Microsoft isn't (necessarily) going to take 30% of Windows Store 8 sales

Microsoft contacted me about yesterday's story on Metro-style apps only being available at the Windows store. One of the prominent facts in the story, which I got from Microsoft presentations, was that they would be taking a 30 percent cut of app proceeds from the store.

Turns out it was all a big mistake. The reference to a 70/30 split "...was actually a placeholder we neglected to remove (realize it was a mistake). We will have more to share about economics when the Windows Store goes live", according to a Microsoft spokesperson. Can you believe that? Editor: No.

Straight off, it's tempting to think that this wasn't so much a mistake as a trial balloon. It was, after all, entirely believable because, as I said yesterday, it's the Apple-set industry standard now. But not taking Microsoft at their word here would be cynical and ungentlemanly, and that's just not us here at Betanews! Editor: Yes, but we've been lied to before.

And in fairness, Microsoft was clear at Build (see Ted Dworkin's presentation above) that they would not be talking about specific store policies or business terms. Near the end of the presentation he demonstrates the "Developer Dashboard," which is the site where developers submit apps and monitor their progress. There is a prominent "Finance" link in it which Dworkin ignores. Editor: We're just saying what you might want to but are too much the gentleman, Larry: Perhaps developers screamed about the 30-percent cut, and Microsoft backed off because it needs them writing those Metro apps.

Dworkin does say that Microsoft will be a lot less restrictive about apps than Apple is. For instance, you can use your own transaction models and servers. There will be a Microsoft check for "content appropriateness". Dworkin also makes clear that the Windows Store is the only place to buy Metro Style apps, and that this will allow them to enforce standards for such apps.

This will likely be my last article for Betanews. Next week I will be working full-time elsewhere. I thank Betanews, especially Joe Wilcox, and I thank you readers for being so involved and passionate about technology. Keep up the good work.

Editor: We'll miss you, Larry. It has been a pleasure working with you. Where are we going to get balanced Microsoft stories now, without you? We're surrounded by iPhone idolaters and the Android army. Can't you write just one more?

Larry Seltzer is a freelance writer and consultant, dealing mostly with security matters. He has written recently for Infoworld, eWEEK, Dr. Dobb's Journal, and is a Contributing Editor at PC Magazine and author of their Security Watch blog. He has also written for Symantec Authentication (formerly VeriSign) and Lumension's Intelligent Whitelisting site.

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