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

image

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.

App Sales on the Windows Platform

Something strange has been going on with my Windows Phone and App store downloads.

Windows Store App Sales

So not a very inspiring story but this graph shows sales revenue (not ad revenue) for Apps between April and June this year.  The graph shows a regular income from App sales of between £5 and £10 per day up until around 6th May when suddenly not only are there no sales but there are more refunds than is the norm.

image(Click on the graph to enlarge)

And so I put in a request to Microsoft to investigate this strange phenomena.  Some weeks passed and after a series of exchanges I got a message back saying everything is normal (!?)

Windows Phone App Sales

A similar story with my Windows Phone sales (I have an outstanding request to investigate this from that team also).

image

To my mind the chances of this happening through the normal course of events are so small as to be discountable?

And so the purpose of this post   (and I feel a little bad that I have had to resort to this) is to ‘shame’ Microsoft into actually giving me an explanation of what is wrong instead of a series (of which the below is the latest) of emails attempting to persuade me that everything is OK.

image

NB I have replied to the email above with a link to this blog post.

If anyone else has experienced similar phenomena please let me know.

UPDATE – Windows 8 Apps

Here are the raw transactions for the Windows 8 Apps covering this issue:

"Date","App","Transaction type","Offer","Country/region","Currency","Transaction amount","Store fee","App proceeds","App proceeds(GBP)","Settled","Payment date"
"4/1/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/1/2013","Fishing Tips","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/2/2013","Comedy Gold TV","In-app purchase","HiDef","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/2/2013","Comedy Gold TV","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/3/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","KW","KWD","0.390","0.117","0.273","","No","N/A"
"4/3/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","KW","KWD","1.990","0.597","1.393","","No","N/A"
"4/4/2013","Learn Guitar","In-store purchase","N/A","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/4/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/5/2013","Presenters Assistant","In-app purchase","AddFree","GR","EUR","5.21","1.56","3.65","","No","N/A"
"4/5/2013","Pranks!","Reversal","AddFree","US","USD","-1.49","-0.45","-1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/6/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/6/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/6/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/7/2013","ABBA Yearbook","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/7/2013","ABBA Yearbook","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","2.49","0.75","1.74","","No","N/A"
"4/7/2013","Learn Piano","Reversal","AddFree","US","USD","-6.99","-2.10","-4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/7/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/7/2013","Speeches","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","4.99","1.50","3.49","","No","N/A"
"4/8/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/8/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/9/2013","Learn Drums","In-app purchase","AddFree","ID","IDR","60,000","18,000","42,000","","No","N/A"
"4/10/2013","Bowie 7885","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/12/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/12/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/12/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/12/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/12/2013","Learn Piano","In-store purchase","N/A","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/13/2013","MegaStructures","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/13/2013","Sculpting","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/13/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/13/2013","Bowie 7885","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/13/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/14/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/14/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","IN","INR","350.00","105.00","245.00","","No","N/A"
"4/15/2013","Live Tile News","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/16/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/16/2013","Early Symptoms","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/16/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/16/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/16/2013","Early Symptoms","In-app purchase","HiDef","AU","AUD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/17/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/17/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/17/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/17/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/18/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/18/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","ZA","ZAR","10.00","3.00","7.00","","No","N/A"
"4/18/2013","Gadgets","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/18/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","AddFree","ZA","ZAR","50.00","15.00","35.00","","No","N/A"
"4/19/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","DE","EUR","1.03","0.31","0.72","","No","N/A"
"4/19/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/19/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/21/2013","Upper Body Workout","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/21/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/21/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/22/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/22/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/23/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/23/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","HiRes","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/23/2013","Sporting Disasters","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/24/2013","Hot Models","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/24/2013","How to braid your hair","In-app purchase","AddFree","NZ","NZD","1.99","0.60","1.39","","No","N/A"
