In what can only be seen as an about face for Microsoft, the company has announced that it will offer cash incentives for product development.

In a web campaign entitled “Keep the cash”, Microsoft is offering developers a cash incentive to develop applications for Windows 8.

On the page, some of the copy reads:

Now, fill out the form below. You can get a $100 virtual Visa card for every qualified app you enter (up to $2000*). So don’t stop with just one app! If you’re eligible to receive the offer, we’ll notify you by email.

I think this is unfortunate because it has turned out to be necessary.

In December of 2011, I wrote an article entitled “Is Microsoft being penny wise and pound foolish by charging developers 30% for their apps?”.

In that article, I questioned the wisdom of even charging developers anything right out of the gate.

From the article two years ago.

Maybe I am missing something but it seems to me that Microsoft should be looking for developers to come aboard as fast as possible.

In order to do this, why would you want to take the same amount of revenue as Apple?

Wouldn’t it make exponentially more sense to suspend any revenue share for – maybe 8 months to a year and get out of the way so that there is an INCENTIVE for developers to get in and start developing right away?

Seemed pretty obvious to me back then.

Oh well..

What do you think? Is this new pay for apps scheme too little too late?

In addition, is $100 enough?

Use the comments below.

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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  1. Do the developers still get money for their app if they bill the person to download and use? $100 is a nice incentive, then, but I’d want to be compensated for my programming efforts. If MS just wants the apps for free and no other income to the programmer, then that is up to the programmer to decide if worth it. Some incentives might be non-monetary, like getting your name out as a good Win8 programmer. Or give a free high-level app, then a full-blown full function app with all the bells and whistles costs $$. But I would not want to give away the license to MS to then charge Win8 users if I did not share in it. $100 is nice little treat for a quick free app, but it is not enough to live on.

  2. I say let the developers decide for themselves (Rug Ratz, makes some very great comments/observations on the situation)! Only they can know what is best for them…
    What I wish someone would do is a true count of apps! Android 200,000, Apple 180,000, Microsoft 80,000, etc. (btw made up values)… The truth of the matter is with Android’s 200,000 there is really only 20,000 different apps, because there are 5,000 of the same apps over and over (and lets be honest half or more of those SUCK in each batch). So someone, please, give us a true count of the actual types of apps available on each platform to get a real feel for what is up! On android there are thousands upon thousands of free apps, that also plays into the equation, if you are looking for true numbers!!!

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