Some Windows developers will get to keep more app revenue, as Microsoft reduces its cut

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella chats with Windows Insider developers at Microsoft Build. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)

Microsoft gave the 6,000 developers in attendance at Build 2018 some good news Monday: later this year it plans to let them keep up to 95 percent of app revenue for certain types of sales.

The company announced the move on the first day of Build, which lets developers keep 85 percent of non-game app revenue if Microsoft delivers a customer to them, and 95 percent if they generate the sale through their own efforts. This applies to app sales as well as in-app purchases, Microsoft said in a blog post.

“The new fee structure only applies to consumer apps on PC, Windows Mixed Reality, Windows Phone or Surface Hub,” Microsoft told developers. While games make up a huge percentage of mobile app revenue, it’s still welcome news for developers outside of gaming, who are getting a substantial raise over the 70/30 percent revenue share in place before Monday’s announcement.

Microsoft has seemed less interested in consumers these days when it comes to its device strategy, focusing much more on enterprise users through its Microsoft 365 bundle and cloud-focused product development strategy in place under CEO Satya Nadella. But the fee change, combined with the 30 percent cut that consumer-focused app stores from Apple and Google continue to take, could entice more developers to Microsoft’s platform.