Microsoft offers money making tips for Windows Phone apps

Microsoft wants Windows Phone to have a lot of popular apps, for obvious reasons. Recently, the Windows Phone Marketplace reached a new milestone when Microsoft announced that 100,000 apps were available to download. Now, Microsoft is offering some tips to Windows Phone app makers that are creating paid apps that could help them make more money.

In two separate posts (Part One and Part Two) of the official Windows Phone Developer blog, Microsoft gives 11 specific tips for making a Windows Phone app stand out from the crowd and, as a consequence, make some extra cash. Some of the tips are pretty obvious, such as optimizing an app so it works on a wider variety of phones and launching an app in a new Windows Phone global market.

Having a free trial version of an app can help sales a lot. Microsoft states that paid apps with trial versions are downloaded 70 times more often than paid apps without a trial version. An average of 10 percent of the people who download the trial version pay for the full app, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft also says that the top 50 best selling apps are four times more likely to use the dynamic Live Tiles in Windows Phone over those that don't use this feature. Indeed, apps that use the overall Windows Phone design are more likely to be promoted by Microsoft on the front page of the Windows Store Marketplace. If that happens, an app can generate downloads that are 2,000 percent over the normal rate.

Source: Windows Phone Developer blog | Image via Microsoft

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5 Comments

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Apps on Windows Phone shouldn't be any more expensive than an identical app on iOS or Android, this is a problem that really needs to be addressed.

thealexweb said,
Apps on Windows Phone shouldn't be any more expensive than an identical app on iOS or Android, this is a problem that really needs to be addressed.

It's because hardly anyone owns a Windows Phone.

You develop an app on Android, and say there are 10 million Android users out there (just a random number)... 0.1% buy your app. At $0.99 you would make $10,000

Now the same situation on WP, say there are 1 million WP users, and the same ratio 0.1% buy your app... at the same $0.99 you only make $1,000.

Developers have to offset the cost somewhere. Will WP owners be 2x more likely to buy if something is $0.99 vs $1.99? NOPE, at least not in my testing with my app Power Planner. I've lost profit by bringing it down to $0.99. But I don't care, I too want apps to be at the $0.99 mark like they should be, and I ought to lead by example.

andrewbares said,

It's because hardly anyone owns a Windows Phone.

You develop an app on Android, and say there are 10 million Android users out there (just a random number)... 0.1% buy your app. At $0.99 you would make $10,000

Now the same situation on WP, say there are 1 million WP users, and the same ratio 0.1% buy your app... at the same $0.99 you only make $1,000.

Developers have to offset the cost somewhere. Will WP owners be 2x more likely to buy if something is $0.99 vs $1.99? NOPE, at least not in my testing with my app Power Planner. I've lost profit by bringing it down to $0.99. But I don't care, I too want apps to be at the $0.99 mark like they should be, and I ought to lead by example.

Statistically you are correct; however, developers that use this model are foolish.

They alienate customers, because if a competitor is charging the same price across platforms and not gouging WP7 users, the competitor is more likely to get the sale and platform saturation.

As WP7/8 share increases, which is happening this model will come back to bite the developers. **

The other factor being overlooked is the development time. An unexperienced WP7 developer will take less time to develop an App than an experience iOS or Android developer, and an experienced WP7 developer will take a fraction of the time.

When you have a platform and using just Blend where a Graphic Designer that has no concept of programming can literally write and deploy an App, developers should not be having problems and definitely should not be charging WP users more.

Developers would be better off to prototype and develop on WP7 and then migrate to the other platforms, because of the new programming model WP7 uses. They could smooth out core issues far faster, and then move the concept to iOS and on to Android.

Right now Android development is still horrid, with simplistic development concepts missing that were available 20 years ago on most platforms.

iOS has a decent programming model with Cocoa/ObjectiveC but it isn't fully object oriented from platform to application, WP7 is and is one of the first fully object 'oriented' application platforms. (Note 'oriented', as iOS is for the most part technically Object 'based'.)

**As for WP7/8 marketshare increasing, this is something that takes a bit of trend insight and understanding the OS to hardware model. WP7/8 and Microsoft have created a model that resembles the Win 3.x Win9x model of the 90s that was a benefit to hardware MFRs. This model removed the complexity of the OS and support and updates and even compatibility/stability issues and Microsoft shouldered them, which is also a benefit of WP over Android, yet leaves MFRs the ability to create and design their own hardware and products, unlike a closed system like Apple. This model is what made Windows a success starting out in the 90s, and WP7 is following the same tracks.

WP7 has to compete in a saturated market that Win3.x and Win9x did not, as there was not any reasonable alternatives back then. (No OS/2 was not reasonable.)

So the very fact that WP7 is gaining marketshare as the old Windows Mobile devices are no longer pulling away from its 'share' numbers, the fact that it is gaining at ALL is important.

How important? Well, Blackberry which is a viable platform with a lot of security and corporate lock in would love to STILL BE GAINING, instead they continue to lose marketshare. This is an important metric for WP7 that it can come from nothing and actually hit a measurable percentage.

Edited by thenetavenger, Aug 5 2012, 4:32am :

thenetavenger said,
They alienate customers, because if a competitor is charging the same price across platforms and not gouging WP7 users, the competitor is more likely to get the sale and platform saturation.

Well of course, that's basic economics that consumers will buy a substitute if it's cheaper.

But are the substitutes cheaper right now? Not all of them. Many developers believe they have to charge a higher price.

Yes in the future prices will go down due to market share increasing. This is simply part of our growing pains.

This is one thing I didn't like about apple. Claims that apps were zombie or hidden because they don't have lots of reviews and therefor not showing up in searches unless they are 10 pages back.

I think trials will help though.