Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Gift of Giving in the Windows Phone Marketplace

On the developer side of the Windows Phone marketplace, there are enough headaches to deal with, but this is not the purpose of this article. On the user side, the marketplace is relatively stable. Downloading can be done via wi-fi or over 3G/4G cellular internet. What could be improved here is payment options for apps.

Currently, the only options for payment in the Windows Phone marketplace are payment via credit/debit card or payment via cell carrier tab (if your carrier supports this, as I am not sure that all carriers do). However, if you don't have a credit card you can pay with, you are out of luck and can only download the free apps out there.

It would be good if Microsoft did something similar to what Apple did with iTunes. With iTunes, Apple sells gift cards in stores that people can use on iTunes to buy music, as well as apps. Microsoft should have their own "gift card" which people can buy in real life and use in the marketplace. There are many valid reasons for this. One is if a person wishes to impose a spending limit for apps on himself or herself. Another reason would be for a person which doesn't have a credit card due to bad credit or no credit (like teens) And yet another would be for a gift for occasions such a birthday or Christmas.

Another option Microsoft should look into is the ability for developers to "reward" testers. Sometimes, a developer may want to "reward" a beta tester with a "free copy" of the released version of an app on the marketplace as thanks for help with testing pre-release versions of apps. Sometimes, a developer, for whatever reason, may want to give a free copy of his or her paid software to a certain person (such as friends or family) for free. Currently, there is no mechanism in place for the developer to do this. This could be accomplished via a one-time promo code which the developer gives the user and the user inputs at time of buying the app.

To help with the first issue, besides a gift card (in amounts of real money) that people can buy, Microsoft could also look into perhaps using their system of Microsoft points to pay for apps. On the Xbox marketplace or Zune marketplace, you need to use points to pay. Wouldn't it be great if a user had some extra points and he or she could buy your app with it? Using Microsoft's own points conversion to convert the user's points into real money for the developer will have to happen, but I don't think this is a big deal. On a side note, Microsoft should unify their method of payment across the windows phone marketplace, the windows 8 marketplace, the Xbox marketplace and the Zune marketplace by either having all marketplace payments as either "all points" or "all (real) money". I hope that when Windows 8 comes out, Microsoft will have looked at all the problems had with Windows Phone and come up with adequate solutions for them.

Do you think these solutions for alternate payment I have proposed have any merit? If so (or if not), or if you have any thoughts or comments of your own about this, feel free to share them via the comment box below.You can also find me on twitter (twitter username is @rctechgeek). Feel free to subscribe to my rss feed too. I am now on Tumblr now as well (link to Tumblr is, so please follow me on Tumblr too.

If you're feeling thirsty or feel like giving to someone, drink  (or give someone you care about) some tasty Mystic Monk Coffee (use this link or click on the picture below to access the store and purchase). Trust me, it's good coffee (in most instances, much better than Starbucks coffee) and you won't regret buying some (just keep it away from your computer keyboard or laptop/tablet). For the summer, they are also offering Iced Coffee as well. If you like tea more than coffee, they also offer tea. Using the link (or picture below) to buy the coffee (or tea) helps the monks out and helps me with college expenses as well.

Feel free to try out my apps for Windows Phone: Mobile Media Manager, a media player app I made which has some features which (I feel) are missing from the system Zune player, and BSA Eagle Tracker, an app that boy scouts can use to track their progress to Eagle Scout (when the scout handbook isn't always handy). The update for the paid version is out, with the free version currently in Microsoft Apphub certification (due to be out soon within a few days). BSA Eagle Tracker is also getting a bug fix for an obscure bug I noticed recently.

BSA Eagle Tracker download:
Mobile Media Manager (paid version) download:
Mobile Media Manager (free version) download:

No comments:

Post a Comment