Another nail in the coffin: Microsoft ends its UWP monetization network
When Microsoft first launched the Windows Store, now known as Microsoft Store, it had big plans for it. It wanted to create a central repository for applications for Windows, that were limited in scope at first but more secure than traditional Win32 applications, gain control, and earn revenue through it as well.
UWP was the final attempt but it failed miserably even though Microsoft pushed the store through native integration in Windows 10 and releasing specific Windows 10 editions that did not support traditional programs.
The Store saw only a handful of conversions of popular Win32 programs. Most developers use the Desktop App Converter to create UWP versions of Win32 programs. Programs like VLCÂ or Paint.netÂ landed in Store but they offered no advantages over the traditional versions of these programs.
Microsoft revealed in mid-2019 that it had changed its strategy in regards to the Store. Instead of continuing to push UWP exclusively, the company now wanted to treat UWP and Win32 equally.
The company announced that it will shut down its ad monetization platform for Windows UWP applications on June 1, 2020. The announcement was published on the Windows and Windows phone apps Dev Center, on Twitter, and as a banner in the Partner Center.
As of June 1st 2020, the Microsoft Ad Monetization platform for Windows UWP apps will be shut down. This decision was made primarily because it is no longer viable for us to continue operating the product at the current levels.
Operating the platform is "no longer viable" according to Microsoft. According to the post, ad monetization will end on June 1, 2020 and developers will be paid just like before. Ad performance data can be downloaded until June 8, 2020.
Microsoft provides no ad network suggestions to UWP developers who monetize their apps with advertisement, and there don't seem to be good alternatives at this point.
The consequences are clear: the shutting down has significant impact both on developers who already have apps in Store that use Microsoft's ad monetization network and on future releases for the Store as it will impact the number of releases for the Store even further (there are not many to begin with but the number will drop even more unless Microsoft integrates a third-party ad network natively).
Developers have several options when it comes to monetization. The two most common models are to charge for applications or to use advertisement and make the apps free to gain enough audience to earn enough through advertisement. Some developers offer ad-free upgrades which combine the paid and advertisement driven models.
Communication has never been a strong suite at Microsoft and the termination of the monetization platform is no exception. The company did not make the announcement in a blog post or send out emails to developers, it simply posted the information on its site. Even worse, it provided no suggestions or alternatives that developers could use instead.
The move has several consequences including that some developers won't port their apps or games to the Store, that development will slow down even further, and that apps or games may be removed by developers who fail to find a suitable alternative.
The decision erodes trust in the platform further and while Microsoft defends the Store vehemently, it is possible that the days of the Store are numbered as well.
Now You: Do you use the Store?
I do have a few Apps installed and some of them are good, but nothing Earth-shattering. None are going to be missed if they disappear.
MS messed its mobile division up because they tried to turn their well-established Desktop into a dumb smartphone (see Windows 8). Let’s hope they won’t “manage” to ruin Windows as well, although things aren’t promising. They keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
Not having to buy the software through a monopoly store as with the two mobile platforms is actually a big advantage of the M$ ecosystem!
One should always ‘cut out the middleman’ whenever it’s possible.
Doing this however requires ‘intelligence’. Those two mobile platforms are dominant because they require little to no intelligence. Finding anything worthwhile requires thought, effort etc…
Sites such as this one are in a way still teaching some of us how to fish.
Ads is life support for bad products/services no one is willing to pay for. And “appstores” are just thinly disguised attempts at powerplay through controlling distribution. If you’re a developer, you’re better off selling your software directly to users through your own homepage instead of relying on shady corporate solutions.
Ironically the UWP store paid a decent percentage of the ticket price back to the devs, however what turned us off proceeding with UWP and publishing to the MS store was the gargantuan amount of telemetry and private data collection embedded in to all the Windows, Office and Visual Studio software, itâ€™s absolutely outrageous, all if it on full by default, most cannot be stopped. We had legitimate concerns over the privacy of our business intellectual property.
Even when specifically selecting to disable all the telemetry options offered in VS it still regularly sent a message back to MS servers telling them the telemetry option was turned off â€“ unbelievable, but true.
If all Microsoft staff were forced to share all their private internal confidential business documents, email, source code, usage telemetry with us, for nothing in return â€“ weâ€™d consider sharing ours with them.
“private internal confidential business documents, email, source code”
I’m not a fan of forced telemetry, but who was collecting this from your company?
If you think theyâ€™re not, youâ€™re living a delusion.
“Microsoft provides no ad network suggestions to UWP developers who monetize their apps with advertisement, and there don’t seem to be good alternatives at this point.”
The alternative is to not monetize your app with advertisements. At all, with any ad network. Period, new paragraph. If you want to have a closed-source, proprietary application that you make money from, then be honest about it. Charge people money to buy a license. If your response is “But then I won’t make any money, people won’t pay for it up front, I have to use ads!”, then your app *shouldn’t* make any money. Accept that its not valuable enough for people to pay for. Release it as free (gratis) open-source software. If you can’t persuade people to pay money for your app, and you also don’t want to just give it away as free software, then don’t publish your app. If the only way you can accomplish what you want is by serving advertisements, then the world doesn’t need your app. Go do something else with your time.
