Apple and Microsoft at odds over SkyDrive app subscription fees [ux2]

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  • Reply 21 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post



    Microsoft should just give Apple the 30% but just charged iOS users 30% more for their subscription. They can just put the 30% Apple Tax on the checkout page




    No they can't. That's the core issue with Apple's system. If they sell this, it has to be "at the same price including 30% tax". That's why it's a monopolistic issue.


     


    You want in onto the iOS platform, you have to pay 30% to Apple on anything (subscription or virtual goods) sold through your app. I expect this to be stricken down by courts in a few years, when something better from another company is at last here and the problem is not relevant anymore, like IE6 for Windows...


     


    As for now, the best thing there is comes from Apple, since competition is either not innovative (Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung) or bad at marketing towards non-geeks (Google) or too small to afford the huge IP fees involved in modern IT (anyone else). It's my sadness that we won't see any new Apple coming due to the system encouraging bigger players to not-innovate, but well, I guess we voters collectively chose to maintain the situation, did not we?

  • Reply 22 of 105
    Microsoft is very mean
  • Reply 23 of 105
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I thought so at first too, but I'm glad I didn't make the first post on this myself and had time to think about it because if you really do think about it, why would it be any other way?  Apple runs a cloud service itself, why would they allow an app that drives subscriptions towards a competing product?  

    If you already have a DropBox account or a SkyDrive account then of course an iOS app should be available to help you access it.  

    Actively supporting these alternatives with apps that drive business to them instead of to iCloud is a really bad idea.  

    Remember iCloud is better for the end users too.  I find it weird how many techies and developers seem to purposely forget this.  
    The end user is far better served with an integrated easy to use cloud system like iCloud that's provided by the device/software creator than they are by the alternatives. The alternatives should be .... well, alternatives.  Alternatives that the user has to seek out and use only if they need to.  

    Put a Word doc from work into iCloud and get back to me.
  • Reply 24 of 105
    These are old rules. And I for one am pleased as punch that Apple is enforcing them across the board. If I as an indie developer have to pay them 30% of my IAP subscription, I can't put in a link to paying directly online etc then MS should have to do the same.

    So really the headline should read 'Microsoft throwing tantrum because Apple is making them play by the same rules as everyone else'
  • Reply 25 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    This is a tough one. I am all for Apple running 'its' store the way it sees fit but it's also ridiculous to expect that one pay 30% of the Skydrive storage costs forever just for first doing it via an iOS device.

    If I were MS the best and easiest option seems to just make a link that opens up in Safari with a secure token as an address so the user doesn't have to sign in to complete the purchase.


     


    I believe the link strategy is forbidden in the developer agreement.


     


    And, it's completely reasonable that Apple expects 30% of the money Microsoft generates from the app. That's how it works for everyone and there's no reason Microsoft should get a special deal, and they agreed to the 30% when they signed the developer agreement. I don't see how this is a tough one at all. It's entirely straightforward and as simple as it gets.

  • Reply 26 of 105
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LarryA View Post





    Put a Word doc from work into iCloud and get back to me.


     


    It would take approximately ten seconds to open said doc in Pages and send it to the cloud.  You could also open it it Textedit if you didn't want to buy Pages and do the same thing.  


     


    Besides which, I was specifically talking about the average consumer or customer of Apple products, and framed my remarks that way.  


    Your scenario is fairly distant from that.  

  • Reply 27 of 105
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
    tbell wrote: »

    It isn't very tough. Apple's policy is simple. If Apple's helps you sell something for actual money, it wants a 30 percent cut. It brought you a customer. Apple's gauge of whether it is helping somebody sell something is if the party offers a pay option through its iOS app. Apple also does not want developers to permanently advertise on their iOS apps that they can purchase something through another means by doing as you suggest offer a link that opens else place. Apple will not approve the app with such a link. 

    Apple's view is we let developers host apps in our App Store and don't charge them anything to do it UNLESS they make money from being on the App Store. Apple excludes advertising money. Developers keep all of that. 

    If Microsoft removes the in app upgrade and any in app links to where people can get more storage, this will only effect people who know about the options for additional storage through Apple. People who already used Skydrive aren't hurt at all. So, Apple's practice is fair.

