Microsoft on Tuesday announced changes to its revenue sharing model with developers that will significantly undercut Apple and Google.
Starting later this year, the company says developers will receive 95 percent of the revenue earned from sales of their apps, in-app purchases, and new subscriptions on the Microsoft Store, excluding games and apps sold in volume to organizations, but only when a customer uses a direct link to access and purchase the app.
If the customer was referred to the app by Microsoft, such as in a featured collection on the Microsoft Store, developers will receive 85 percent of revenue. The new fee structure will apply to Microsoft Store purchases on all Windows and Surface platforms, but excludes purchases on Xbox consoles.
Microsoft presumably hopes reducing its commission to just five percent will encourage developers to create apps for its platforms. Microsoft, Apple, and Google all currently pay developers 70 percent of revenue earned from purchases on their app stores in what has long been the industry standard.
As of the end of 2017, the App Store and Google Play had an estimated 2.1 million and 3.5 million apps available. Microsoft last confirmed having over 669,000 apps in what was then called the Windows Store in September 2015.