Starting Jan 1st, Microsoft's app store policy change makes it less attractive for developers

If you are a developer and build apps for Microsoft's Windows store, an upcoming change to the the 'App Developer Agreement' will make the terms less enticing for devs. The changes go live starting on January 1st, 2015.

Here's the deal, right now, if you build an app for Microsoft's Windows ecosystem and sell it through their store, they take a 30% cut of sales up to $25,000 and after that, they drop the cut to 20%. But starting in January, that $25,000 rate-drop will be going away.

If you head over and take a look at the new agreement that Microsoft posted a couple weeks ago and jump to section 6, you can see the change (we posted it below).

For the Windows Store. The Store Fee for Apps made available in the Windows Store is thirty percent (30%) of Net Receipts, unless and until your App takes in total Net Receipts of USD$25,000, after which time the percentage is 20% for that App. The twenty-percent (20%) Store Fee will be in effect until December 31, 2014. Beginning January 1, 2015, the Store Fee for all Apps made available in the Windows Store will be thirty percent (30%) of Net Receipts.
ii. For the Windows Phone Store. The Store Fee for Apps made available in the Windows Phone Store is thirty percent (30%) of Net Receipts, except for transactions subject to the Commerce Expansion Adjustment, for which the Store Fee shall be forty-three and nine-tenths percent (43.9%) of Net Receipts.

We added the emphasis but the language is quite clear: starting next year Microsoft is making its store less attractive for developers.

This change is an interesting move for the company which is currently struggling to attract big names to it's stores and Microsoft's better rate was one way the company was trying to attract developers.

We have reached out to Microsoft to see why this change was made and will update this post once we hear back from the company.

[Update] Microsoft let us know that this was announced at BUILD 2014, surprisingly, this was not covered by anyone at that time, likely due to all of the announcements overshadowing this small change, but very important, change.

Thanks for the tip Brandon!

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