Microsoft pays mobile app developers 70 per cent

Microsoft has announced more details behind Windows Marketplace, its version of Apple's App Store, designed for phones based on the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5.

Microsoft has said that it will offer developers 70 per cent of the revenue from any application sold on the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, matching Apple's revenue share.

"Microsoft has a strong developer pedigree... and a solid enterprise presence, so developers of business apps will view this as a positive," said Rob Bamforth, a mobile communications analyst for Quocirca.

Microsoft also said that it will offer "transparency throughout certification process", by which it hopes to attract developers who have become frustrated with Apple's non-communicative approach to approving applications.

Apple has removed many applications from the App Store with little or no explanation and even Apple's close partners such as Google were kept in the dark about when its applications would appear on the store.

The company also said it would offer developers "guidance and support" while developing apps, and that apps would go through a rigorous certification and testing process. However, devs will be able to see detailed feedback during the process.

The Windows Marketplace store will be available in 29 countries and as another sweetener, Microsoft will allow apps to sell for different prices for apps in different locales.

Microsoft said that up to five applications can be submitted for a $99 submission fee, with each additional submission costing another $99. However, the submission fee will be waived for student developers.

"What will be critical will be how well [Microsoft] match the developers needs," said Bamforth. "[Developers will need] help with the platform capabilities and API features on the technical side, and support on the route to market on the commercial side."

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.