    This is the same way Apple treats companies like Netflix and Amazon. Neither Netflix or Amazon offer in app purchases for this reason. 

    I agree with you on this. Microsoft knew the rules going in.
  • Reply 27 of 105
    Why is this so complicated? Why should Microsoft be treated any different than the rest of us? All developers should be treated the same when it comes to this. You can't tell me that Microsoft did not know the policy when they decided to develop the software. Microsoft is not that stupid.
  • Reply 29 of 105
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post




    No they can't. That's the core issue with Apple's system. If they sell this, it has to be "at the same price including 30% tax". That's why it's a monopolistic issue.


     


    ...



     


    Total nonsense.  

  • Reply 30 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


     


     


    Yes, except it should be referred to as the retail tax. Walmart doesn't let you sell stuff in it's stores without a share of the profit. Not sure why Apple would be expected to do less. It does actually cost Apple money to host, distribute, and process payments for the apps. 



    1) Seem to be an awful lot of free apps... I guess we would call them the moocher apps in todays parlance.


    2) Aside from that fact that lots of retails sell items at a loss to get traffic into the store, to be more relevant, Wal-Mart sells phones too. As far as I know, they don’t collect a fee on the phone subscription for the life of the phone... or do they?


    As usual, agree with Soli on this, seems way overkill. And far as I know, most subscription vendors don’t put up with. Which in the end is more a loss to Apple customers, not Apple.

  • Reply 31 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post


    1) Seem to be an awful lot of free apps... I guess we would call them the moocher apps in todays parlance.


    2) Aside from that fact that lots of retails sell items at a loss to get traffic into the store, to be more relevant, Wal-Mart sells phones too. As far as I know, they don’t collect a fee on the phone subscription for the life of the phone... or do they?


    As usual, agree with Soli on this, seems way overkill. And far as I know, most subscription vendors don’t put up with. Which in the end is more a loss to Apple customers, not Apple.



     


    The free apps don't generate revenue, Apple still gets 30% of nothing.


     


    Microsoft knew the rules, and they should play by the same rules as everyone else.

  • Reply 32 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post




    No they can't. That's the core issue with Apple's system. If they sell this, it has to be "at the same price including 30% tax". That's why it's a monopolistic issue.


     


    You want in onto the iOS platform, you have to pay 30% to Apple on anything (subscription or virtual goods) sold through your app. I expect this to be stricken down by courts in a few years, when something better from another company is at last here and the problem is not relevant anymore, like IE6 for Windows...


     


    As for now, the best thing there is comes from Apple, since competition is either not innovative (Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung) or bad at marketing towards non-geeks (Google) or too small to afford the huge IP fees involved in modern IT (anyone else). It's my sadness that we won't see any new Apple coming due to the system encouraging bigger players to not-innovate, but well, I guess we voters collectively chose to maintain the situation, did not we?



     


    This is key... in most products... it's the manufacturer that defines the 'lowest price' -  With Apple, it's the retailer.   It would be the same as Walmart saying that coke can't sell their products for a lower price than Walmart's current price.    Apples argument is they are not a 'store' but a 'restaurant' where they 'serve' food and liquor to their patrons, and each iOS device is a 'table.'  And within the confines of the restaurant,   Coke is forbidden tell the customer to leave the restaurant, buy their product from the street vendor outside, and then bring it back to their table and have it with the rest of their meal (this makes a lot more sense in the 'app' sales mode, than 'in-app' sales mode, but bear with me), unless the price is the same as on Apple's Menu.


     


    It's the old Cathedral/Bazaar argument, only in this cathedral, the price a prayer candle can't be less than in the mosque or the synagogue, or at the factory outlet store.


     


    This sort of gets back to the iOS issue:  are we buying a device, and stuff to put on the device, or are we 'leasing' an experience (both the  customer and the app supplier), and Apple is the 'market maker' and has strict requirements to eliminate 'side agreements' outside the master lease(s).


     


    I'm not happy about it.  Buying on your iOS device is for easy 'convenience' and I paid for that once... and I do think it's part of the reason that Apple is not backing NFC, and pushing people to passport, as the long game makes your iTunes account the money account.


