Microsoft Needs to Keep Developers Loyal to Windows

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-12-07 Print this article Print


5. Encourage free apps with in-app downloads

Although many paid applications are still popular, the market appears to be moving toward free applications. More and more, consumers want to be able to try an application without investing cash in it. However, developers want to cash in on their creations, and they've found that the best way to do that is with in-app downloads that give users rewards or extras while using a particular application. If Microsoft can facilitate an easy revenue-transition process for developers opting for that business model, the software company will be in good shape.

6. Easy porting

Building applications and porting them to other platforms is sometimes easy and sometimes difficult, depending on the software a developer uses. Apple came under fire in recent years for trying to make it too hard for developers to port apps from iOS to other platforms. Microsoft needs to do quite the opposite. In fact, it has to make porting applications to Windows 8 as easy as possible. By doing so, it can go a long way in quickly bringing applications to its store.

7. Solid mobile ads that developers, consumers like

Mobile ads are a necessary evil in today's applications. Google knows it. Apple knows it. Now, it's time for Microsoft to use the same approach. But the company can't fall into the trap of making ads obtrusive and inconsequential for developers. If its ads can sell applications and generate revenue while limiting how much they annoy Windows 8 users, the company might just be able to improve its relations with developers.

8. Find more rewards

Microsoft's decision to give developers 80 percent of the revenue on apps that make over $25,000 is a smart one. But since Windows 8's store will be late to the market, maybe the company should find other ways to coax developers to its store. Developers are more than willing to create applications for new operating systems if the investment makes sense. Microsoft should keep that in mind.

9. Windows 7 support

When Apple launched the Mac App Store, the company first made it available on Snow Leopard. Although it's quite unlikely, Microsoft should at least consider offering its Windows application store on Windows 7. By doing so, it can bring applications to a huge installed base. About 500 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold worldwide, and giving those users access to the app store would go a long way in getting developers interested in bringing their programs to the store.

10. Remember that Windows is Windows

The nice thing about creating a new application store for Windows 8 is that Microsoft already has a huge installed base of developers with programs they want to bring to the platform. Windows is still the top platform for software, and Microsoft must ensure that it stays that way. As long as Windows can continue to be, well, Windows, it shouldn't have any trouble establishing itself in the competitive app marketplace.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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