Is Microsoft being penny wise and pound foolish by charging developers 30% for their apps?

Windows Store yesterday and as expected, a lot of it was pretty impressive. There are lots of tools for developers and publishers and it seems very well thought through for the most part. There is however one piece of it that bugs the crap out of me – their Revenue Model. From their Windows Store fact sheet:

Revenue model. Successful apps make more money on Windows by earning 80 percent of every dollar of revenue earned after passing $25,000 (U.S.) in total revenue. The first $25,000 (U.S.) is paid out at the industry standard 70 percent revenue share.
Now my understanding is that Apple also take 30%. Maybe I am missing something but it seems to me that Microsoft should be looking for developers to come aboard as fast as possible. In order to do this, why would you want to take the same amount of revenue as Apple? Wouldn’t it make exponentially more sense to suspend any revenue share for – maybe 8 months to a year and get out of the way so that there is an INCENTIVE for developers to get in and start developing right away? After the suspension period, why not set the hard cap at 15%? It’s hardly like they need the frikkin money! Developers would immediately have an incentive to at least consider switching over from building Ipad apps and there would¬†definitely¬†be an incentive to take a very hard look at Microsoft’s new platform in detail. Now the counter argument I have heard from others is that Microsoft will have 500 million users etc or 1.25 billion worldwide PCs etc etc This is all true but just because you have a lot of users, it doesnt guarantee success (Windows Vista, Zune etc. etc). This is the time for Microsoft to be bold and GET OUT OF THE WAY of developers. They need to do everything they can to make Windows 8 a success. Like I said, this seems pretty silly to me but I have been wrong before. What do you think?]]>

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