New revenue opportunities for Windows developers?

So I was in two minds as to what the make the title for this blog post but having received the email below from microsoft this morning my immediate take away wasn’t about the ‘new opportunities’ but about the decreased cut of app proceeds imposed on developers.  here is the email:

Adding new revenue opportunities for you is a key priority for Windows Store. To attract more store customers, we recently launched new Windows Store and Xbox gift cards. Gift cards are now available at thousands of new retail locations and online stores in 41 markets. Windows and Xbox gift cards work interchangeably and can be used on both Windows and Xbox stores. Sales associates will promote gift cards to customers who want to give gifts, buy apps without a credit card, or fund a child’s account without the worry of overspending.

With the recent expansion and because gift cards have higher costs due to packaging costs and revenue sharing with channel partners, a Commerce Expansion Adjustment will be added to app and in-app product purchases made with gift cards. The Commerce Expansion Adjustment is an additional percentage on top of the normal Store Fee (percentage of Net Receipts) that is deducted in calculating the App Proceeds payable for apps or in-app product transactions using gift cards.
The Commerce Expansion Adjustment for gift cards will take effect in
specified markets in March 2016 at a rate of 2.24%. Details about how the Commerce Expansion Adjustment is calculated and deducted from App Proceeds can be found in the App Developer Agreement.
Windows Dev Center allows you to choose which markets you publish your apps and how you price them in each market. In doing so, you may want to consider if the Commerce Expansion Adjustment applies in a specific market and factor that into your market pricing strategy going forward.
For further details about the Commerce Expansion Adjustment and the list of markets where it applies see your
App Developer Agreement and Windows Dev Center.
Thank you,
The Windows Dev Center Team

I am sad to see that there is a need to cut developer proceeds in this way.  I have found it difficult to justify the development of apps for Windows and Windows Mobile (in spite of the fact that I have found the process enjoyable and the tooling excellent) and have felt forced into looking at reducing (if not completely eliminating) the time I am able to devote to developing apps for the Microsoft store.

Sad times.

 

Update

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It is with some sadness that I have decided to withdraw all my apps from the Windows Store.  I felt this was necessary in order  to clear the decks and prepare for future projects.

NB My understanding is that this process will take some time before it is reflected in the non availability of some 300 or so of my apps in the Windows and Mobile Store.

Fast App turnaround for Windows Store App!

Yesterday morning I submitted version 4 of ‘Vantage Point’ to Microsoft, last night it was in the store!!

Here are the milestones:

 

  1. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 08:00:45 – Submitted to store
  2. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 17:48:06  – App passes certification
  3. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 19:04:40 – App is in the store!

 

Congratulations to all concerned at Microsoft!

 

And yes, Vantage Point is a unique and interesting App available for free download here.

Cultivating Good Feedback

 

So after working on an App for several years (the content is the greater part) I got myself frazzled in an effort to reach the store before the XMAS rush.  I was later than I wanted to be but made it just in time for the holiday period.  A couple of early January revisions ensured that the App is ‘as good as it can be’ at this early stage of it’s evolution.

Feedback is always an important part of any apps initial gestation and I did the usual job of encouraging friends and family to commit their positive thoughts.  I then gave this process a little more thought before posting this review myself:

Authors Note

I want this app to be awesome! Please feedback any negative criticism to me directly at rd3d2@hotmail.co.uk. I will take your feedback on board and do my best to make future versions better! If you like the App please rate it with 5 stars – a high rating is a great motivator and will result in free upgrades to this App in the future! “”

Thanks.

 

I figure it might help reviewers realise that there is a real person behind the App, passionate about wanting to make the app as good as it can possibly be …

http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/app/vantage-point/ac78eddb-c8ba-41b2-a7e8-843147ccc0b1

Windows Phone Marketplace Account Notice – IP Violation Warning

 

A little odd, I received the following email today but have not had any indication of which Apps might be infringing copyright.  Anyone else in the same position?

“This is to inform you that you have more than one Intellectual Property complaint against your account. If we receive one additional Intellectual Property complaint regarding your account, your account may be terminated without further warning.

Note: if your account is terminated, all your applications will be unpublished and not be available to republish.

If you have any questions about the requirements of copyright, trademark or other laws, please consult an attorney.