Which is exactly what he said as an option and is blatantly obvious to everyone. If you had read you wouldn’t have had to write an essay.
Just get rid of this inferior platform already. The sooner they release LTS to the public, the better for everyone else, Microsoft included.
LTSC? Won’t happen.
In theory UWP wasn’t a bad idea but you just knew the apps would generally be dumbed down and ugly, and they were. Doing anything via the MS store was a big no-no for me too. They obviously aren’t popular or there would be no reason to close this down. They won’t be missed.
Apple are trying to do a similar sort of thing with catalyst and even though it’s not as awful as UWP it’s not going great either. You would have thought the supposedly bright people working at these companies would have learnt that one size fits all doesn’t work.
>Programs like VLC or Paint.net landed in Store but they offered no advantages over the traditional versions of these programs.
No advantages. Apart from the automated updates.
I don’t know about VLC but Paint.net does have built in automatic update.
Usually (free)programs in Windows store are paid while they provide free download on their own site using their own storage and bandwith(like Paint.net and Krita do). Maybe they need to pay some fee to be hosted on the Windows store?
“…the number will drop even more unless Microsoft integrates a third-party ad network natively.”
Great opportunity for Avast to unload the portion of Jumpshot they still own!
UWP is a moving roadblock, a scheme to keep users inside MS’s walls, pointless. It makes a mess out of Windows, er, makes the mess that is Windows even messier!
I only use the MS store when I have to – like installing an updated Nvidia driver .
I always preferred installing applications myself and having the physical install/setup file.
>I only use the MS store when I have to â€“ like installing an updated Nvidia driver .
Note, choosing language EN-UK will give you the multilangual package.
“Windows Driver Type” should be set to “Standard”
Never install DCH version of drivers when given the choice.
“Never install DCH version of drivers when given the choice.”
When installing Windows 10, you have to be offline with your Nvidia drivers ready to go. MS will install the DCH version in the background without asking very quickly otherwise. After that it’s hard to switch back to standard. I learned that the hard way and fixed it after a format and reinstall.
Screw MS and their forced bullshit. This is why sane people steer clear of their store.
Well, LTSC doesn’t have this problem ;)
I have no idea how the shit aimed at mere consumers behave though.
I’ve had the feeling for several years that MS finds Windows an inconvenience. The cloud, not Windows, is now MS’s main product.
In December Martin posted “Microsoft reorganizes teams to speed up Windows 10 development.” In the article Martin wrote “Microsoft adjusted the development cycle of the company’s Windows 10 operating system to the development cycle of Microsoft Azure…” I believe MS is slowly pushing everything (except maybe Xbox) toward its enterprise cloud/service business model. Anything that can’t be pushed that way gets pushed out. That’s how it’s looks to me.
No, I don’t use the store. I don’t want UWP applications, and the store offers me nothing I need.
We all know that the endgame here with UWP was to get users paying for apps and then have developers STILL spam them with targeted advertising on top. Maybe sneak in a monthly subscription scheme for the user to pay, in order to use his own computer, too. Xbox is the proof in the pudding here.
Also, this UWP program would have crippled Linux compatibility with Windows-based software (good luck making anything that is UWP-based work in Wine!), and resulted in more expensive software (because Microsoft takes a cut of sales in the Windows Store).
So as the old song goes, “Ding dong- the witch is dead, the wicked witch is dead.” ( the UWP platform being the wicked witch, of course.)
> Programs like VLC or Paint.net landed in Store but they offered no advantages over the traditional versions of these programs.
Yeah, literally no advantages except one-click installs (+ no 3rd-party installers), automatic updates, clean uninstalls without leaving registry and file leftovers, being automatically sandboxed (media files can contain viruses), easier transfer of installed applications to another computers (even better if the app supports cloud sync of all settings), etc.
Just those few listed things make Win32 converted UWP applications superior to conventional ones.
Hopefully this means they get rid of the settings app and bring back the control panel.
Seriously what is the point of Windows 8, 10 at this point? UWP was another OS they tacked on Windows resulting in the the most bloated OS ever. Might as well cull all UWP processes and dependencies and slim down Windows to the bits that people actually use.
“Iâ€™ve had the feeling for several years that MS finds Windows an inconvenience. The cloud, not Windows, is now MSâ€™s main product.”
If you go dig up old interviews with Bill Gates he planned on a subscription based “client-server” architecture from the beginning, using what he thought was going to be a “set top box”. This was why the X-Box was created. But Steve Jobs realized the platform should be mobile not a box tied to a TV set for boomers. Now things have come full circle and Microsoft is attempting to do what Gates had originally intended but on a platform that doesn’t care about what hardware is used. Microsoft plans to charge SUBSCRIPTION FEES and have full access to your data and control over which software you use. They’ve already tested and patented a KILL SWITCH in Windows 10 that would allow them to delete software or completely lock out a user from their OS and the internet, allegedly to stop “piracy”. https://www.onmsft.com/news/microsoft-patents-windows-10-kill-switch-technology-to-deter-piracy
That article/link about a KILL SWITCH is misleading, as this is about cloud storage as with uploading to OneDrive, and not something local such as with Windows 10. So this just means they could treat files on OneDrive the way YouTube treats that media.
“The sky is falling”