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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MS could drop skydrive support from the next version for IOS, but keep the web based part so apple doesn't get a dime.Apple only cares about $$$. Being open is the way forward,but, apple is not open. Greed is what drives them and is one reason i will never own an apple device.

Apple said to developers : no aftermarket unless i can cut.
But MS is saying, I am the damn MS , i am not a second class developer and i deserve a special treatment.

Anyways, i don't know why MS doesn't remove the "sell button" and put instead a link that says "do you want more?, click here" and point to MS webpage where the user can purchase a subscription.

Or to take this from what one guy on Engadget said about this.

Fine! MS deserves a cut of every Itunes purchase that is on a windows based system. Fair?

Tom-Helge said,
Or to take this from what one guy on Engadget said about this.

Fine! MS deserves a cut of every Itunes purchase that is on a windows based system. Fair?


LoL! I like that one.

What's next?

Apple wants 30% of the bills i'm paying in money to, just because i pay my bills inn-app with my bank providers app for iOS?

Some shoddy practices going on here.

It's a real shame because the benefit for users would be amazing but it's all about the money and in this case money that Apple really have no right to.

Why peoples want's freedom to choose what fits their needs best?

Oh hey, it's iOS ecosystem we are talking about where everyone is forced to have no choices but just follow what Apple says it's the best and not what you think it's best.

Why do peoples keep using iOS products when Apple is going this way with their policy?

Just make Skydrive HTML based, that way its not iOS extensive. Just make it browser capable ONLY. Problem solved. Apple can't force payment on things people buy via a web browser.

If Apple wants to play, then lets make Windows and office not work on thr Mac and see how far Apple gets. In fact pulling Office would be a knife to the throat and making Windows not boot on Mac's would be the final blow.

The Financial Times tried this route and failed. Nobody wants to use a HTML5 app they want to use stuff from the App Store, which is what the developer is paying for - that marketing

Yes it's a crap policy by Apple, but why can't MS remove the in-app subscriptions and have everyone who wants to upgrade go to skydrive.com directly?

edit, nevermind the source article says even that was rejected.

If i was Microsoft in this case, i would do it just to show how greedy Apple really is. Just to let their customers see how freaking stupid Apple is with this stupid policy.

Microsoft can't just lose 30% of their income on this service just because Apple is horny after money.

Tom-Helge said,
If i was Microsoft in this case, i would do it just to show how greedy Apple really is. Just to let their customers see how freaking stupid Apple is with this stupid policy.

Microsoft can't just lose 30% of their income on this service just because Apple is horny after money.


MS should just up the bill on iCloud by 30%, since its running on Azure

neo158 said,
Then why don't Microsoft put the price for in app purchases in the iOS version of Skydrive up by 30%?

Because that is also against Apple's terms and it will still get rejected.

I hate that Apple wants 30% of all revenues from the end developers..... I miss the old days of you bought an OS you owned it and used it and didn't pay fees to the OS creator to use it after the fact and it was up to you to distribute it... maybe I should start charging all end users of my apps 30% of their sales if they use my app to make a sale too? it's only fair right?

Apple doesn't see them as direct competitors, so they give them a free pass.

It's about time Apple got into some legal trouble over policies like these...

This applies to everyone. This isn't a special case for Microsoft. It's Apple store. Amazon gets around this by simply NOT having purchases in-app. Pay for it on their website, then use the local app.

and this throws a wrench into the office for ipad/iphone rumors because then MSFT can't charge for a subscription as it is rumored to want to do...

Why support iCloud when you can create your own version and try to lock people into it.

rippleman said,
does Microsoft support iCloud? Can windows phones access my icloud stuff?

NeoPogo said,
Why support iCloud when you can create your own version and try to lock people into it.

That's a stupid comment, as far as I know, Apple _never_ made an iCloud app for Windows Phone 8, when they do, and _if_ it gets rejected, please cry over it then, until that time your just showing how stupid you are.

NeoPogo said,
Why support iCloud when you can create your own version and try to lock people into it.

Who is doing the locking in, you can access Skydrive from any PC, Mac, WP, ios and android device, is icloud available to all these platforms? And Skydrive (and Mesh) was around long before icloud and has only become more open over time, its apple who needs to be make their service more accessible and stop locking people into their services.

efjay, and WaqasTariq, Let me explain it in simple form, sorry I was way too Intellectual - MS locks people into their cloud sharing platform by having it available on their OSes and the web. People use that instead of others. MS does not need iOS users to use SkyDrive. Get educated you two!

efjay said,

Who is doing the locking in, you can access Skydrive from any PC, Mac, WP, ios and android device, is icloud available to all these platforms? And Skydrive (and Mesh) was around long before icloud and has only become more open over time, its apple who needs to be make their service more accessible and stop locking people into their services.


