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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Microsoft and Apple are reportedly engaged in a behind-the-scenes dispute over Apple's 30 percent cut of sales through iOS applications, as well as the ability to sign up for the SkyDrive service [updated with comment from Microsoft].

The issue has specifically been raised with Microsoft's SkyDrive application for iOS, according to unnamed sources who spoke with The Next Web. The spat reportedly began when Microsoft updated the SkyDrive service to allow users to purchase more storage space, at which point Apple began blocking updates to the iOS application.

Microsoft is said to have a new version of the iOS SkyDrive application completed, complete with bug fixes. But Apple will not approve the software because Microsoft's application does not pay Apple a 30 percent cut of subscription revenue generated from buying additional storage.

"Microsoft does not appear keen to pay Apple the 30% cut, as it lasts in perpetuity, regardless of whether a user continues to use an iOS device or not, as the billing is through their Apple account," author Alex Wilhelm explained.

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that it has seen a "delay in approval" of the updated version of SkyDrive for iOS. The company hopes it will be able to resolve the matter with Apple. The full statement from Microsoft:
"Similar to the experiences of some other companies, we are experiencing a delay in approval of our updated SkyDrive for iOS. We are in contact with Apple regarding the matter and hope to come to a resolution. We will provide additional information as it becomes available."
Microsoft reportedly offered to remove paid subscription options from its SkyDrive application to comply with Apple's rules. But Apple felt that move wasn't enough, as users can still sign up for the SkyDrive service through the application.

SkyDrive


And Apple's blocking has allegedly gone further than just Microsoft: The company is also barring third-party applications that interact with SkyDrive because Microsoft isn't paying a 30 percent cut. One such example is the application "Files Pro," which was rejected because it includes a "Sign Up" button for Microsoft's Live login.

The SkyDrive mobile application for iOS launched in the App Store last December. The service competes with Apple's iCloud, offering unique features like collaborative document editing, note sharing, and cross-platform accessibility.

Update 2: AllThingsD is now reporting that inside sources say the issue is connected to Microsoft's upcoming Office 365 for iOS, not just SkyDrive. The argument is said to over subscription fees as Microsoft's Office 365 is a service that allows access to a suite of apps, SkyDrive included. If the publication's sources are correct, Apple is pushing for a 30 percent cut of subscriptions garnered from iOS users.
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 105
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 105


    Lol, Apple will make 10 times more money from Office than from iWork.


     


    Brilliant move, eating Microsoft's only cash cow (in 2 years). Since Windows 8 is such a gigantic failure (especially surface and windows phones) already and iOS keeps growing and getting stronger, Microsoft has no option.


     


    I just hope Microsoft doesn't try to get some vengeance on the mac-side of things.

  • Reply 3 of 105
    Microsoft Software on IOS ? Sorry, I am not interested
  • Reply 4 of 105
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,278member


    I wonder if this would push MS so far as to pull their Office apps from iOS completely?

  • Reply 5 of 105
    I think the reason Apple do this is because you use their payment system with iOS apps app or use your own... not through App Store apps. Id say they're avoiding lawsuits from the "hey let start a class action against Apple" crowd for things that they have no control over. Its a good idea imo. You can just buy more storage through Safari or a desktop
  • Reply 6 of 105
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,729member

    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.


    Apple needs to back off a little here, I think. There are work arounds (as you suggest above, for instance), but work arounds are never ideal. Apple needs to reconsider subscriptions to multi platform services. Anyone know what others (Android, MS) do?

  • Reply 7 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    I wonder if this would push MS so far as to pull their Office apps from iOS completely?



    Can they afford to do that? I don't see how. Between Microsoft and irrelevance, is Office. They can't screw it.

  • Reply 8 of 105
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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.


     


     


    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. 

  • Reply 9 of 105
    oomuoomu Posts: 130member
    "I wonder if this would push MS so far as to pull their Office apps from iOS completely?"

    there is no office apps for ios for now.


    -
    "I just hope Microsoft doesn't try to get some vengeance on the mac-side of things."

    Microsoft is soon free of their partnership with Apple for Office on Mac.

    They may decide to renew it or to stop, we don't know.
  • Reply 10 of 105
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    umrk_lab wrote: »
    Microsoft Software on IOS ? Sorry, I am not interested

    I much prefer Dropbox with my free 15.25GB but SkyDrive has plenty pluses. It's certainly better than iCloud insofar that it will connect to other users. Plus, they are likely using Xcode to build the app so it's probably not as bad as MS apps on the Mac where they can easily go against the accepted model.

    gatorguy wrote: »
    I wonder if this would push MS so far as to pull their Office apps from iOS completely?

    I doubt it. They'll have to charge up front for Office apps, Apple will get their 30%, and Office will be likely be the profitable suite of apps in record time. MS would lose more than MS would. Now, if WP8 was popular I think it would be a different story.
  • Reply 11 of 105
    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
  • Reply 12 of 105
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member


    Where this gets interesting is Microsoft is allegedly going to bring iOS versions of Office  to the App Store. It is supposedly going to be a subscription model where the App will be free. The features will only allow you to see Office docs. To edit and save, you will need an in app purchase. 

  • Reply 13 of 105
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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


     


     


    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. 

  • Reply 14 of 105
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member


    1997: Microsoft rescues one-time and future nemesis Apple with a $150 million investment that breathes new life into a struggling Silicon Valley icon.


     


    iGreed - greed without shame.

     

  • Reply 15 of 105
    I use SkyDrive on a Mac and very limited on a iPad. I would rather use a html interface than the app since it quite simply better than the app.
  • Reply 16 of 105
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    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 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.  

  • Reply 17 of 105
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    1997: Microsoft rescues one-time and future nemesis Apple with a $150 million investment that breathes new life into a struggling Silicon Valley icon.


     


    iGreed - greed without shame.

     



     


    You know that this never happened right?  That the $150 million was just a symbolic investment to show good faith as part of the agreement they signed?  And that the idea that Microsoft "rescued" Apple with this payment is just a modern myth?  

  • Reply 18 of 105
    Photosynth from MS for iOS ios best thing they have done. try it
  • Reply 19 of 105

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    1997: Microsoft rescues one-time and future nemesis Apple with a $150 million investment that breathes new life into a struggling Silicon Valley icon.



     


    Which is a complete fabrication. Do you still think this is true?

  • Reply 20 of 105
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dmarcoot View Post



    Photosynth from MS for iOS ios best thing they have done. try it


     


     


    I agree. That is a nice app.

Sign In or Register to comment.