Microsoft Makes Marketplace More Affordable For Developer Submission

Microsoft is playing catch up in the app marketplace and development world, so they’ve got to make submitting apps for Windows Phone 7 a breeze. After negative feedback surrounding the annual $99 developer fee covering only 5 apps, Microsoft has revised their policies.

infinityThe updated guidelines state that an annual $99/year fee will still be required but developers can now upload unlimited paid apps and up to 5 free apps each year. Additional free app uploads will cost $19.99.

I think this is a completely fair compromise. It allows developers an affordable way to get their product to market but prevents spammers and scammers from automating apps/games and uploading them in mass quantities, polluting the app marketplace a la Android.

Here are specifics of the new policies:

  • Annual registration fee of $99
  • No limit to the number of paid apps submitted 5 free apps per registration, $19.99 each after that
  • Free registration to DreamSpark students (same unlimited paid and 5 free apps applies)
  • A new optional push notification service to help developers stay engaged with customers
  • A new optional Trial API – trials mean more customers try your app, and less likelihood that they return it. The length or type of trial is fully controlled by the developer
  • The ability to publish to all available Marketplace markets through a new “worldwide distribution” option, allowing developers to pay once and distribute broadly
  • Wider range of business models; free, paid, freemium and ad-funded
  • Equally important to many developers is what isn’t changing:
  • A revenue share of 70/30
  • Developers manage their business with Marketplace via the self service portal
  • Payout takes place monthly for developers that have earned more than USD$200 worldwide
  • Developers can make ad funded applications
  • All applications go through a process of technical and content certification
  • Marketplace offers support for credit card commerce, and where available mobile operator billing.
  • Microsoft continues its practice of publishing policies, guidelines, and submission process details to developers so they understand exactly how marketplace works.

For the complete policies, read here.

[Via Windows Blog]

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