitors to add their own Metro-style apps to the Windows 8 store, providing examples such as an Amazon Kindle ebook reader or Apple's iTunes.

If Microsoft refuses to allow existing Windows apps to run on ARM tablets, that would force Apple to convert iTunes to a Metro app and begin paying it a 30 percent cut unless iTunes remained free, if Apple decided it made sense to distribute iTunes on Windows 8 tablets in the first place. Microsoft has not yet spelled out any plans to charge a 30 percent fee on in-app purchases, but such a policy would suddenly become possible on Windows once Microsoft erected its own Apple-like software store.

That strongly suggests Microsoft hopes to use Metro to win back the market for content from iTunes, which rapidly became the most popular media player and store among Windows PC users. By pushing out Metro first as a tablet UI and slowly converting the Windows PC desktop into an app store-only software model, Microsoft could begin to impose far more control over all software sold within the Windows PC environment, something it originally sought to do under Palladium Trusted Computing, an effort that sparked a tremendous backlash given Microsoft's already dominant position in PCs.

If Microsoft established its own app store for Windows, it could then favor the use of its own services and software, ranging from Windows Media Player to Bing web search, two products that have failed to gain traction in the market, losing to Apple's iTunes and Google's search. Unlike Apple, Microsoft's app store would gain software control over every PC maker globally, leveraging the company's existing monopoly position of Windows and raising new anticompetitive issues.
post #2 of 98
So they've decided to even copy Apple's business strategies?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #3 of 98
Qualcomm based tablet running Windows 8 showing a Flash enabled webpage inside IE 10 Desktop version:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/16/a...#disqus_thread

Quote:
So they've decided to even copy Apple's business strategies?

Maybe it is Apple copying Xbox Live service.
post #4 of 98
Will be cool to run my old Windows apps on a tablet! Such innovation.
post #5 of 98
If I remember correctly, Apple gets 30% of app revenues too, right? Makes sense. If W8 tablets gain significant marketshare, that would obviously being enticing to developers as their cut of the revenue is the same percentage for whichever platform. But we'll see how the tablets do first.
post #6 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Will be cool to run my old Windows apps on a tablet! Such innovation.

You're making a joke, right? Zero existing Windows applications will work on these tablets. You know that.

THE ARTICLE EXPLICITLY SAYS THIS IS THE CASE.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #7 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

the new Metro layer of "touch first" apps that will be targeted at consumers in new PCs and in particular new ARM-based tablets, will be sold through Microsoft's Windows 8 app store

Even though it does not say it, I assume author author meant "only" through M$'s store.

If so, I will not even consider getting a tablet that has such a restriction. DRM sucks big time.
post #8 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So they've decided to even copy Apple's business strategies?

I'd cut them some slack given Metro is an imaginative departure from Apple's operating systems.

(Besides, why charge less when 30% has been established as a reasonable expectation for developers? Why charge more when that will reflect quite negatively on your product? It makes pretty good sense to copy this particular part of Apple's business strategy.)

Edit: they're also departing from OS X more and more in Windows.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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post #9 of 98
I don't give a damn about windows. It sucks, it is intrusive it makes me sick
post #10 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

If Microsoft refuses to allow existing Windows apps to run on ARM tablets, that would force Apple to convert iTunes to a Metro app and begin paying it a 30 percent cut unless iTunes remained free, if Apple decided it made sense to distribute iTunes on Windows 8 tablets in the first place. Microsoft has not yet spelled out any plans to charge a 30 percent fee on in-app purchases, but such a policy would suddenly become possible on Windows once Microsoft erected its own Apple-like software store.

Could you explain this? The first sentence in this paragraph is poorly worded. In fact, I can't for the life of me figure out what you mean here.

IF Apple makes iTunes a Metro app, THEN Microsoft gets a 30% of all sales made through that app.

IF iTunes remains free (no cost? free of being a Metro app? what?), then... Apple doesn't pay the 30%? Or what?
post #11 of 98
On yesterday's TWIT Windows show, I nearly spit my drink through my nose when Thurrott explained that iPads are not computers because they don't have a fan. (Apparently only a power sucking, heat producing behemoth capable of running full Windows is an actual 'computer', and more efficient machines are merely 'devices'.)

Thanks for the explanation Paul.
post #12 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

[...] when Thurrott explained that iPads are not computers because they don't have a fan. [...]

Wow... he doesn't surprise me much anymore, but that's definitely a new one.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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post #13 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

On yesterday's TWIT Windows show, I nearly spit my drink through my nose when Thurrott explained that iPads are not computers because they don't have a fan. (Apparently only a power sucking, heat producing behemoth capable of running full Windows is an actual 'computer', and more efficient machines are merely 'devices'.)

Thanks for the explanation Paul.

