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Windows Store & App Contest for Windows 8 Previewed; Launching in Late February with Windows 8 Beta

Windows StoreFinally, Microsoft at a event in San Francisco, announced the policies and business terms for the Windows Store. “These details for the Windows Store are very important as it outlines the incredible economic opportunity for developers that Windows 8 represents as the Windows Store will be an integrated feature in Windows 8,” stated Microsoft.

Microsoft confirmed a “late February 2012” launch date for the beta of Windows 8.

Along with important Windows Store details, the Redmond comapny also inviting a set of developers to submit Metro style applications for inclusion in the Windows Store for the Windows 8 Beta in a First Apps contest.

For more details on the contest, and a complete list of details including the official rules and submission of apps, head on over to http://buildwindowscontest.com.

As a developer, everything you need to get started developing for Windows 8 is available at the Windows Dev Center – including Visual Studio and the Windows 8 Developer Preview. And of course there is a plethora of sessions available online from BUILD at http://www.buildwindows.com/ to help you get started too.

Microsoft official also published the Store’s developer-first economics–“with up to 80% revenue share for apps sold through our platform. Combining the broad reach of Windows, a new developer platform, best-in-class developer tools, a reimagined user experience, support for new chipsets, and a built-in Store with industry-leading business terms–Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity, ever,” Ted Dworkin.

The company indicated at Build, its Store will allow licensing, purchase and download of Metro-style apps from directly within the Store. Desktop (non-Metro-style) apps cannot be downloaded from inside the store, but developers can promote those apps there and offer links to them, officials said back in September.

Dworking further claimed that there are now 1.25 billion Windows PCs in existence. He said that 3 million copies of Windows 8 developer preview have been downloaded since September, when Microsoft made that version available to interested testers.

Dworkin also revealed that there have been 500 million copies of Windows 7 sold to date, which represents half a billion PCs that could be upgraded to Windows 8 on the day it ships. That figure was 400 million, as of July 2011.

He said “Our individual registration fee will be $49 USD ($99 USD for companies).

And that we will allow developers to price apps from between $1.49 to $999.99. We will share up to 80% of the revenue generated from app sales. The revenue share base is 70%, but when an app achieves $25k USD in revenue–aggregated across all sales in every market–that app moves to 80% revenue share for the lifetime of that app,” revealed Dworkin.

“Trials and in-app purchases are two great ways for developers to engage their customers. We have full support for both. We’ve seen tremendous success with trial conversions on apps in our Windows Phone Marketplace. We support in-place trial upgrade, for both time-based and feature-differentiated trial types,” writes Dworkin.

With the Windows Store, developers can choose to use whatever ad platform they prefer, whether it’s from Microsoft or someone else.

He said “We want to increase predictability and eliminate any capriciousness in app certification. We do this by providing every developer with the technical certification assessments–the App Certification Kit –as part of the SDK. We also provide app acceptance guidance, in plain language, in our app certification policies. The App Certification Kit and the SDK are included when you download the Windows 8 Developer Preview.”

You can visit following links for more information about the app policies, business terms and Fact Sheet for the Windows Store, both of which are now published to Dev Center. And, visit here for First Apps contest .

Here’s a list of some tidbits:

  • Windows Store will be localized in all (more than 100) Windows languages
  • Payment mechanisms for 230 markets
  • Top 40 markets will have local pricing
  • Developers will be able to be paid in one of 20 different currencies
  • IE 10 (built in to Windows 8) will include a button in the browser for apps that are in the Windows Store
  • In-app purchases and trial app support built into the store, developers can use if they wish
  • Apps can use their own subscription back-ends, unlike Apple store
  • Developers are free to choose whichever ad platform they want for ad supported apps
  • Developers will be able to check on their apps through the approval process, as was shown at Build
  • App prices can range from $1.49 to $999.99 (!!)
  • Microsoft will take a 30% cut for the first $25k, then the cut will drop to 20%
  • Microsoft is launching a “First Apps Contest” for developers who’d like their apps to be considered for the Store’s opening. More details on the contest can be found at buildwindowscontest.com.
  • The Windows 8 App Certification Kit, Windows Developer Dashboard and the Windows Store App Certification requirements, are all going to be available via this MSDN page.

Here is the Windows Store photo gallery:

And, the Windows Store Preview video:

Created by diTii.com,diTii.com on Flickr.

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