Software maker Microsoft has waded into the app store war with a promise that its forthcoming outlet will offer the best enterprise tools and the best chance for developers to make money.
Microsoft confirmed last night that the Windows 8 app store will go live in February 2012. It hopes to provide competition to other app stores for mobile operating systems, such as Apple and Android.
First, Microsoft hopes to attract developers to its platform by offering to share up to 80 per cent of the revenue for Metro-style apps – Metro is the tile interface on the Windows phone system – if they sell over 25,000 copies through its store.
Microsoft could have the largest customer base, said Antoine Leblond, of Microsoft's Windows Web Services group: it has already sold 500 million licences of its Windows 7 operating system, representing a huge potential market for Windows 8 app developers.
The Windows 8 Store was designed with business users – as well as consumers – in mind, said Leblond.
“Enterprise developers have been asking about their path to market with Metro-style apps. And, in turn, IT administrators have been asking about deployment and management scenarios, such as compliance and security,” he wrote in a blog post to accompany the launch announcement.
IT chiefs will be able to limit access to the type of apps employees can install on their PCs or use group policies to permit the installation of apps, providing they are signed by trusted publishers.