When Apple unveiled the iPhone App Store back in 2008, it was widely appreciated as an easy way for developers to get their applications to the user without having to worry about the payment backend or distribution system. Though there had been application stores before, the App Store was the first one which spawned some instant “App Store Millionaire” success stories, which attracted even more developers.
Apple charges a 30% cut of all sales proceeds on the App Store. At first, the number may seem a bit high, but when you consider the costs of setting up an efficient distribution and payments platform, as well as the reach provided by the App Store, it has turned out to be very lucrative for developers. Apple doesn’t see the App Store as a profit engine, and just makes enough to keep the engines well lubricated.
Most application stores after the App Store, like the Android Market and the Windows Marketplace have adopted the same pricing structure. Even the new Mac App Store did the same. However, Google tried to attract more developers by charging just 5% on the Chrome Web Store, which doesn’t seem to be working out that well.
When Microsoft unveiled the developer preview of Windows 8 last week, we were wondering if Microsoft might also charge a lower percentage of sales to attract some developers to the Metro App Store and get some initial momentum. Apparently, it will be adopting the same 70-30 structure as all other major app stores. Apple Insider reveals that Microsoft plans to take a 30% cut for Metro style apps on the Metro App Store.
With the reach of Windows, and this being the first official App Store for it, we expect that developers will be flocking to the platform to develop Metro apps. After the iOS App Store, this will probably be the next best destination for developers wanting to become App Store millionaires.