A tale of Windows store success: the developer making $30k a month

When Microsoft launched its Windows Store with Windows 8 on October 26th, the market was a bit sparse. While the store certainly had a few great apps, many wrote off the store as being weak compared to its rivals, believing that developers would not take the market seriously until there was a significant user base.

But, if you were a developer and did believe in Microsoft's vision for the OS, you could have cashed in. One developer, Kevin Ashley, has written up his story about how he is making $30,000 a month in the Windows Store. This success does not come lightly as many developers would kill for this kind of revenue and seeing that it can happen in the Windows Store shows that Microsoft's Windows 8 platform is growing rapidly and should be taken seriously.

One of the applications that Kevin built that is currently in the store is called 'Card Games Chest' which is free but uses in app purchases and advertisement to generate revenue. 

One interesting tidbit from his post is that when he looked at the current markets, Windows Store provided the best opportunity.

When I presented to the largest iOS meetup in Silicon Valley, I asked the audience of 200 pro-iOS developers a simple question: do you believe as a new developer I can enter Apple Store market today with a bunch of Solitaire games and make this kind of money? Their response was: you’ll waste your time, this market is too saturated!

If Microsoft was smart, they should be promoting this story heavily as it shows that the Windows Store is entering the 'sweet spot' as Kevin calls it. There is now a large enough base to make serious cash but the store is not over-run by poor quality apps that keep the well-designed applications hidden from view.

If you are thinking of building for the Windows Store, now is the time to do so. The market is ready for more stories like this but the question remains, who will be the next individual to make a fortune on the Windows Store?

Source: Kevin Ashley

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. . . seeing that it can happen in the Windows Store shows that Microsoft's Windows 8 platform is growing rapidly and should be taken seriously.

The thing is that more people adopting Windows 8 does not necessarily translate to the Store being a hit. I've been using Windows 8 since developer preview and I can count the number of times I've been to the Store on the fingers of one hand. In fact, from what I've seen, the only app most Widows 8 users click on the Start screen is the Desktop app.

The app store is a necessary part of iOS and Android. On Windows it's just an additional feature, much like the Chrome Web Store or the Firefox Add-ons page. Why would I need a facebook app if I can access the real thing in my browser? Microsoft's own success is holding back the Store. The only way the Store can be successful is to do away with the desktop and legacy software.

I'm not sure how the article can claim this>> "... but the store is not over-run by poor quality apps that keep the well-designed applications hidden from view."
Not over-run with poor quality apps? That is all I see are tons of poor apps. The good ones are difficult to find.
Need more apps like App Stars to find the few gems that there are in the store.
Good to hear though that people are making money, it encourages more to get in an make an app.

I have a few conflicted thoughts on this:

1. He wrote a book. Not a big deal. Writing programming books is a quick way to the poor house. I know from experience.
2. He's a programmer tooling around. I write code all the time, so why not write it on a platform that has a small marketshare and is going to grow. if you divide Win8 up into its 3 basic parts: desktop, mobile/tablet, and phone, the numbers will look a little bit different. Yeah, Win8 marketshare sucks and its being compared to Vista everywhere, but its going to be big on the desktop just through sheer volume. Win8 on mobile/tablets, I'm not so sure about. Windows Phone is currently doa.
3. He is a MS Technical Evangelist. This is my whole problem with the article, and the email I got about this yesterday. Based on the simple fact that he works for MSFT, he is going to get better assistance on the programming side and some amount of promotion that people without a microsoft.com email address won't get. Chinese walls be danged.
4. He's absolutely right in that you can't stand out in the iOS (or Android ) marketplace. Apple is making it harder and harder, not easier, just look at AppGratis.

Tried the app, and liked it, but I'm still not putting money into the Windows Store until it gets some solid apps in it, it looks like a dogpile of garbage at the moment.

He posted that article back on February 4th. It is true that the Windows 8 market lacks a lot of apps and the is possibly helping his app be more visible and one of the few worth downloading. Do a Google search and you will see there are a few others out there saying they are making good money. I know some people who are only making alright money but Microsoft has failed to get advertisers and within the last month the ads have seized up. There are no ads to display or only Bing ads and even those are not displaying anymore. Now they are not making any money on ads. That guy needs to write a new post about that. Go to Microsoft's ad forums and you will see developers are complaining about there being no ads. It also looks like people using Bing ads for their website are not showing up too. I do not remember all the sources so use Google. Here are a few.

Another post about money on Windows 8
http://www.andybeaulieu.com/Home/tabid/67/Default.aspx

Forums for Windows 8 app advertising (look around at the posts)
http://community.bingads.micro.../ads/en/publisher/f/63.aspx

Forums for website advertising
http://community.bingads.micro...om/ads/en/bingads/f/48.aspx

Forums with some posts about no ads (look around at the posts)
http://social.msdn.microsoft.c...ms/en-us/wpinappads/threads

So in terms of learning programming, would building apps for Windows 8/Phone be a good place to start? I was considering starting at C#, but I noticed the new Visual Studio Express has versions for building apps in Windows 8/Phone.

Developers are not by their mind if they say they reach more people on iOS than on Windows 8. Windows 8 has a larger market share than iOS (even according StatCounter!), and less apps in its store, making it very easy for an app to be discoverd.

Wow. The comments here are top notch today... I mean, how dare someone make money from a company who shouldn't be allowed to run a store. How dare them! Only Apple and Google should be allowed to do that!

/s

Well, it's best to take those figures with a grain of salt, as while a Windows 8 user might have access to the Windows Store, that doesn't mean they'll be utilizing it as compared to an iPad where that's their only option.