"4/25/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/26/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/27/2013","Live Tile Sport","In-store purchase","N/A","GB","GBP","2.25","0.67","1.58","","No","N/A"
"4/27/2013","Fishing Tips","In-app purchase","AddFree","DE","EUR","5.21","1.56","3.65","","No","N/A"
"4/27/2013","Bowie 7885","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/28/2013","Shape Your Body","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/28/2013","Live Tile Sport","In-store purchase","N/A","TH","THB","110.00","33.00","77.00","","No","N/A"
"4/28/2013","Shape Your Body","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/28/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","3.99","1.20","2.79","","No","N/A"
"4/29/2013","Live Tile News","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/29/2013","Geek Porn","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","3.49","1.05","2.44","","No","N/A"
"4/29/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"4/29/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","3.49","1.05","2.44","","No","N/A"
"4/29/2013","Live Tile News","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"4/30/2013","7 Wonders I","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"4/30/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"4/30/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"5/1/2013","Baby Knowledge","In-store purchase","N/A","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"5/1/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","3.49","1.05","2.44","","No","N/A"
"5/2/2013","Speed Painting","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"5/3/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","1.56","0.47","1.09","","No","N/A"
"5/3/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"5/3/2013","Geek Porn","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"5/3/2013","Punk !","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"5/3/2013","MegaStructures","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"5/4/2013","How to tie a knot","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","3.99","1.20","2.79","","No","N/A"
"5/4/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"5/4/2013","Learn Piano","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"5/4/2013","Easy DIY","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","2.99","0.90","2.09","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","NZ","NZD","1.99","0.60","1.39","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Lower Body Workout","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Technology Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","4.34","1.30","3.04","","No","N/A"
"5/5/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","HiRes","CH","CHF","1.30","0.39","0.91","","No","N/A"
"5/10/2013","Country Music Stars","Reversal","HiRes","CA","CAD","-1.49","-0.45","-1.04","","No","N/A"
"5/22/2013","Learn Drums","Reversal","AddFree","ID","IDR","-60,000","-18,000","-42,000","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","1.56","0.47","1.09","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Cajon","Trial upgrade","N/A","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Cajon","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/15/2013","Supermarket Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","NZ","NZD","8.99","2.70","6.29","","No","N/A"
"6/16/2013","British Fashion","In-app purchase","HiDef","NL","EUR","1.03","0.31","0.72","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Bowie 9401","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Upper Body Workout","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","2.49","0.75","1.74","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Upper Body Workout","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"6/18/2013","Technology Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","2.99","0.90","2.09","","No","N/A"
"6/19/2013","How to braid your hair","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/19/2013","How to braid your hair","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/20/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","GB","GBP","0.86","0.26","0.60","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Star Trek Hub","In-app purchase","AddFree","GB","GBP","1.56","0.47","1.09","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Country Music Stars","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Cajon","Trial upgrade","N/A","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/13/2013","Cajon","In-app purchase","AddFree","AU","AUD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/15/2013","Supermarket Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","NZ","NZD","8.99","2.70","6.29","","No","N/A"
"6/16/2013","British Fashion","In-app purchase","HiDef","NL","EUR","1.03","0.31","0.72","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Bowie 9401","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Upper Body Workout","In-app purchase","HiRes","CA","CAD","2.49","0.75","1.74","","No","N/A"
"6/17/2013","Upper Body Workout","In-app purchase","AddFree","CA","CAD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"
"6/18/2013","Technology Hub","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","2.99","0.90","2.09","","No","N/A"
"6/19/2013","How to braid your hair","In-app purchase","HiRes","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/19/2013","How to braid your hair","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","1.49","0.45","1.04","","No","N/A"
"6/20/2013","Popular Board Games","In-app purchase","AddFree","US","USD","6.99","2.10","4.89","","No","N/A"

No sales between 6th May and 13th June which given the trend before and after points to something being amiss (Note that the transactions between those dates are actually reversals)

UPDATE – Windows Phone Apps

I have a broadly similar issue with Windows Phone Sales – I don’t have the individual transactions to show but the graph below is fairly conclusive:

image

App Sales on the Windows Platform

Something strange has been going on with my Windows Phone and App store downloads.

