Developers who monetize software installations typically choose iOS, due to its high revenue potential, or Android, due to its high distribution potential. Windows 8 and the Windows Phone, which were spectacular flops, just didn’t seem worth it.
But Windows 10, being touted as a fusion between Windows 7 and Windows 8, may offer a gleam of hope for developers who still enjoy the Microsoft platform. If Windows 10 proves to be more successful than its predecessor, this could represent a big opportunity for monetization.
The New Windows Will Be “New”
Microsoft has come forth to say that the new Windows won’t just be a cross-platform unification of all its devices, it will be an “open collaborative development effort” that it undertakes with customers. Steering clear of the mistakes it made with Windows 8, Microsoft has decided to listen to its customers and work with them to develop the next version of Windows – which is skipping 9 and going straight to 10.
The rationale? This is a completely new product.
Windows 10 will implement a shared codebase that works across all its devices, from laptops to desktops and phones. This, of course, will make cross-platform development much easier.
Scheduled to come out in 2015, Windows 10 aims to upgrade businesses and enterprise users to the new platform. And, coupled with the fact that this next iteration of Windows is not an “incremental product,” this suggests that developers will actually be able to make use of this Windows version for monetizing both consumers and businesses.
Monetizing Software Installations on a Multi-Device Windows
Windows 10 won’t be the only operating system to unify a code base in order to improve the user experience and make developers’ lives easier. But its market standing may make it one of the most successful.
With luck and a bit of planning, Microsoft may manage to bridge the gap between Windows 7 and 8, improve the interface, and create a cross-platform operating system that earns back some lost ground.
If it does, it may use its not-insignificant market presence to penetrate the enterprise business setting, home consumers, smartphone users, and even the wearable technology market.
Here are some takeaways for developers:
A shared code base means a shallow learning curve. One Windows for all devices? Sounds pretty good if you want to monetize one app across a spectrum of devices.
A smaller learning curve means fewer resources spent learning code for various devices. Instead of developing for this phone, that desktop, and that smartwatch, you can develop for all Windows devices simultaneously.
More devices that share this code base offer more opportunities. One codebase for all Microsoft devices will theoretically give you access to every customer using a Windows device. We still have more to learn about Microsoft’s specific plans and implementations, but this trend is clearly the direction things are going.
A smaller market doesn’t necessarily mean smaller paychecks. You probably know that the Windows Phone wasn’t exactly a big hit. But every developer also knows what the numbers look like for app monetization: the vast majority of revenue goes into the hands of a tiny percent of big winners.
The practical developer knows that in order to make more money, you can get a good paycheck if you focus on the right market, with the right combination of revenue, competition, and customers.
Planning for the Future by Making Changes Now
With this new version of Windows, we’re seeing the shape of the internet to come. Currently, statistics show that online shoppers cross multiple devices in order to make a purchase. Today’s internet user is engaged in multiple screens simultaneously, so just imagine what tomorrow will bring.
To maintain a competitive edge, it is vital that developers plan for tomorrow’s changes by implementing strategies that exploit today’s trends.
Here are a few ways to do so:
Develop apps and services that span multiple devices. To develop a desktop-only or smartphone-only app is limiting. Make the most of your app by developing across devices. Doing so will increase your exposure to customers and increase your app’s value.
Find innovative monetization solutions that work on several channels. Turnkey monetization solutions, such as full-service monetization platforms, are perfectly suited to the multi-channel developer. They provide monetization tools for several devices, unified analytics, and take the headache out of online marketing and monetization. In the future, it is likely that these tools will provide tight integration with cross-platform operating systems such as Windows 10.
Diagram your niche’s future and meet changes as they happen. Though Windows 10 hasn’t hit yet, there’s no point waiting until it does to make plans. Get on board as soon as possible with your multi-device app monetization strategy. When the rest of the developers follow behind, you’ll already be sitting on your niche market share.
Ready to cash in on Windows 10? Preparation is the key to success, so keep your eye on industry developments. If Microsoft plays its cards right, it may provide some much-needed competition for Apple and Google. And this can be good news for developers who monetize software installations.