Didn't see the above post before submitting mine.
As a developer, here are the things I don't like about Microsoft:
1. Visual Studio costs lots of money!!! VS2012 Ultimate is $13,000!!! I get it, it's a great product and its got all the bells and whistles a large corporate dev team could want, but as a single indie dev, it's way out of my price range. Yeah, I could use the express edition, but I'd rather decide what features of the IDE I don't want to use rather than having that decision made for me by licensing. Other IDE's for different platforms and languages are free (eclipse for Java, XCode for iOS).
The Express edition is the equivalent of those "other IDEs". I don't personally use it, but it's fully capable and very popular. So it's not like the Express version is limited, it's that the Ultimate edition is enhanced.
If I used VS at all, I'd be perfectly happy for business licensees to unintentionally fund the further development of the free version. The only real alternative would be making the Ultimate version $800 or more, and the Express version free but for non-commercial use (which would suck worse for indies).
I mean, if we got to pick and choose what features we wanted, not even the businesses would pay for the Ultimate edition (except for support reasons).
2. If you want to code for the MS platform using their API's (DirectX, XNA, .NET), you get locked in to the MS ecosystem. This limits the market base you can target.
That's something I don't like either... but if I was in MS's place, I'd do the same thing.
Apple also does that.... and hey, even GNU does that too. GPL license? We Demand You Release Your Source Code Publicly! (locking you into an ecosystem, just not a commercial one)
Making .NET available on non-MS products is contrary to Microsofts big picture business plan -- to build and run an MS controlled ecosystem.
Though Microsoft did make alot of the .NET runtime an open standard, and pledged not to use their patents against other non-Microsoft .NET implementations (such as the open-source Mono project). The only ambiguity is a few non-standard Microsoft extensions.
3. I just don't take their store seriously as a viable platform. Look at XBox Live Arcade. Very, very few developers strike gold. Maybe its a market demographics and saturation problem. Maybe its an overall business plan issue. And, the win8 app store is supposed to be different and better...how?
Games for Windows Live also previously existed for Windows machines. I think the difference is, it's pre-installed and in-your-face, and also customers are more used to it from the whole iOS stuff.
Considering how I'm already slightly biased against it and a little reluctant to spend time, effort and money on developing a Win8 app in the first place, if all MS does is match their digital distribution competitors at a 30% take, I will be even more hesitant. They'd better sweeten the pot a bit and go down to 25% at the least, and ideally 20% overall. The first $30k should be all mine!
Microsoft Source: When you sell apps through the Windows Store, we assess a Windows Store fee. For apps that generate less than $25,000 in sales, this fee is 30%. After the app generates its first $25,000 in sales, the fee on the subsequent revenue drops to 20%.
Then they'd make zero money from the majority of the apps on their system, most probably won't break 20k.
Everyone wants their slice of my pie (government taxes & Microsoft)!
Fully agree. My dad likes to use the analogy 'Mosquistoes sucking blood'. Every business wants to take a small amount of blood continually out of your arm - leaving you just enough blood that you can continue to live and produce more blood for them to drink.
2. The windows app store doesn't support a "donate directly to me, whatever you want, whenever you want" business model. That means no humble indie bundles or shareware. Obviously, they'd cut themselves out as the middle man so its not in their interests.
They wouldn't have to cut themselves out. If they had a "Pay what you want" option, with a minimum pricing of, say, $1 or $5, and took 20%, that could work for them.
So, when they're reviewing your product, they probably wouldn't like it if your app circumvents them from getting their share. So, what about in-app purchases of virtual goods which are a transaction strictly between the developer and the player? Would that get rejected by the certification process?
Many stores allow in-app purchases now, but you just the API the store provides so the store makes sure they get their cut. Steam allows this, as does iOS, and a week or two ago the first XBox 360 free-to-play game
Edited by Servant of the Lord, 30 October 2012 - 03:03 PM.