MICROSOFT'S CENTENNIAL BRIDGE

Zac Bowden of Windows Central on what's missing from Spotify on the Windows Store:

For starters, there's no real live tile just yet. The app tile itself is using a Windows 10-orientated design, including support for wide and large tile sizes, but there's no "live tile" element just yet. Perhaps that's coming soon, as I'd like to see Spotify add a similar live tile to that found on Groove, which displays album art for the current playing track. The app also appears to be missing mini-view support, something that can easily be added in future updates.

Time will tell whether Centennial bridge apps like Spotify bother spending any resources on introducing UWP capabilities to their apps. As long as these apps remain available outside the Store, it may be considered as more of a nice-to-have than essential.

Regardless, Zac wants others to follow Spotify's lead and become available on the Store:

Microsoft's Centennial bridge allows for traditional desktop apps to come to the Windows Store for Windows 10 PCs and tablets. It's an incredible bridge that every Win32 app developer should be taking advantage of, and they should be taking advantage of it right now. We'd like to see more apps in the Windows Store from top developers. We have already got Slack, Office 365, Telegram, Kodi, and Photoshop Elements to name a few. 90 percent of the desktop apps I use are now in the Store, and it makes for a much more seamless user experience. Everything should be in the Store.

If you're an indie and making a decent living away from the Store, there's less incentive to make the move; Microsoft needs to court these developers by giving them no (good) reason not to. For example, at the moment it costs $19 to register as an individual Microsoft developer and $99 as a company. The equivalent Apple costs are $99 and $299 annually. Microsoft needs to be similarly competitive in how Store payouts are split. The same Microsoft who when the Windows Store originally launched rewarded successful developers by going 80-20 after an app made $25,000 in sales, but then quietly decided they wanted a bigger cut. Both Apple and Google are now offering more to developers by going 85-15 for apps whose subscription is renewed after the first year. This not only motivates developers to build for these platforms but also to continue updating their apps giving users their own incentive to renew their subscription.

To compete with Android, Microsoft made Windows free for OEMs to use on devices with screen sizes of 9" or less. I don't know how much Microsoft is making through their 30% cut off Store purchases, but I question whether that is more valuable than the goodwill generated by giving developers 100% of each sale immediately. Such a move won't guarantee all Windows developers publish to the Store but it means Microsoft will have removed the economic barrier to doing so.

Sunday, June 25 - 11:15 pm

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