7 things that Microsoft needs to do to encourage Metro development on Windows 8

Take a loss with Metro Development Training and Certifications Typically with new Microsoft products, they make money from Training and Certification. It makes sense when you are talking about Windows deployment or Server administration but I think the approach needs to be different here. When you are starting from behind, you need to think a little different. Rather than charging $500 to $1500 for classes and certifications, how about making Metro training FREE or ridiculously cheap for the first year? This would fill the classrooms with people trying to learn Metro development and would begin the process of developer endorsements and adoption.

Saturate the web with FREE Metro development CBT’s

Not everyone wants to go to Microsoft for training but how about sending training to them? Once again, create comprehensive, well designed, AFFORDABLE, web based training kits and make them available to consumers and organizations. Metro needs to saturate the technical development landscape. The easier it is for organizations to get their people trained, the more likely they will quickly understand the value these new apps could provide to their businesses.

Suspend Microsoft’s share of App Developer Revenue for one year

I’ve said this before and it seems really clear to me. Apple can afford to charge a percentage for app development. They have a superstar platform. Microsoft have billions of dollars in the bank so would it kill them to take ZERO from developers for the first 365 days? This would be an awesome message – If you develop a Windows Metro application, you get to keep 100% of the revenue the app generates in 2013.

Create a Windows Store Affiliate Program

I’m an online marketer and I can tell you this, nothing gets software sold and promoted faster than an affiliate program. It would work this way.
  • I create a Metro app
  • I sell it on the Microsoft Store
  • Microsoft create an affiliate mechanism (an affiliate link) that would allow other webmasters and websites to drive traffic to my Windows Store page
  • If customers buy from that link, I get paid, Microsoft get paid and the referrer gets paid.
Win Win Win – think outside the box. Apple doesn’t do this because they don’t need to. This would get a lot more people excited about potentially developing Windows Metro Apps. If your app is great, you would have a FREE army of sales people spreading the word for you. How great would that be?

Deeply discount Visual Studio & related tools

Tools like Visual Studio will be key to getting developers coding right away. Make it a no brainer for people to get these tools. If you don’t they’ll either get the torrents or just shrug and forget about it.

Tell the ROI story

I spoke to Naveen Jain, the CEO of Sparkart in Oakland last year at the BUILD conference. I did a follow-up interview with him for the site and you can see those here. As someone who hires developers to create mobile applications, he has a FANTASTIC story to tell about ROI. Unfortunately, he doesn’t work for Microsoft because he tells the story a lot better than they do. The long and short of it is, Apple has a great platform but a smaller audience, Windows has a new platform but a (potentially) exponentially larger audience. If a customer has a limited budget, what platform has the best ROI for their dollar? It should be Windows! Tell the frikkin story!

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise

Make good commercials that show sexy apps that are enticing and easy to make. I was at the BUILD conference and most people were blown away when Microsoft announced that the demo apps in the Windows 8 Developer Preview were created by…. (wait for it) Summer Interns! That’s a good story. Tell variations of it again and again. It’s Friday so this will be short and sweet. Microsoft have a story to tell with Metro. They need to make adoption of Metro attractive and cheap and tell the story. Your turn – what do you think?]]>

Written by Onuora Amobi


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  1. More importantly than all the above: if M$ wants to keep desktop and notebook users (and no matter what, the many, many millions of current desktop and notebook users–especially in business–will be essential for Win8 success), M$ needs to allow a simple kill switch (or simply an easily-implemented default book that bypasses Metro) for metro and it needs to enhance the Win8 desktop in ways similar to Vistart or the Stardock add-on for Win8, add-ons that restore some of the missing functionality for desktop/notebook users who lack a touch interface and use “legacy” apps like M$ Office and who NEED the multiple windowing that the Metro interface lacks.

  2. the metro interface is good for some but i still prefer the original interface and thats why windows 7 is good they reached the pinnacle with the system now they can go further in other directions but what they really need to do is to have the start interface with a 2 way interface press A for normal windows press B for metro so people who like using the metro system can go that way easily and quickly and people who like the normal interface can go that way easily

  3. Well I develop software, but if it is not possible to install a Metro app without the MS shop then I won’t bother developing for Metro. Why would I want to allow a multi-million dollar company to force me to pay them to let me develop software for MY customers.

    • Because YOU don’t have to advertise, take credit card payments, manage user downloads, manage user database, manage software distribution, deal with customers, yada, yada, yada.
      This is an amazing model, and has worked for years for Apple with developers liking it just fine.

      • Oh yeah…. and MS has to always copy Apple….
        MS make enough out of Windows and Office VS etc etc. Let them give something back to the consumer now.
        Or is it the case that those who buy Metro apps will now be providing the revenue that will be lost because legions may not buy Windows because of Metro….

  4. Good ideas but let’s face it. There are legions of winbox users who don’t see a tablet as a viable alternative and will be using multi-screen desktop units.
    Improve the functionality of the W8 desktop as well as the Metro side. Unless you do this a lot of us will be sticking with the excellent W7.

  5. Great points; I have to agree. However, I would like to remind you that Visual Studio has been free since 2005. These were the “Express” editions. There is a Visual Studio 11 express that is also free and allows for metro style development. Therefore, there is no need to create a “huge discount” for Visual Studio.
    Furthermore, students, like myself, get Visual Studio Professional and Expression Studio Ultimate for free with a program called Microsoft Dreamspark. We also are able to get Windows Server and other great development platforms for free from Microsoft Dreamspark. There isn’t even a membership fee for students.

      • For your reference, here’s the download link to Visual Studio 2010 Express.
        You can write desktop apps for Windows 7, Vista, 8, and XP using languages such as C++, C#, VB, etc. VS2010 express supports the creation of Windows Forms apps, WPF, silverlight, windows phone development, and a few more.
        Since I believe you stated you are a programmer, I am just giving the link to you in case you were curious. Thanks for the site and keeping us updated.

        • Interestingly, some companies that develop controls for VS have already released controls (months ago) for creating Metro style applications.  
          These of course run on the desktop! 
          So there may well be a plethora of Metro style apps that will run on any Windows OS that supports the dotnet framework. 
          While they are not native Metro apps, they can be developed to look and feel like them, and nobody has to move to Win8 to get them….

  6. I install WINDOWS 8 on my notebook ACER with no touchscreen. I don’t need that.
    WINDOWS 8 give the user the option to use desktop-metro desktop. This is what I want.
    On WINDOWS 8 we have option to activate or diactivate quickly and easily. We must use Windows 8 for many hours and take time to discover. It is easy to use and faster than WINDOWS 7.
    I like WINDOWS 8 as it is now…YES…….

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