Apple vs Microsoft: Why Apple is blocking SkyDrive updates on iOS

Microsoft and Apple have never been close friends but, at least in their industry, they have been a pretty good example of cooperation: remember the money Microsoft invested in Apple in the 90s, Office for Mac, as well as the cross-licensing deal they signed that has pushed the industry forward.

But right now it seems the relationship between the two tech giants isn’t so warm and cozy. A new report from The Next Web talks about the difficulties Microsoft has been having with Apple lately. And they all seem to stem from Apple’s policy of keeping 30% revenue from their App Store.

The whole problem revolves around Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage solution. In recent months SkyDrive has added the ability to let users purchase extra storage through a yearly subscription and Microsoft has added this functionality through updates on all their mobile apps. However, Apple wants a 30% cut of any such transactions that go on on their platform. Microsoft refused, so now they cannot update their iOS SkyDrive app because such in-app purchases or indeed out of app purchases go against Apple’s App Store policies.

One of the main reasons why Microsoft refuses to give in is that there is no time limit on the contract. Apple wouldn’t receive a one-time payment, but rather every time the user renews their subscription, so for example every year, Apple would get a cut because the original transaction happened on their platform.

What’s even worse is that Apple seems to be blocking any third party apps that rely on SkyDrive and sources close to Microsoft say that even removing the original SkyDrive app from the store wouldn’t solve this until Apple gets its money – or until user and developer outrage is so high that Apple gives in.

Of course, in the end, this is Apple’s right as it’s their App Store but we can’t help but see a pattern here. This is exactly the same thing that Apple did with Dropbox, another very popular cloud storage solution, when they introduced their subscription model.

We’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes until someone gives in, though, by our estimate, the only people hurting right now are the users and the developers, exactly the folks that both companies want on their side.

Are you an iOS and SkyDrive user? Let us know in the comments who you think is in the right here.

Source: The Next Web | Image courtesy of iTechBook

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