It seems that every smartphone platform is rushing to create an App Store to compete with Apple’s, as its success with the App Store is unquestioned and everyone wants to get in on that action. Microsoft recently unveiled plans for its own store, the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, along with preliminary information such as the cost to developers.
Microsoft will charge a $99 application fee to developers who wish to have their apps available in the store. This application fee allows the developer to submit five programs for inclusion in the marketplace. Each application beyond the five will incur an additional $99 fee. This seems like a reasonable fee to cover the overhead of running the store but recent clarification has some developers a bit upset.
I Started Something is reporting that Microsoft has verified that program updates count as separate programs and thus developers will be expected to pony up $99 each after the first five apps hit the free limit. This can mean some heavy cash for those developers with multiple programs and the frequent updates that are often provided. It may be more expensive than some realize as it’s common on the Windows Mobile platform to need separate versions for different OS versions.
I have been buying WinMo apps for years and can tell you that care is required on the customer side to make sure you get the proper app version. Currently you can find versions for WinMo 5.x, WinMo 6.0 and even WinMo 6.1 and higher. That’s three versions right there, so it’s easy to understand why developers may be concerned about this potential $99 fee, especially since it will be levied every time they update their app. Another concern this raises is if developers will not update their apps as often as in the past simply due to the cost of doing so. This could backfire on Microsoft in a big way.