I throw you a better one yet.
Guess what iCloud is running on.. And what Skydrive runs on, oh yeah Azure

Of course! Everyone knows that because Azure works.

Shadowzz said,

I throw you a better one yet.
Guess what iCloud is running on.. And what Skydrive runs on, oh yeah Azure

I don't see what the fuss is. Apple's policy is clear and has applied just like this before. Get's the ranters going tho I guess...

Just because it's a policy, does it means it's just fine to do it this way?

Think for a second what this really does other than filling up Apple's moneybag.

bobbba said,
For some reason ebay wants money from me when I try and sell stuff through their ecosystem too

This would be like you selling a car on ebay, then the buyer contacts you via e-mail and wants to buy a part for it directly from you and pay you in cash, Ebay finds out about it and demands 30%.

Get why this is a problem now?

A better example would be, you by a brand new car via eBay, you drive it a few thousand miles, times comes for a service, and you take it to the vendor for it, ebay asks for a 30%cut from the service.

Incredibly lousy Apple. Although I like Macs, it's stuff like this that keeps me permanently away from their iOS devices and App Store (well that and the fact WP and Android are both far more compelling than iOS).

NeoPogo said,
Congratulations Apple for making a stand against "Big Brother"! +1!!

I'm actually glad in tech times like this with Google and Apple abusing its users we have a Big Brother like Microsoft. Which already played the game of divide and conquer over its consumers.
And actually in recent years Microsoft has been the bigger man then both Google and Apple in many such cases.
Of course Microsoft cares about many as much as Apple or Google. But as long as they are the only one offering consumer friendliness at these times. (as in these app store policies)
As in this case, Go Microsoft. Dropbox is much to small to fight a giant like Apple. But Microsoft sure isn't.

I don't get how Apple get away with uncompetitive practices for so long (forcing you to use itunes/ipod/ipad/iphone, bundling software, etc) yet other companies get hammered for it (MS bundling IE etc)

Teebor said,
I don't get how Apple get away with uncompetitive practices for so long (forcing you to use itunes/ipod/ipad/iphone, bundling software, etc) yet other companies get hammered for it (MS bundling IE etc)

Mac vs Windows market share and Mobile vs desktop OSes.

iOS market share is too low to be considered uncompetitive practices. Such practices can only hurt them in the long run as they cannot force those practices upon users like Microsoft was able to do with the Windows OS monopoly.

If i want to swtich to Android it's not a problem. Android with it's very high market share will have all the apps i need. I'll need to buy the apps again but it's not different than buying Star Wars in VHS, DVD, Blu ray or buying a game for both 360 and PS3.

words can not describe how stupid this is, if I was an iOS user now I'd be livid, Apples policy here is obviously broken and ridiculous!

Again, all Apple cares about is money money money and money. They don't think about that this will benefit their customers.

Here is a tips. Just boikot Apple to let them see that they are doing HUUUUGE mistakes.

Tom-Helge said,
Again, all Apple cares about is money money money and money. They don't think about that this will benefit their customers.

Here is a tips. Just boikot Apple to let them see that they are doing HUUUUGE mistakes.


Cant wait to see how far Apple is willing to throw those dollars at MS over this.
Their products are infested with MS patents. While eventho MS is using plenty of Apple patents. MS doesn't fully rely on them as much Apple is relying on MS patents
I'm sure that's gonna hurt allot more then allowing a few apps to have their own subscriptions.

this tech market is dominated by too big players. it cannot be that such differences are carried on the consumers back. instead they should resolve this conflict in the interest of their clients immediately.

but as the market is hardly competitive such situations occur.

in the end, this sheds again a shady light on apple. its their right, but still, very unappealing. they should start to get down from their high horse (makes probably no sense in english, direct translation from my language)

I'm sure if the situation was reversed Microsoft probably wouldn't give in either. Those with the walled garden app store approaches need to start to work out compromises to these situations or just stop developing apps for that platform. This is a good example of why I love Android, the openness benefits the user whilst Microsoft and Apple have their squabbles about who whores the best profit.

Now why would you start that off with 'I'm sure' when you are obviously clueless and not sure of anything. Only apple has these restrictions in place you fool.

You gotta keep in mind this: some of the Apple sympathizers here are still butthurt over the site being called Neowin, not something like NeoApple or NeobowdowntoyourAppleoverlords LOL. As such, anything negative said towards Apple can't possibly be true, Apple does no wrong, dontchaknow?

