December 09, 2011, 9:38 AM — Microsoft’s Windows Store, the official marketplace for apps for owners of computers or tablets running Windows 8, is arriving in February. Its revenue split with developers will be competitive (70 to 80 percent, increasing with revenue), and maybe even friendly (or just friendlier) to open source software. They’re even letting companies create their own in-house mini-Stores to make distributing apps to employees really simple.
Derrick Harris at GigaOM cites a source describing the nature of the Windows Store as a “double-edged sword” (whether everything in the universe is a double-edged sword or not is another matter for another day). The point Harris’ post makes is that the notable number of .NET developers, who make more traditional Windows-style applications, will have to learn entirely new runtimes and HTML5 or XAML interface styles to make their apps work as a new Metro-style app) available in the Windows Store. Non-tablet computers can still run traditional Windows apps in their “Desktop” mode, but developers can’t offer those apps in the Windows Store.
Of course, lots of developers are using web-style designs and interfaces to make apps already--they’re just doing it for Apple’s more provably profitable App Store, or the potentially lucrative Android Market. And while each platform touts the web-derived design of their app methods, none of them actually make it easy to quickly port an app from one marketplace to another. So it seems the big question will be, what will compel developers to learn yet another app platform, especially if a big target like enterprise might be skipping it and staying in “Desktop” development?