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Making money with metro apps

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  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    I have just been reading the making money with your apps article, and am really concerned with the direction that Microsoft are taking.

    With successful apps on Windows, you'll make more money than the industry standard, earning 80% of every customer dollar, after an app makes more than 25,000 USD in sales. For the first 25,000 USD of an app's sales, you get the industry-standard 70%.

    Let me rephrase this for you

    With successful apps on Windows, Microsoft will make more money than the industry standard, earning 20% of every customer dollar, after an app makes more than 25,000 USD in sales. For the first 25,000 USD of an app's sales, Microsoft will get the industry-standard 30%.

    This just will not work for the majority of business, and in truth it makes Microsoft completely unattractive. I know that Apple have done it (that does not mean it is right), like a lot of people developing on iOS are finding out, you cannot make any money at all. there are all but a handful of financially successful apps on iOS.

    What does it take to create an application with 5 developers? Lets make it a 12 month project at an average of £40,000, then add 5 Visual Studio ultimate,TFS, SQL licenses and lets say they want to use Azure http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/advanced/#

    If you add the costs of marketing campaigns, management and so on, it is easy for this to approach a million pounds.

    I realise that I cannot expect Microsoft employees to answer, as they will be seen as going against the decisions of the company, but the key reason Windows was successful was because it was possible to create products (I know fan-boys will say it is still possible - not with the new OS) where you could make revenue. As it is, a lot of start-ups are still failing because it is so hard to launch products to the market because of the costs and expertise involved.

    People are making an incredible investment in your platform for you to then say give us 30%! I would still think it a lot even you said free Visual Studio, free TFS, free Sql, free Azure and so on. Has anyone at Microsoft actually tried to perform accounts a typical  Windows Project incurs?

    Am I alone in thinking that the app store should be free (small charge to cover costs for running it)?

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    I think most Microsoft developers think like you. I kinda do too.

    I expect Microsoft to throw a lot of freebies my way. I expect Micorosft to shower me with cool new phones and becon me to become a developer on their platform.

    But the reality is, we expect too much from Microsoft and Microsoft expects too much from us as developers.

    I've no solution for this problem, but I do know that it should come from both sides. We need to stop thinking that Micorosft is an uncle with very deep pockets, we need to suck it up and bite the bullet. Start with express versions of the product, and not with ultimate. Maybe apply for a bizspark program.

    Microsoft on the other hand, should stop looking at the competition and innovate! Like with Kinect, it's awesome, revolutionairy! When I saw Rory work with the prototype, I really gasped!

    So basically; Suck it up and start coding!

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    IMO The vast majority of Metro Apps will be developed for their satisfaction value as a hobby, not as a money making enterprise.

    (Sadly) developers need to look at getting a 'real job' if they want to earn a living, that is just the way it is. 

    Of course there will always be some developers that buck the trend (just like there will always be someone who wins the lottery), and if Microsoft is smart they will highlight those 'lucky few' in order to generate interest.

    I hope that doesn't make me sound pessimistic (I am generally the opposite).

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    @Ian2:Agreed. For every Angry Birds, there are thousands of others who are making $100 a month from their app.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @spivonious: I wish! $100 a month is a LOT!

  • User profile image
    Bas

    For what it's worth, you can make money from apps in more ways than just sales.

    , vesuvius wrote

    but the key reason Windows was successful was because it was possible to create products (I know fan-boys will say it is still possible - not with the new OS) where you could make revenue.

    How is it not possible with the new OS? On ARM, sure, but x86 and x64 aren't going away.

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    @Bas:I would say the average earning per app, per month amounts to a few dollars, not $100!

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    @Ian2: I guess I majorly underestimated app revenue. So how much are people making?

  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    Quality is an issue too. If you've ever strolled into the Microsoft App Store, I'd say 1% of the apps in there are of quality. The bad ones have horrible tile icons, usability looks bad, the UI doesn't follow Metro guidelines.

    Keep quality up, you'll make money. Apps like the Bra Size Calculator aren't going to help you buy a new Lexus.

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    Peanuts.

    I'm going to publish the earnings for 'Live Tile News' on my blog soon.

    IMO the key to earning money, apart from a decent app in the first place, is exposure - which is really hard to come by.

     http://WebSurfaces.co.uk

     

    Wow, that Bra Size Calculator looks cool ....

     

     

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    , Bas wrote

    For what it's worth, you can make money from apps in more ways than just sales.

    *snip*

    How is it not possible with the new OS? On ARM, sure, but x86 and x64 aren't going away.

    But not using Metro, and this is all about a touch-first UI. There is very little point in being a Windows App (desktop) developer now, I am considering going back to the dull and repetitious world of HTML, SQL and databases. After a year or so, this type of development becomes quite boring.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    I suspect that the vast majority of mobile app developers aren't thinking of the money when they start to code. Many see it as an opportunity to learn new skills and enhancing their CVs.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @Bas: Like the iPhone, only the top 10% actually makes money,.. The other 90% are just wannabe's.

    Adds is the only way to go, but it makes the app feel cheap.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    @Ian2: The problem with App Stores is that in a short space of time it becomes like a person "shouting at the top of their voice" on a football pitch - you just get drowned in the noise - so companies end up reverting to traditional ways of marketing i.e. advertising where people being able to download something directly from your website makes you wonder why you are paying 30% when the user could have just linked to an advert directly, and allowed you to collate information that allows you to build CRM data that you can use more effectively.

    Being involved in an app that runs on Android, iOS and Blackberry it was a lot more work creating installers, dealing with multi-currency and localisation and so on where the app store would have taken the pain away, but the flexibility you get (and companies typically are willing to invest in) means that this far outweighs the benefits of an app store.

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , vesuvius wrote

    *snip*

    But not using Metro, and this is all about a touch-first UI. There is very little point in being a Windows App (desktop) developer now, I am considering going back to the dull and repetitious world of HTML, SQL and databases. After a year or so, this type of development becomes quite boring.

    Maybe I'm just lucky but I hope you'll find exciting opportunities in the mobile space for LOB apps as I have. At least with Android the platform is open enough you can side-load LOB apps. Yes you still need SQL and a management app of some sort (web, WPF, etc.) but it certainly beats the norm (no offence to Norm intended). I sure hope Microsoft considers LOB app opportunities, side-load, and the like as they release W8 and "swap out" the kernel on WP7.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • User profile image
    Bas

    , vesuvius wrote

    *snip*

    But not using Metro, and this is all about a touch-first UI. There is very little point in being a Windows App (desktop) developer now, I am considering going back to the dull and repetitious world of HTML, SQL and databases. After a year or so, this type of development becomes quite boring.

    But.. you just said that the key reason Windows was successful was because it was possible to create products where you could make revenue. Those products weren't using Metro either, and also weren't touch-first. You can still make those types of applications with the new Windows, unlike what you claimed.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    , Bas wrote

    *snip*

    But.. you just said that the key reason Windows was successful was because it was possible to create products where you could make revenue. Those products weren't using Metro either, and also weren't touch-first. You can still make those types of applications with the new Windows, unlike what you claimed.

    What was it I claimed, there must be a fine point I am missing?

  • User profile image
    Bas

    This is tedious and repetitious, but alright. You claimed it was possible to make products for the old Windows that made revenue, and that this was no longer possible with the new OS.

    Which, obviously, is incorrect. Those products that made revenue were non-Metro and non-touch. Since you can still make non-metro, non-touch apps on the new OS, you are incorrect.

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