If you have done any reading about Windows 8, one thing all the press is focusing on is Windows 8 offers and unprecedented opportunity to monetize your developer skills.

Combining the broad reach of Windows which already exists, a new developer platform in the form of Windows Store Apps, best-in-class developer tools Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server, a reimagined user experience with Windows Store, Metro Style Apps, support for new chipsets Intel and RTM, and a built-in Store with industry-leading business terms, with initial revenue share of 70% revenue for you 30 % for Microsoft and 100% in app purchase revenue to you.

Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity, ever!

So lets look at some of the reasons for developers to consider writing applications for the Windows Store.

1. The Size of the Windows Opportunity

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There is more than 1.25 billion Windows users globally. The market potential for your selling your application is enormous. Clearly, the market for Windows-based applications far outnumbers anything else. Thinking about academia specifically, potential employers will be wanting to recruit students with the skills, experience and portfolio of existing Windows 8 apps to build their latest software releases.

2. The Scale of the Windows Opportunity

Simply put the Windows Store offers a marketplace for your application with a global reach of 200+ markets, 100+ languages, even distribution to enterprise customers. A generous revenue sharing model is in place. Imagine that you keep 70-80% of the revenue share from your application.

3. So what are we doing to help

 

  1. Some amazing help is available from Microsoft
  2. I am talking about the Windows 8 Camps
  3. Sign up HERE for the App Excellence Lab Process
  4. You will get a 2 hour, 1-1 session with a technical person to help review your app, pass it (to submit to the store submission process) or give you feedback you can go away and work on.
  5. The sessions can be virtual or physical so you can do it from your location.
  6. The AEL process is about quality so please make sure your app is in good shape so you have the best possible chance of getting the app through the process.
  7. AELs run from now to GA October 26th so there are lots of dates and times so you will be able to find a time that suits you.
  8. Get to grips with Windows 8 have one-on-one sessions with Microsoft staff
  9. They will help review your application for:
    • Performance
    • Adherence to the Windows 8 Design Principles
  10. This process could result in a your app getting early into the Windows Store

 

4. So What type of App should I be building?

What is the Best App Type? - Entertainment apps are the most popular, followed by Books and References, and Games.
What languages can I develop in? Windows 8, Windows Store apps can leverage a variety of skills you already know (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, XAML, C#, VB, or C++ ).

5. The Windows Store Ensures Visibility

Strong support for search, category browsing, ranking lists, editorial content. The Windows Store features latest, most popular, and fast rising apps.

6. Enterprise Support
Don’t limit yourself to consumer apps. Perhaps you have an idea for an Enterprise application. Luckily, the Windows Store will have rich support for deployment and management scenarios.  Compliance and security is built in. There is support for direct control over the deployment of Metro style apps.

7. How you make money
Your applications can be time-based and feature-based trials, paid apps, including in-app purchases.  In-app purchases can help you customize the transaction flow with the customer. Sales analytics can also help you increase your reach.

8. Free Apps - Many choose to offer free applications + an ad model

I personally think it makes the most sense to get your application out there as a trial. We have learned from the Windows Phone marketplace that trial versions get 70 times more downloads than paid versions. 10% of those convert to the paid version, typically within a few hours.

Resources

1. The Windows Dev Center

  • Developer downloads – This single page gives access to all of the downloads you need to build apps, including Windows 8 RTM, Visual Studio Express 2012, design assets, code samples, and additional SDKs and tools.
  • Design resources – All Windows 8 design resources are located at design.windows.com. See case studies, category guidance, and get a new downloadable version of the UX guidelines for Windows 8 apps.
  • Developer content – The ‘Docs’ section of the Windows Dev Center is updated for RTM including more detailed API docs, new How-to articles, a new section for developing apps with C++ and DirectX, and many more samples.
  • Selling content – Find the Windows Store markets, how to price apps, and the latest versions of the Windows Store Agreements including the App Certification Requirements.
  • Community content – Access to developer forums, blogs, Dev Camps, and local event listings

2. The Windows engineering and Windows Store teams are blogging regularly at the following sites