With Windows 8 scheduled for release next year, Microsoft is providing more details about its coming Windows Store to accompany the new platform.
Much like Apple's Mac App Store the Windows outlet will make it easier for customers to buy Windows applications via online for desktop PCs, laptops, and tablets that use the new operating system.
The success of Apple's iTunes App Store for its mobile devices has spawned a similar Mac App Store, providing a central venue to find and purchase software . App stores for mobile devices, such as Google's Android Market and BlackBerry App World, have been key in the development of smartphones and tablets as platforms. With a central store for Windows apps , added to Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace, the move to centralized, online software distribution appears to be complete.
The store is expected to launch in February, when a beta version of Windows 8 will be available. It will be launched globally in more than 200 markets, will be available in over 100 languages, and all apps through the Store will be free during the beta period.
When prices are allowed, the minimum will be $1.49/€0.99. Microsoft is hoping to differentiate itself in several ways, including its revenue sharing -- developers will receive 80 percent of revenue from store sales or from in-app purchases, assuming the app's earnings exceed $25,000. If an app earns less than $25,000, the developer will receive 75 percent, similar to in-store sales from Google's and Apple's retailers.
Additionally, developers can use their own transactional platform for in-app sales, and will be allowed to maintain their own subscriber base. If a developer's platform is used, Microsoft will not take a cut. Developers will recognize this as distinct from Apple's approach, where all in-app sales have to go through the technology giant's platform, and subscriber info cannot be shared by Apple without subscriber consent.