Windows Phone Store Team”

Is anyone from the Windows Phone team able to comment?  Surely it would be sensible to alert me of any specific complaints before sending what appears to be a generalised notification?

Windows Phone “Marketplace Trial” Error Details

I received the following mail yesterday from the Windows Phone Team.

I have to say that I wasn’t aware of this issue and am pleased that Microsoft is dealing with it in what appears to be a sensible and straightforward manor.   I trust that they will provide the name of the App[s] along with number of downloads when they provide details of the compensation!  I would also be curious to know how this happened and the steps MS have taken to ensure that it doesn’t happen again in the future.

Ian.


From:
Windows Phone Marketplace Commerce

Sent:
05 October 2012 23:03:17

To:

Cc:
Windows Phone Marketplace Commerce Team

Hello,

We are writing to advise you that your app was inadvertently made available via trial mode to Windows Phone Marketplace users during the period of September 19-28, 2012.  The issue was corrected on September 28th and since that time no trial versions of your app have been downloaded (unless you changed your app to enable trial mode).

Within the next ten business days you will receive communication on how and when you can expect compensation from Microsoft for the monetary value of these trial downloads. 

We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your continued support of Windows Phone.  If you have any questions, please email us at mplcomm@microsoft.com and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Best regards,

Windows Phone Store Commerce Team

Using the Nokia banner generator

If you are a Windows Phone App developer then head on over to this web based tool and have a play: http://snac.nokia.com/2/pages/marketplacehome

If you are still reading here is the simple walkthrough:

Go to the WindowsPhoneMarketPlace and retrieve a link to the App you want to use

EG http://www.windowsphone.com/en-GB/apps/798a731f-c0f0-4c2a-b8b1-c1590a0d66ac

Paste this into the space provided:

image

(this will trigger the population of the other feeds).

Click on “Generate Banners” to create the full set of banners (see below)

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Ingestion Failure Example under 3.10.1

2I hadn’t come across this before but one of my recent Apps “Happy Families” failed ingestion under 3.10 with the following ingestion report:

3.10 Country/Region Specific Requirements

3.10.1

Requirements Expected Result
Content that is offensive in any country/region to
which your application is targeted is not allowed.
Content may be considered offensive in certain
countries/regions because of local laws or cultural
norms. Examples of potentially offensive content
in certain countries/regions include, but are not
limited to the following:

-People in revealing clothing or in sexually suggestive poses
-Religious references
-Alcohol references
-Sexual or bathroom humor
-Simulated or actual gambling


Countries/regions for which one or more parts of
3.10 may apply include the following:

Group 1: China
Group 2: Malaysia, Indonesia


I removed the 3 Countries from the list and resubmitted.

I understand what has happened here but would have preferred that the App was published with the offending Countries removed automatically, perhaps with a note supplied to me (or a ‘Warning’ submission report) outlining the issue.

I am guessing that fart machines might would also fail under 3.10.1?


Happy Families:

http://windowsphone.com/s?appid=277219eb-be38-47ab-93d8-c5205eaae942

Announcing The Live Tile Marketplace Browser.

1Designed to compliment the existing Windows Phone App Marketplace the Live Tile Browser is an A-Z of Live Tiles from participating developers for Windows Phone 7. And with a launch Live Tile count of nearly 200 Live Tiles this free App looks to be an indispensable guide when looking for new and interesting Apps for your phone!

How does it work?

Simply download the app and peruse the Live Tiles, if you see something you like tap the tile to be taken to marketplace listing of the associated App. If you like the App simply download it to your phone to use the live tile on your home screen.

NB New Live Tiles magically appear in the browser as they become available (new tiles have a red dot in the top right hand corner of the tile making it easy to identify the latest  offerings in the marketplace.)

The Live Tile Browser is available free now:

http://windowsphone.com/s?appid=d68906de-da5d-4f64-9b88-154f1f5d3c07

Developer API for Live Tile Browser

An Azure based API is currently in planning for this App to allow Independent Windows Phone Developers to easily add their own Live tiles to this App and to the associated Web Site (http://LiveTiles.co.uk) and Windows 8 Metro based App (TBA)

If you are interested in such an opportunity please contact the author or leave a comment below.