Guess the Apple ][ wasn't a computer, then.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #14 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vendrazi View Post

Could you explain this? The first sentence in this paragraph is poorly worded. In fact, I can't for the life of me figure out what you mean here.

IF Apple makes iTunes a Metro app, THEN Microsoft gets a 30% of all sales made through that app.

IF iTunes remains free (no cost? free of being a Metro app? what?), then... Apple doesn't pay the 30%? Or what?

It means if iTunes is free, Apple would have to share 30% of $0.00 with Microsoft. Do the math.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #15 of 98
i like Metro. at least Microsoft is actually innovating and trying to differentiate from Apple/iOS.

UNLIKE GOOGLE!!!! Bunch of copycat losers.

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post #16 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Guess the Apple ][ wasn't a computer, then.

Nor the 128K Macintosh.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #17 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vendrazi View Post

Could you explain this? The first sentence in this paragraph is poorly worded. In fact, I can't for the life of me figure out what you mean here.

IF Apple makes iTunes a Metro app, THEN Microsoft gets a 30% of all sales made through that app.

IF iTunes remains free (no cost? free of being a Metro app? what?), then... Apple doesn't pay the 30%? Or what?

If itunes is a free app(which it has always been), no charge. BUT, if someone buys music via this itunes app, MS could, in the future charge 30% of that( as an in app purchase). Just like Apple wants for subscriptions.
post #18 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You're making a joke, right? Zero existing Windows applications will work on these tablets. You know that.

THE ARTICLE EXPLICITLY SAYS THIS IS THE CASE.

Sorry, I keep forgetting. But the tablets run the same OS, Windows 8, right? Can't wait to play Minesweeper!
post #19 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Sorry, I keep forgetting. But the tablets run the same OS, Windows 8, right? Can't wait to play Minesweeper!

Point taken. All efforts will be made to make sure THAT THING is ported immediately.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #20 of 98
Why not surpass your compatitors and charge 29 percent? Do they need the money? Give your followers more arguments as to why developers should develop for Windows. The beautiful thing here is the following:

At a certain point in time IBM, Microsoft and Apple were fighting for a space in the PC industry. Microsoft won. They sold and sell the most copies and still have the greatest market share in users. However instead of Apple trying to beat them at their game they shifted the game to a market where MS wasn't that present at all. In matter of fact; where no company was present at all. Mobile computing is the next big thing as markets are shifting to mobile computers. The processors are powerful enough for the average Joe, Jack and John and don't need more powerful computers. The majority of the users are still doing what they were doing in 1991; text processing, e-mailing, surfing the internet, listening to music, and occasionally playing a game. Do professionals need more powerful computers? Sure! Consumers? Not really. They need more portable, effortless, integrable, shareable and personal solutions. Because Microsoft is joining this game and don't invent the next big thing they are slowly leaning more and more on their weakest pillar. The consumer will accept this as the next era of personal computing and MS might be in for a big drop in market share.
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post #21 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

THE ARTICLE EXPLICITLY SAYS THIS IS THE CASE.

Before screaming statements like this, you should really take a look at who wrote the article first.
post #22 of 98
Here's what I don't get about Microsoft's strategy: Microsoft had a proper low-power version of Windows that supported ARM and other low power CPUs (like Hitachi SH or the MIPS chips) for many, many years. It was Windows CE, later renamed Windows Mobile. And before iOS, this mobile OS was dominating Palm OS, their nearest competitor. Now their mobile strategy is: forget that code base, we are going to put Windows on a tablet, but "real Windows", which means it's x86 and can run real Windows applications, but there's also an ARM version that'll be "real Windows" except it can't run any programs written for "real Windows" because it only supports this new Metro UI. So how is it "real Windows" and why would it have any advantage over their lean and clean version of Windows for devices formerly known as Windows CE? And I'm using the term "real Windows" the way Paul Thuriott was using it in his quote above.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #23 of 98
If Microsoft were smart, they'd only charge 25% to try and undercut Apple.

(I know... BIG IF there)
post #24 of 98
Let's see, 30 percent of zero is ........... ZERO!
post #25 of 98
So the Metro UI is actually just a layer. What happened to the classic desktop won't load if the user don't want it?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

If Microsoft were smart, they'd only charge 25% to try and undercut Apple.

(I know... BIG IF there)

Developers are not looking for bargaining deals. Developers want their apps to be available to as many customers are possible. It is the same situation as the iPad. If developers want to sell their apps to W8 tablet users they have no choice but to go through MS.
post #26 of 98
I think anything after XP is a joke. Pentium 4 with Hyper threading + XP is as good as computing gets.

This layer over 7 reminds me of OSX Lion. if 10.7.2 doesn't fix some things up, i'm downgrading back to Snow Leopard (and not because of the bugs) but because it has a lot of necessaries not to mention its killing my productivity.

