It remains to be seen if Windows 8 will be embraced by the masses. But for developers there's an advantage to creating Metro-style apps for Windows 8: Money. More money per sale than Apple or Google.
Microsoft is trying to attract developers to its Windows Store, saying it will give developers 70 percent of an app's selling price, but then increase that amount to 80 percent once the app earns over $25,000.
Apple had offered 60 percent revenue cut to developers (a much bigger audience, mind you) up until a few days ago, but has now officially raised the cut for iOS developers to 70 percent.
Google pays out Android developers 70 percent share of Google Play apps sales. In poor form this month, Google was seven days late in paying developers, prompting widespread complaints. Make note Microsoft.
For the folks in Redmond, there is a chicken or egg question at play here: If users flock to Windows 8 tablets, then the demand for apps -- and developer skills -- will increase. But will users expect a sea of quality apps first before they flock?
After all, how are developers supposed to get to that $25,000 benchmark if there's no audience? Sure, there's an enormous Windows user base, but dowloading apps from an app store has not been part of the Windows experience. Microsoft will have to push hard to win over users to the Windows 8 Metro interface, thereby creating a demand for what app developers can supply.
Clearly, the tablet space is red-hot. Apple sold more iPads in Q4 of 2011 than any PC manufacturer sold PCs. The iPad and the Apple App Store are the king of the tablet hill, with Android trying, but mostly failing, to keep up. Microsoft has no presence on tablets. The growing base of tablet users out there have never engaged with a modern tablet using Windows.
But given the hard road ahead, Microsoft is smart to incentivize developers. Keeping eight out of every 10 dollars is a hard deal to turn away from.
So to all you developers out there, does the opportunity to pocket more money building apps for Windows 8 excite you? Or will you do a wait-and-see on Windows 8?