Microsoft took to its Windows Blogs today to announce a new ability for developers. The company has introduced the ability to use subscription-based billing in Universal Windows Platform (UWP) services. This is the first time developers have been able to integrate the payment model into their UWP apps.
Subscription-based billing is an automatically renewing payment model. Think similar to Netflix, where subscribers pay monthly on a renewing bill that will automatically take money unless cancelled. Android and iOS have had this ability in apps for years, so it is good Microsoft is finally getting on board.
“You can use subscriptions to sell digital products in your app with automated recurring billing while giving your customers a seamless purchase experience.”
In Windows 10, it will allow users to purchase subscriptions from UWP apps. However, Microsoft points out the new ability is targeting at least the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Users running older Windows builds will probably be out of luck.
Subscriptions are set to periods of 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year or 2 years, customizable by the developer. Free trial periods can also be added to UWP apps, set to 1 week or 1 month. This allows customers to try the add-on or service before subscribing fully.
Microsoft notes the pricing model for developers is different from the normal Microsoft Store model:
“For any add-on subscriptions in apps (but not games), you receive 85% of the subscription price, minus applicable taxes. For game add-on subscriptions, you receive 70% of the subscription price, minus applicable taxes.”
As for customers, subscriptions can be managed through the services & subscriptions page on their Microsoft account. Familiar options such as cancelling a subscription or changing payment methods are available.
Considering developers have been largely indifferent to creating Windows apps, this is a good move. It gives dev's another revenue stream on Microsoft platform.