Windows Store App Sales

So not a very inspiring story but this graph shows sales revenue (not ad revenue) for Apps between April and June this year.  The graph shows a regular income from App sales of between £5 and £10 per day up until around 6th May when suddenly not only are there no sales but there are more refunds than is the norm.

image(Click on the graph to enlarge)

And so I put in a request to Microsoft to investigate this strange phenomena.  Some weeks passed and after a series of exchanges I got a message back saying everything is normal (!?)

Windows Phone App Sales

A similar story with my Windows Phone sales (I have an outstanding request to investigate this from that team also).

image

To my mind the chances of this happening through the normal course of events are so small as to be discountable?

And so the purpose of this post   (and I feel a little bad that I have had to resort to this) is to ‘shame’ Microsoft into actually giving me an explanation of what is wrong instead of a series (of which the below is the latest) of emails attempting to persuade me that everything is OK.

image

NB I have replied to the email above with a link to this blog post.

If anyone else has experienced similar phenomena please let me know.

Highlighting PlayTo / DLNA functionality in your Windows 8 Apps

 

Using the PlayTo functionality within a media application is a great way to enhance your media related app – but the methodology for the user to invoke the PlayTo feature in Windows 8 relies on a full working knowledge of the Charms bar (The user needs to select a device from the devices charm as he is about to play a video).

So in order to highlight this great feature I have added a new button on my Apps’ application bar that also invokes the PlayTo device menu:

image
PlayTo App Bar button in the ‘Easy Origami’ App

imageThe button is based on the one currently available in StandardStyles.XAML called “PlayAppBarButtonStyle”.  I simply copied the XAML and made a few changes as in the example below. 

NB If you don’t want to modify your StandardStyles.XAML – which is generally regarded as bad practice then you can add this mark-up to the XAML of your App.XAML file where it will also be automagically ‘found’!

 

The mark-up matches the mark-up for the existing “Play” button with only the text changing (to ‘Play To’)

image

And the button in your media page then calls the following method which invokes the ‘PlayTo’ Devices menu:

image

Windows Store Download Stats.

So after a very flat and uninspiring period after the launch of Windows 8 looking at my own stats today it is clear that things have started to change over the last Month or so – with a steep increase in downloads (which now total in excess of 37,000)

image

Hopefully this increase will continue a pace over the coming year.

Interestingly a similar graph for my Windows Phone Apps shows a much steadier increase over the same period:

image

 

Windows 8 Hardware

At the weekend I had the fortune to visit the ‘gadget show live’ event in Birmingham and was particularly impressed with the variety and quality of the Windows 8 devices that were on display (I particularly liked this Sony device that was equally usable in a tablet and laptop/desktop configuration and powerful enough for almost any scenario)

image

It was nice to be able to get hands on with all these devices in one place.  (It did make me think that our PC retailers are not doing as effective a job as they might).

London Landmarks

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Get the lowdown on the must see landmarks before you visit London.

Many hundreds of videos go into this collection which is constantly updated (new items appear automatically within the App).

It covers all the most popular landmarks but if there is a particular landmark that you are interested in then you can add it using the in built search option (easier to use than you might think)

Having spent many years living in London myself I am sure you will be very happy with this App and I sincerely hope that you enjoy your time in London!

Babies

SplashScreen

Be prepared with some amazing tips on bringing up baby.

★★★★★ "OMG, this is awesome!"

★★★★★ "I learned a lot, thank you!"

★★★★★ "Wish this App had been around in my day!"

Get top tips from real parent as well as baby ;experts’ in this constantly updated catalogue of video clips covering:

 

Bathing

Weening

Soothing

Sleeping

Swadling

Birthing

Talking

Walking

 

 

“Just what we needed!”