7 things that Microsoft needs to do to encourage Metro development on Windows 8

As we all know, with the introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft has created a new Metro user interface.

The Metro interface (by itself) is not without flaws but it’s a clean, modern looking user interface that could potentially take on the iPad’s interface.

This won’t be easy as the iPad is more established but there are a few things that Microsoft could do to help.

Here are my 7 things that Microsoft need to do to encourage Metro development on Windows 8

Take a loss with Metro Development Training and Certifications

Typically with new Microsoft products, they make money from Training and Certification. It makes sense when you are talking about Windows deployment or Server administration but I think the approach needs to be different here.

When you are starting from behind, you need to think a little different.

Rather than charging $500 to $1500 for classes and certifications, how about making Metro training FREE or ridiculously cheap for the first year?

This would fill the classrooms with people trying to learn Metro development and would begin the process of developer endorsements and adoption.

Saturate the web with FREE Metro development CBT’s

Not everyone wants to go to Microsoft for training but how about sending training to them? Once again, create comprehensive, well designed, AFFORDABLE, web based training kits and make them available to consumers and organizations.

Metro needs to saturate the technical development landscape.

The easier it is for organizations to get their people trained, the more likely they will quickly understand the value these new apps could provide to their businesses.

Suspend Microsoft’s share of App Developer Revenue for one year

I’ve said this before and it seems really clear to me. Apple can afford to charge a percentage for app development. They have a superstar platform.

Microsoft have billions of dollars in the bank so would it kill them to take ZERO from developers for the first 365 days?

This would be an awesome message – If you develop a Windows Metro application, you get to keep 100% of the revenue the app generates in 2013.

Create a Windows Store Affiliate Program

I’m an online marketer and I can tell you this, nothing gets software sold and promoted faster than an affiliate program.

It would work this way.

  • I create a Metro app
  • I sell it on the Microsoft Store
  • Microsoft create an affiliate mechanism (an affiliate link) that would allow other webmasters and websites to drive traffic to my Windows Store page
  • If customers buy from that link, I get paid, Microsoft get paid and the referrer gets paid.

Win Win Win – think outside the box.

Apple doesn’t do this because they don’t need to. This would get a lot more people excited about potentially developing Windows Metro Apps.

If your app is great, you would have a FREE army of sales people spreading the word for you.

How great would that be?

Deeply discount Visual Studio & related tools

Tools like Visual Studio will be key to getting developers coding right away. Make it a no brainer for people to get these tools. If you don’t they’ll either get the torrents or just shrug and forget about it.

Tell the ROI story

I spoke to Naveen Jain, the CEO of Sparkart in Oakland last year at the BUILD conference. I did a follow-up interview with him for the site and you can see those here.

As someone who hires developers to create mobile applications, he has a FANTASTIC story to tell about ROI.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t work for Microsoft because he tells the story a lot better than they do.

The long and short of it is, Apple has a great platform but a smaller audience, Windows has a new platform but a (potentially) exponentially larger audience. If a customer has a limited budget, what platform has the best ROI for their dollar?

It should be Windows!

Tell the frikkin story!

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise

Make good commercials that show sexy apps that are enticing and easy to make.

I was at the BUILD conference and most people were blown away when Microsoft announced that the demo apps in the Windows 8 Developer Preview were created by…. (wait for it) Summer Interns!

That’s a good story. Tell variations of it again and again.

It’s Friday so this will be short and sweet.

Microsoft have a story to tell with Metro. They need to make adoption of Metro attractive and cheap and tell the story.

Your turn – what do you think?

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