Great to know windows is trying to take t he same path.
post #27 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

On yesterday's TWIT Windows show, I nearly spit my drink through my nose when Thurrott explained that iPads are not computers because they don't have a fan. (Apparently only a power sucking, heat producing behemoth capable of running full Windows is an actual 'computer', and more efficient machines are merely 'devices'.)

Thanks for the explanation Paul.

Can you provide a link to that quote? I tried searching for it and came up empty. Not that I don't believe you exactly the kind of nonsense Thurrott is famous for.
post #28 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

On yesterday's TWIT Windows show, I nearly spit my drink through my nose when Thurrott explained that iPads are not computers because they don't have a fan. (Apparently only a power sucking, heat producing behemoth capable of running full Windows is an actual 'computer', and more efficient machines are merely 'devices'.)

Thanks for the explanation Paul.

Just go ahead and misquote him.
post #29 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

So the Metro UI is actually just a layer. What happened to the classic desktop won't load if the user don't want it?

Metro is a layer on top of the Windows core in the same way the springboard is a layer on top of iOS.

The best way to think of it is that Metro is like iOS and the "classic" Windows desktop is like an app you launch from the springboard.
post #30 of 98
I think the public will give Metro a nickname: "incompatible mode"

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post #31 of 98
Thanks. This is an interesting and insightful article.

But it does sound like Apple could achieve the same effect if they let iOS apps run in a VM on the Mac. Unfortunately, if the wider distribution of the mobile operating systems into PCs matters, Apple will be dominated. One can imagine all the simpler apps eventually running in Metro, and as the power of the ARM chips increases, the billions of Windows users will have just one interface to deal with for everyday apps, rather than two interfaces for Apple users.

Not good.

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post #32 of 98
many PPC based Macs didnt have Fans either. Original iMac, PowerMac B&W, PowerMac Gigabit, etc.

Windows 8, a culmination of eights generations of PITA.
"Building for the future?! They should be running around reacting to the present!" -John Moltz
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post #33 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Guess the Apple ][ wasn't a computer, then.

Guess the Cube wasn't either. (I don't think it had a fan -- thought the whole point of the case was to cool the computer by upward airflow)
post #34 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

...Thurrott explained that iPads are not computers because they don't have a fan.

i guess by this definition they must be distributed supercomputers, at last count millions of fans worldwide for the ipad, in other news, Microsoft manages to build a sows ear out of a silk purse...
post #35 of 98
I absolutely understand WHY Microsoft would want their own app store. I think the way they're going about it is going to come back and bite them.

First, charging developers to rewrite their apps for "Metro" is going to drive SOME developers to consider other platforms. While MS still has the market, the inconvenience of cost of this transition is going to be a real wedge for developers.

Second, I think this might slow adoption. A lot of people weren't willing to upgrade on previous Windows OS updates because the programs they needed wouldn't work. I don't see why this would be any different.

Finally, because MS has the market, a move like this, which is so clearly aimed at boxing out competitors is MS walking right back into another anti competition suit. The same business model would work for Apple because the market share is so small.

I'm curious to see how this pans out. I'm putting my money on this not working out for MS.
post #36 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wilkie View Post

Can you provide a link to that quote? I tried searching for it and came up empty. Not that I don't believe you exactly the kind of nonsense Thurrott is famous for.

It's in the first 5 minutes of the Windows Weekly TWiT podcast.

I wouldn't call it nonsense either. Frankly someone would need to be an idiot to disagree with what he was trying to say.

The Samsung tablet is a relatively hot, heavy and chunky device running a Intel Core i5. It even has a bloody fan. It's instantly obvious that it is a very different device to a cool, efficient ARM powered iPad.
post #37 of 98
Wouldn't it be cool if Microsoft actually made a better music and video store than Apple? It would cause Apple to redesign iTunes to work better and have a more user friendly interface. I do think iTunes could improve a lot.

Don't flame me but I really think that the Zune online interface was pretty good, though all the Flash stuff could cause it to slow a bit. MS should incorporate that into their next music store.
post #38 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I think the public will give Metro a nickname: "incompatible mode"

and when you have a Windows 8 ARM Tablet, what do you call the Windows Desktop side? incompatible mode #2 or Remote Desktop Client mode?
"Building for the future?! They should be running around reacting to the present!" -John Moltz
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post #39 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I think the public will give Metro a nickname: "incompatible mode"

I agree. I think many will get confused and frustrated as their one for everything Windows 8 will not run their desktop apps when they are using their tablets.
post #40 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by snova View Post

and when you have a Windows 8 ARM Tablet, what do you call the Windows Desktop side? incompatible mode #2 or Remote Desktop Client mode?

How about mistake mode?
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