Javik said,
I'm sure if the situation was reversed Microsoft probably wouldn't give in either. Those with the walled garden app store approaches need to start to work out compromises to these situations or just stop developing apps for that platform. This is a good example of why I love Android, the openness benefits the user whilst Microsoft and Apple have their squabbles about who whores the best profit.

Except that Microsoft's policies are NOTHING like Apple's... Read up on them before just lumping them together.

If you buy more storage, than it isn't in-app, it's for SkyDrive itselfs, you don't get anything for the app. Ugh, stupid Apple. Anyway, Microsoft shouldn't update the app whit this feature, that's the best solution.

They can't - Apple rules state that if subscription is available via other mediums, it also has to be made available on their platform, using their guidelines.

The only thing Microsoft can do is pull it entirely.

testman said,
They can't - Apple rules state that if subscription is available via other mediums, it also has to be made available on their platform, using their guidelines.

The only thing Microsoft can do is pull it entirely.


I'm not sure about this. I thought dropbox ended up making it impossible for users to subscribe via the app.

testman said,
They can't - Apple rules state that if subscription is available via other mediums, it also has to be made available on their platform, using their guidelines.

The only thing Microsoft can do is pull it entirely.

But they can continue to submit the app and have it not pass through Apple's approval process... LMAO

Good point, is Dropbox giving up 30% on services too? I guess I can kinda see Apple's point on free apps doing this, would making it a paid app provide more flexibility?

Lets see as you think you know me.

- I use a Windows PC with Windows 8
- I use a Nokia phone
- I use an WebOS/Android tablet made by HP

So if loving Microsoft and HP is blind, then I am guilty...


jamieakers said,
Love blindly. Yes you do!

NeoPogo said,
Lets see as you think you know me.

- I use a Windows PC with Windows 8
- I use a Nokia phone
- I use an WebOS/Android tablet made by HP

So if loving Microsoft and HP is blind, then I am guilty...


Well, anyone can type that they own/use all of those products without proof. I mean, c'mon, it's the Internet! Speculation runs amok!

I don't know about others, but I'm getting seriously tired of your increasingly "emo" exhibitionist attitude over here. Please, atleast for my sake, grow a pair of balls.

This is a reply to EmoPogo, by the way... I mean NeoPogo. Funny, the biggest pro-apple douches all around have 'Neo' in their names.

Takes one to accuse one...

javagreen said,
I don't know about others, but I'm getting seriously tired of your increasingly "emo" exhibitionist attitude over here. Please, atleast for my sake, grow a pair of balls.

This is a reply to EmoPogo, by the way... I mean NeoPogo. Funny, the biggest pro-apple douches all around have 'Neo' in their names.

Just sick of the trolls hating against anyone that is not like them or think like them. Lots of NEOWINERS on here that do not embrace diversity.

javagreen said,
I don't know about others, but I'm getting seriously tired of your increasingly "emo" exhibitionist attitude over here. Please, atleast for my sake, grow a pair of balls.

This is a reply to EmoPogo, by the way... I mean NeoPogo. Funny, the biggest pro-apple douches all around have 'Neo' in their names.

Thanks for lumping me in with all the pro-apple douches, I don't even own any Apple products!!!!

Just goes to show how anti-competitive app stores in general are (including Microsoft's). This problem dwarf's that of IE's inclusion with windows.

Hopefully the EU will step in and put and end to this abuse (from all vendors)

Windows Store has no such restrictions. App developers are free to use their own commerce systems. I upgraded MetroTwit yesterday by entering the unlock code, Microsoft didn't see a single dime.

From BUILD it was pretty clear to see that Microsoft's terms are so good it makes much more sense than trying to integrate custom solutions. But still, should the app developer choose, the option is open.

Forcing a partner to cut for subscriptions, which roam across multiple platforms, is a different can of worms. This is borderline extortion.

TPreston said,
Hopefully the EU will step in and put and end to this abuse (from all vendors)

They're the ones that are encouraging this crap by supporting intellectual property laws. I wouldn't trust them to fix any of it in the long run.

Subhadip said,
Windows Store has no such restrictions. App developers are free to use their own commerce systems. I upgraded MetroTwit yesterday by entering the unlock code, Microsoft didn't see a single dime.

From BUILD it was pretty clear to see that Microsoft's terms are so good it makes much more sense than trying to integrate custom solutions. But still, should the app developer choose, the option is open.

Forcing a partner to cut for subscriptions, which roam across multiple platforms, is a different can of worms. This is borderline extortion.

I'm glad to see SOMEONE knows what they're talking about instead of just lumping app stores together as if they all have the same policies...

Chugworth said,
Never, never use a platform that forces you into one app store and doesn't have an easily available sideloading ability.

Virtual Machines baby. Works on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. Can you use iOS apps on anything not made by Apple?