Now that Microsoft has laid out its plans for cleaning up the Windows Store, the next thing the company wants to do is improve its payment system. For developers, downloads, clicks, ad revenue and engagement usually all drive one end-goal, compensation. What good does it do a developer to have a great app when the financial rewards don’t cover the cost of maintenance?
Today, Microsoft is releasing news of changes in its policy for publishing apps in the now combined Windows Store. According to Microsoft, developers who are active in the Windows Dev Center will start seeing changes as early as June for published apps in both the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store. With changes happening as soon as next month, the Windows team offered some news about the changes that have currently been made to provide Junes new updates.
- Windows Dev Center Preview will show payout reporting for both Windows and Windows Phone. At the same time, the existing Windows Dev Center payout reports will no longer be updated
- Windows and Windows Phone payout export files will add more detail (see below for more information)
- Payout information (e.g. bank account information) for Windows and Windows Phone will be unified
The plans for next month include:
- The four tiles will have more detailed information about your payouts
- Reserved: reserved proceeds (earned, but not yet eligible for payout) by revenue source. A csv export of all reserved transactions will be available soon.
- Upcoming payment: revenue source, amount and date of upcoming payment(s)
Most recent payment: revenue source, amount and date of the most recent payment(s)
Total paid to date: amount you’ve been paid lifetime for Windows or Windows Phone
- Payout summary will add more functionality
- Payout threshold will be reduced to US$25 for most payouts, based on combined proceeds from Windows and Windows Phone
- You can expect a single, combined payout for Windows and Windows Phone apps
The Windows team is also hoping to ease the developer angst towards a new unified Windows Dev Center by offering hands-free migration. Starting June, developers who developed for a single platform, be it Windows Store or Windows Phone, the Windows team will automatically migrate their default payment instrument. However, developers who produce for both, will need to make sure their Windows Store payout account is up to date prior to next week, June 1, 2015. The Windows team will only migrate developers to the Windows Store default payments, not their Windows Phone Store payment methods.
Today’s announcement also includes news of a new Windows Dev Center payout UI for all apps, the inclusion of more fields in the Windows and Windows Phone payout export files and UI support for new payout functionality. The Windows team also highlights single payouts with lower thresholds, based on both Windows and Windows Phone. This news means, “the Dev Center will generate a single payment for all sales of apps and in apps purchase, with a lower minimum amount to generate the payment.”
Current developers witness a threshold within the Windows Store at $200 app sales and $200 in app proceeds for the Windows Phone Store. With the new model, the threshold is $25 app proceeds for payments using Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), ACH bank direct deposit, and PayPal payments. $200 (US) remains the threshold for wire transfers, however. The Windows team explains that the new payout threshold combines the proceeds from both stores to get devs their payouts quicker.
These are all very good signs that Windows is shaping up to compete for the serious attention of devs moving forward.