But anyway, I think it's a good time to be a developer on the Windows platform. iOS has so many apps that I can imagine how hard it would be for someone to get their app seen.

Or just MAYBE, the lack of Apps for Win8 is so that, anything remotely interresting sell well right now. It's because the market is NOT saturated that some dev can make money with a simple Solitaire game.

To sell apps for iOS and Android you have to be creative to grab the attention of buyers, you cannot do "me too" apps. But in Win8, we are far from there.

TruckWEB said,
It's because the market is NOT saturated that some dev can make money with a simple Solitaire game.

Yes..that's what he says in the blog.

I initially started reading the story with interest but he plugs a book and I have to think, man, started as a hobby and bam he's got a book? Hmmmm. I'm a Win8 and MS fan but it looks too much like its just a PR thing. But hey, if it's all legit and true then awesome. Just needs to be presented in more of a "did this on my own" and "not selling a book" way.

I wonder how much Microsoft paid that developer or Neowin to spread this fud, yes FUD because this a very fortunate and rare ad venture exception.

So it's FUD? There are developers on iOS who are making quite a bit of money too, is that FUD too?

Google makes 90%+ of it's profits from advertisements, maybe they're lying about that too

syobon999 said,
I wonder how much Microsoft paid that developer or Neowin to spread this fud, yes FUD because this a very fortunate and rare ad venture exception.

Can you please elaborate on which aspect of this story is inciting Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt?

Brandon Live said,
Can you please elaborate on which aspect of this story is inciting Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt?

THANK you! Seems people are using this term without knowing what it even means...

I'm not sure you know what that term means

syobon999 said,
I wonder how much Microsoft paid that developer or Neowin to spread this fud, yes FUD because this a very fortunate and rare ad venture exception.

Brandon Live said,

Can you please elaborate on which aspect of this story is inciting Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt?

The fact that it is not an app that runs on iOS. Developers on that platform are the only ones permitted to make money. Win8 developers are only allowed to make $100, and that is the money that Microsoft paid them because they feel sorry for forcing these developers, developers, developers at gunpoint to write apps for Win8, and Microsoft feels they should get something for spreading FUD on behalf of Microsoft.

SoylentG said,

The fact that it is not an app that runs on iOS. Developers on that platform are the only ones permitted to make money. Win8 developers are only allowed to make $100, and that is the money that Microsoft paid them because they feel sorry for forcing these developers, developers, developers at gunpoint to write apps for Win8, and Microsoft feels they should get something for spreading FUD on behalf of Microsoft.


Wai... What???

SoylentG said,

The fact that it is not an app that runs on iOS. Developers on that platform are the only ones permitted to make money. Win8 developers are only allowed to make $100, and that is the money that Microsoft paid them because they feel sorry for forcing these developers, developers, developers at gunpoint to write apps for Win8, and Microsoft feels they should get something for spreading FUD on behalf of Microsoft.

*Looks to left, looks to right, looks behind me

Nop, no gun.

FarCry3r said,

Wai... What???

Studio384 said,

*Looks to left, looks to right, looks behind me

Nop, no gun.

It is called making fun of the Apple/Android fanboy who is throwing a fit because he believes that only iOS/Android are the only platforms that should make money.

In other words, I guess I put have put a /sarc line in there to keep you from being confused.

Brandon Live said,

Can you please elaborate on which aspect of this story is inciting Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt?

This post makes as much sense as the Windows 8 Start Screen on the Desktop.... Oh wait...

somehow this seems so unrealistic...almost like this is some MS PR stunt where got paid to talk a load of rubbish. And the article states he gets most revenue from in game ads, not actual game sales as the driving factor which seems to me like a hit and miss "truth" which got twisted into a nice little story. I mean look at his app, its plain rubbish to be honest..... and the whole part of "talking to iOS developers", yeh what a load of BS. Its all hype and no facts or real numbers. Unfounded until proven innocent, i mean truthfull.

I believe it has some merit and makes sense. Unless you have the next 'it' app, it might be difficult to break into a very mature app store.

Why? My niche app on WP makes ~ $1/month through ads. I'd be willing to bet that the number of Windows 8 users is 300x the number of Windows Phone users, and that the number of niche users of my app is 1/100th of the number of solitaire users.

I know what you mean. This is completely made up because the only people who are allowed to be successful are iOS and Android developers. On the Win8 store everyone is supposed to only make $100, and that is the money that Microsoft paid the people to write apps. And those 700,000 apps on the Apple App store, with every single one of them being of such high quality that every iOS device owner has downloaded every single one of them, is how you make money, because they are automatically of such high quality people are just clamoring to download them and give the developers their money.

- Kaboose - said,
somehow this seems so unrealistic...almost like this is some MS PR stunt where got paid to talk a load of rubbish.

Welcome to neowin. Were you really not aware this is the MMOP? Microsoft Ministry Of Propaganda

Makes sense, as most developers were most likely more worried about the # of users first. I have yet to explore the app store in Windows 8 but that's mainly due to my aging laptop. $30k a month would be a real nice revenue to be rolling in..

ShareShiz said,
maybe I should quit my job and start to code Apps.

You should start to code apps to generate the sustainability to quit your job.
Don't put the cart before the horse.
What if you suck at building apps?

ShareShiz said,
maybe I should quit my job and start to code Apps.

that is all I am thinking these days. imagine you don't have to be present in office every single morning and listen to your boss or project manager ordering this and that and what stupid things customer want or ....
You could just go vacation and enjoy cash flow into your account. oh man..... if only I could submit one of those hot apps.