Windows 8: Microsoft to take 30pc cut for Metro apps

17 Sep 2011

In a structure similar to Apple’s App Store policy, Microsoft is going to charge developers a 30pc fee for apps sold via its new Windows Store.

It has also emerged that tablet computers running on ARM processors won’t actually run x86 applications, or what are existing Windows 7 apps running on conventional PCs today, leaving the ground wide open for a new genre of developers to emerge.

However, existing Windows 7 users on x86 machines – pretty much most of today’s PCs – will in fact be able to use the new Metro layer as well as the new generation of apps when they upgrade to Windows 8.

“We’ve been very clear since the very first CES demos and forward that the ARM product won’t run any x86 applications,” Steve Sinoksfy, head of Windows, was quoted during a Q&A at BUILD this week by Slashgear as saying.

“We’ve done a bunch of work to enable that — enable a great experience there, particularly around devices and device drivers. We built a great deal of what we call class drivers, with the ability to run all sorts of printers and peripherals out of the box with the ARM version.”

So in effect, existing well-known apps will continue to flourish on x86 machines and will no doubt be ported over to the Metro UI. However, it also appears to offer a clean slate (no pun intended) for new developers to create a new generation of apps specifically for the ARM tablet/smartphone world.

The creators of Flash, Adobe, are in no doubt that their software will continue to live on for years on the new platform.

“We expect Windows desktop to be extremely popular for years to come (including Windows 8 desktop) and that it will support Flash just fine, including rich, web-based games and premium videos that require Flash,” Adobe’s Danny Winokur said in the Adobe blog.

“In addition, we expect Flash-based apps will come to Metro via Adobe AIR, much the way they are on Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS today, including the recent No 1 paid app for the iPad on the Apple App Store, Machinarium, which is built using Flash tools and deployed on the web using Flash Player and through app stores as a standalone app.”

Adobe is about enabling content publishers and developers to deliver the richest experiences for their users, independent of technology, including HTML5 and Flash.

“We are working closely with Microsoft, Google, Apple and others in the HTML community to drive innovation in HTML5, to make it as rich as possible for delivering world-class content on the open Web and through App Stores,” Winokur said.

Below: gets a shout out from Steve Ballmer at BUILD earlier this week

Steve Ballmer quotes Silicon Republic at Windows 8 Developers Conference 

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years