     


    OTOH, in the ad free world of Apple, they want to make their money without resorting to crapware or in OS ads.   And if money changes hands, then that is a logical place for Apple to get their 'taste'    I do think 30% is too much for in-app purchases (really, shouldn't it be about storage and bandwidth).  Why not 15% for purely money handling with a 'floor' value of $0.30 (30% of a .99 purchase for less than 100K of 'data', and a Cert is usually less than that)).  If you move bits/bytes (100K+), it's 30% of the market value.

  • Reply 33 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post


    ... I do think 30% is too much for in-app purchases (really, shouldn't it be about storage and bandwidth).  Why not 15% for purely money handling with a 'floor' value of $0.30 (30% of a .99 purchase for less than 100K of 'data', and a Cert is usually less than that)).  If you move bits/bytes (100K+), it's 30% of the market value.



     


    Really?! Do we have to revisit this nonsense?


     


    Under your scenario, let's say you are a developer, maybe a game developer. Now, if you sell your game in the App Store®, you pay 30% to Apple. But, if you give your "game" away for free, with, say 1 level, and allow the player to "unlock" the rest of the game using In-App Purchase, you only pay 15% to Apple. Which do you think developers are going to do?


     


    Obviously, they're going to game the system and pay the 15%. Setting a different cost for initial vs. in-app revenue would very quickly shift all the revenue to in-app. That would be pretty stupid on Apple's part.


     


    And, the cost has nothing to do with moving bits, so that doesn't even belong in the discussion, it's a complete red herring.

  • Reply 34 of 105
    I think something will be worked out on this eventually. It makes sense for Apple to block sales the circumvent their system. It keeps customers from being gouged by app makers who circumvent the store to charge prices for crazy things, and keeps devs from working around Apple to cut Apple out of revenue while they're hosting and advertising the app. However in a case like this, it wouldn't make sense to me either if I was MS, to have each year's subscription renewal cut by 30%.

    So I think they'll work out a compromise and that will filter down to Apple's policies for all developers and things will be better for it in the end. It just hasn't really come up before (that I'm aware of) with something as big as say SkyDrive or possible the new Office for iOS apps. Will be interesting to see what follows and what gets worked out!
  • Reply 35 of 105
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,228member


    If Microsoft removes in-app purchased and doesnt provide a link to a web page for additional storage, then Apple should approuve it.  Its the kindle app debate all over again.  imo Apple is abusing its position if it still doesnt approuve the app, not to mention its going against its own rules.

  • Reply 36 of 105
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LarryA View Post



    Put a Word doc from work into iCloud and get back to me.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    It would take approximately ten seconds to open said doc in Pages and send it to the cloud.  You could also open it it Textedit if you didn't want to buy Pages and do the same thing.  


     


    Besides which, I was specifically talking about the average consumer or customer of Apple products, and framed my remarks that way.  


    Your scenario is fairly distant from that.  



     


     



    The operative words in LarryA's post were "from work." As in sitting at a company-licensed Windows/Office workstation, working on a document in Microsoft Word. Collaborating on that document via iCloud is not possible.


     


    I don't think it's fair to say that one approach to online storage is better than the other overall. They each have strengths the other lacks. SkyDrive offers the ability to collaborate, iCloud offers virtually invisible storage and backup integrated nicely into the OS making it easy for those who don't need anything else.
  • Reply 37 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


     


    Really?! Do we have to revisit this nonsense?


     


    Under your scenario, let's say you are a developer, maybe a game developer. Now, if you sell your game in the App Store®, you pay 30% to Apple. But, if you give your "game" away for free, with, say 1 level, and allow the player to "unlock" the rest of the game using In-App Purchase, you only pay 15% to Apple. Which do you think developers are going to do?


     


    Obviously, they're going to game the system and pay the 15%. Setting a different cost for initial vs. in-app revenue would very quickly shift all the revenue to in-app. That would be pretty stupid on Apple's part.


     


    And, the cost has nothing to do with moving bits, so that doesn't even belong in the discussion, it's a complete red herring.



