New iOS SkyDrive app can't be used to buy more cloud storage

Earlier today, version 3.0 of Microsoft's SkyDrive app for iOS devices was released on iTunes. Microsoft promoted a number of new features in the new iOS version when they announced it, but the company did leave one thing out of the app: a way to directly purchase additional cloud storage space.

In fact, there's no way to create a new SkyDrive account from the iOS app at all. iPhone and iPad users who want to sign up for a new SkyDrive account have to go to Microsoft's SkyDrive web site to create an account for the service and to pay for additional storage beyond the free amount that Microsoft offers.

The Next Web posted up a statement from Microsoft which said in part, "We worked with Apple to create a solution that benefited our mutual customers." Obviously the "solution" is not quite the one that Microsoft would prefer to have, but there's also no stopping iOS owners from surfing over to the SkyDrive site via Safari to purchase their extra space if they want to go that route.

This sort of third party solution has cropped up before. Amazon's Kindle app for iOS also makes people purchase their eBooks via the Amazon.com website, rather than directly from the app itself.

Source: The Next Web | Image via Microsoft

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What about cell phone apps that let you pay your bill? Should Apply get 30% of your entire AT&T bill if you setup a reoccurring payment using the iPhone app?

I don't understand why Microsoft didn't just shrug their shoulders a year ago and do it this way anyway. It's not as if people create an account or upgrade storage every day; they don't need to be able to do it in the app. What's the hassle of opening Safari once in a blue moon in order to do this?

i'm actually surprised it was ever an option in the app. but i guess MS did right, 30% is more than mafia asks for pizzo...

Couldn't someone just purchase more storage off of a browser and then it'd be applied in the app on your account?

ms should just write a little hint for ios skydrive users in the skydrive app if they wanted additional storage.

Edited by Avi Patel, Apr 4 2013, 2:20am :

Yes, the entire disagreement was that if they used the app to add more storage, then it was considered to be an in-app purchase. Its the same reason why Netflix will never let you manage your account with the iPhone app. As long as the app is only used to tap into an already existing service then Apple can't take their 30% cut.

I'd really love to see Microsoft block iTunes from Windows 8 until Apple agrees to give Microsoft 30% of all Windows users iTunes purchases.

Joking aside, you realize they can't do that. No unless they want to apply that same rule to all software running on Windows, which would kill them in about 17.5 seconds.

sphbecker said,
Joking aside, you realize they can't do that. No unless they want to apply that same rule to all software running on Windows, which would kill them in about 17.5 seconds.

Doesn't the Windows 8 Store already have similar requirements? I think they require 20% on both the apps and the in-app purchases.

francescob said,

Doesn't the Windows 8 Store already have similar requirements? I think they require 20% on both the apps and the in-app purchases.

Only if the developer used Microsoft account for purchases. If they use their own or any other service, they don't need to pay anything to Microsoft except the registration fees.

BajiRav said,

Only if the developer used Microsoft account for purchases. If they use their own or any other service, they don't need to pay anything to Microsoft except the registration fees.

Then isn't that exactly just like Apple? Apple doesn't require you to pay if you don't use the in-app purchase system, you can open a web page to have the user pay (like the new iOS Skydrive app does, right?).

sphbecker said,
But Windows 8 allows you to install software not from the store.

Same does OS X so I still don't understand what kind of comparison is this. Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 force you to buy only through the store exctly like iOS and Microsoft demands a percentage from in-app purchases just like Apple. In-app purchases are just a commodity though, the developers could as well ask you to pay in a browser window, just like Microsoft did.

francescob said,

Then isn't that exactly just like Apple? Apple doesn't require you to pay if you don't use the in-app purchase system, you can open a web page to have the user pay (like the new iOS Skydrive app does, right?).

Apple doesn't allow developers to use their own payment service in the app by completely bypassing the iTunes store.

francescob said,

Same does OS X so I still don't understand what kind of comparison is this. Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 force you to buy only through the store exctly like iOS and Microsoft demands a percentage from in-app purchases just like Apple. In-app purchases are just a commodity though, the developers could as well ask you to pay in a browser window, just like Microsoft did.

Nope Microsoft doesn't demand a cut if app developer uses a different payment service.

BajiRav said,

Apple doesn't allow developers to use their own payment service in the app by completely bypassing the iTunes store.

This is getting more and more confusing. Couldn't they just have the user to pay on the skydrive website?
BajiRav said,

Nope Microsoft doesn't demand a cut if app developer uses a different payment service.

I don't know if it's really that better especially if it becomes mainstream like those horrific websites like digital river (10$ for 1-year extended download, WTF?): giving my personal informations/credit card/paypal details to every random app doesn't sound like a good idea.

francescob said,

Same does OS X so I still don't understand what kind of comparison is this. Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 force you to buy only through the store exctly like iOS and Microsoft demands a percentage from in-app purchases just like Apple. In-app purchases are just a commodity though, the developers could as well ask you to pay in a browser window, just like Microsoft did.

The article is talking about iOS, as was I. I really was not making a comparison, only responding to the person who said MS should charge Apple 30% for iTunes purcheses on Windows.

Apple seems to think that an app on iOS means they own a percent of any monies that result, even though the majority of that service's users aren't using the service via an iOS device. It's pretty insane that they (Apple) wanted MS to pay a percent of the revenue for all SkyDrive subscriptions merely because the app allowed a user to create a free account --- which may some day result in a paid subscription.

This was a bit extreme, even for Apple.

Edited by ahinson, Apr 4 2013, 1:50am :

ahinson said,
Apple seems to think that an app on iOS means they own a percent of any monies that result, even though when the majority of that service's users aren't using the service via an iOS device. It's pretty insane that they (Apple) wanted MS to pay a percent of the subscriptions for all SkyDrive accounts merely because a user could create a free account --- which may some day result in a paid subscription.

Apple, are a bunch of greedy mofos if you ask me.

Actually, they wanted 30% of subscriptions sold through the app. So basically anyone wanting to get more storage than the basic free account.

I think apple wanted a bigger slice of the pie than Microsoft was willing to give them. But it's not as bad as your post makes it out to be.

In future, please try and get your facts straight before posting.

Actually, he's not exactly wrong. The original story on The Next Web said the following:

"Microsoft does not appear keen to pay Apple the 30% cut, as it lasts in perpetuity, regardless of whether a user continues to use an iOS device or not, as the billing is through their Apple account.

Therefore, if a user signed up for a few additional gigabytes on their iOS device, and then moved to Android or Windows Phone or not phone at all, for the length of their account, Apple would collect 30% of their fee for storage."

@stevan
You're not entirely correct, but this is the Internet and it's useless to argue.

The Internet: where men are men, women are men and children are FBI agents.

Edited by ahinson, Apr 4 2013, 2:29am :

ahinson said,
@stevan
You're not entirely correct, but this is the Internet and it's useless to argue.

The Internet: where men are men, women are men and children are FBI agents.

Ah, so that's where all the ladies on the Internet are. Makes sense:)

In a nutshell, MS was willing to pay 30% of the first month. They even said they would consider a percentage of for revenues for as long as the user used the app on the phone, but what Apple insisted on was 30% of all revenues generated from that in-app purchase for the life of the account, even if the user stopped using their iPhone. So the OP was basically correct.

I honestly think Apple needs to reconsider their policy as it relates to services. If they don't, everyone is going to take this approach. 30% of the first month seems fair, but why should they get that big of a cut every month? Espechally a service like this where the iPhone app is only a small part of how it is used.