Windows 8 Gets Public Beta And App Store in February 2012

Microsoft has recently announced the availability of the first public beta (apart from this summer’s Preview) for their flagship OS, the Windows 8.

Among new features and better stability than what the Windows 8 Preview version shows, this public beta brings in a first glimpse on the Windows 8 App Store. According to the Windows Store blog, the store is meant to offer Metro-style apps, and conversely desktop legacy apps that weren’t designed for Metro UI can’t get into that store, which IMHO, should bear the title Windows 8 App store — instead of plain “Windows App store”.

Microsoft’s pricing formula for apps in this store covers price tags between $1.49 and $999, with Microsoft’s cut set at 30 % of sales before a developer earns first $25,000 and 20% if revenue goes up from that point of $25,000. Registering as a Windows 8 app vendor costs $49 for an individual and $99 for a company.

The Windows Store Preview event held in San Francisco on December 6, 2011, has also opened the First App Contest for the developers. The contest is about building app with the best Metro UI and Windows 8 experience, and it ends on January 8, 2012. Working hard through all pre- and post-Christmas days can bring the lucky winners these goodies:

  • A Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC from the BUILD conference, so you can test your apps with touch and sensors
  • One year of Windows Azure, so you can build apps that feel connected and alive
  • A two-year subscription to the Store, so you can continue to update and improve your app
For curious folks out there, a Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC referenced here is apparently a Samsung Slate PC that costs around $1200 – $1400 at eBay just for the slate alone. The one you can win through this competition, also comes with a dock and keyboard, too. Sure, one may want to attend the BUILD conference next time, to grab such a unit, but there’s a nobler way to get a very nice and powerful, Transformer-style computer: develop a winner Metro UI-compatible Windows 8 app.


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