     


    err, those billion dollar datacenters are all about moving bits (and moving the bits to entice you to move the bits).  Apple has to recoup the cost of those systems.


     


    but you're right, the discussion about how to 'fix' inapp purchases shouldn't be here.  It's really all about the contractual requirement to lock prices across all e-retailers, which I find is anti-competitive.   One way is to fudge the pricing based on the 'size' of the transaction, which was really my point (bits and bytes), and a bad one at that.


     


    The issue isn't 'stupidity' of Apple (their model is very smart, as their profits rise dramatically from a .99 to a $19.99 purchase), it's the agreement to fix the price everywhere to Apple's price, which again, is smart on Apple's part, but on the surface, it seems like it's using it's monopoly to fix prices to it's model.

  • Reply 38 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sinthor View Post



    I think something will be worked out on this eventually. It makes sense for Apple to block sales the circumvent their system. It keeps customers from being gouged by app makers who circumvent the store to charge prices for crazy things, and keeps devs from working around Apple to cut Apple out of revenue while they're hosting and advertising the app. However in a case like this, it wouldn't make sense to me either if I was MS, to have each year's subscription renewal cut by 30%.

    So I think they'll work out a compromise and that will filter down to Apple's policies for all developers and things will be better for it in the end. It just hasn't really come up before (that I'm aware of) with something as big as say SkyDrive or possible the new Office for iOS apps. Will be interesting to see what follows and what gets worked out!


    It's really the issue for 'big e-comm players' who have a payment infrastructure in place (for small app developers who don't Apple's pricing is inline), It's cheaper for them to direct them to their own payment system, but then Apple is providing the hungry client, 'table' and the 'security' but not making anything on the sale of the food.    

  • Reply 39 of 105
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post


    1) Seem to be an awful lot of free apps... I guess we would call them the moocher apps in todays parlance.


    2) Aside from that fact that lots of retails sell items at a loss to get traffic into the store, to be more relevant, Wal-Mart sells phones too. As far as I know, they don’t collect a fee on the phone subscription for the life of the phone... or do they?


    As usual, agree with Soli on this, seems way overkill. And far as I know, most subscription vendors don’t put up with. Which in the end is more a loss to Apple customers, not Apple.



     


     


    I am the first one to acknowledge that reasonable minds can differ on views, but I am not sure where you are coming from. Stores like Walmart have loss leaders to get people to come into the store to buy other things. Apple allowing free Apps is akin to a loss leader at store like Walmart. As far as subscriptions go, Walmart does make money off the sale of the phone, and either a cut of the monthly cellular service or a flat fee. Companies want their products to be sold in Walmart, and for that reason Walmart has quite a bit of leverage. It also works that way in the insurance industry. When you renew an insurance policy, the original sales person gets a cut of the renewal fees until the person cancels the service. 


     


    People sometimes like to think of Apple as a charity. If Apple brings Microsoft the customer, Apple gets a cut of the sale. Users of Sky drive can go to Microsoft directly and buy additional storage. Microsoft just can't advertise that through a link built into the app. I don't hear Netflix, Drop Box, or even Amazon raising a fuss and their apps are all on the App Store. Moreover, Apple doesn't get a cut forever. It only gets a cut if people renew through Apple. 


     


    Moreover, I don't feel sorry for Microsoft. I own an X-Box, which cost hundreds of dollars. I can't access Netflix, Hulu Plus, or just about any Media Content without paying Microsoft a yearly subscription fee. Keep in mind, it doesn't cost Microsoft anything to host those apps, which makes its platform more valuable. Apple on the other hand, through its Apple TV and other products doesn't charge users anything to have access to those media products.

  • Reply 40 of 105
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


    If Microsoft removes in-app purchased and doesnt provide a link to a web page for additional storage, then Apple should approuve it.  Its the kindle app debate all over again.  imo Apple is abusing its position if it still doesnt approuve the app, not to mention its going against its own rules.



     


    Why wouldn't Apple approve the app then? It already has approved it before. It is sitting on my phone (not being used). What we really need to talk about is Apple removing the excellent iKamasutra App from the App Store. 

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