When I returned from MIX earlier this year, one of the first posts I wrote concerned WP7’s marketplace policy and how crazy it was. The idea to pay both $99 annually and $99 for each submitted application would mean two things..
It would mean:
- Very much harder to see profit as a developer
- Virtually no free apps
This could be discussed further, there are some upsides to this approach such as higher application content quality, more well-tested code etc.
This is now however a non-issue. Brandon Watson recently wrote a blog post in which he discusses the new marketplace policy for WP7. To summarize, the major changes are these:
- The annual developer fee of $99 stays
- Paid apps are now costs $0 to submit
- The first five free apps of each registration costs $0 to submit, after that, each free app costs $19.90 to submit
The old 70/30 ratio of developer/marketplace stays in place so this is a boon for developers. I personally think this is the best thing Microsoft could do. I was really disillusioned after reading the MIX marketplace policy.
This means that many more developers will be able to develop applications and profit from them. Since WP7 has such a easily accessible API for “try before you buy” the issue of low quality apps won’t be as great because people will expect trial versions, this will also remove a lot of the clutter applications that we see in Apple’s appstore; “lite”-versions of software that are crippled and riddled with advertisement. In this way, submitting a well coded application with a proper trial version will be the easiest, and cheapest way for developers to get their applications out there.
The five free apps limit is also a good thing in my mind. Since this is per registration, it renews itself every year. Anyone who churns out more than five free apps a year either needs to consider quality or can probably afford the $19.90.
All in all, I’m immensely positive to this change and look forward to discussing it at tomorrow’s developer’s day in Stockholm.