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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:07 AM   #1
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Apple and Microsoft Reportedly Facing Off Over SkyDrive In-App Subscription Revenues




The Next Web reports that Apple and Microsoft are currently engaged in a dispute over Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage app that was launched in the App Store a year ago. According to the report, the dispute is related to Microsoft's move to roll out the ability for users to purchase paid storage upgrades on their iOS devices without going through Apple's in-app subscription mechanism that provides Apple with a 30% share of revenues. As a result, Apple has refused to approve any updates to the SkyDrive app.
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Microsoft, TNW has learned, has a new version of the application ready to go, including a key bug fix that would rectify a crashing bug, but cannot get it through.

Microsoft does not appear keen to pay Apple the 30% cut, as it lasts in perpetuity, regardless of whether a user continues to use an iOS device or not, as the billing is through their Apple account.
The report claims that Microsoft has offered to remove the subscription options from the SkyDrive app, but Apple has still declined to allow updates to the app. It is unclear why Apple would have refused such an offer, as many similar apps such as Dropbox operate under this model.

The Next Web goes on to note that the dispute between Apple and Microsoft is also affecting third-party developers who have integrated SkyDrive into their applications, as the login pages for SkyDrive displayed by these apps contain a "sign up" link that runs afoul of Apple's guidelines.
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In short, applications that wish to integrate with SkyDrive cannot, until Microsoft bows to Apple's demands, and retools SkyDrive to allow for it to be integrated with the technology firm's payment system by which the firm would garner a fee for the length of the account. A user could go into their Apple account, cancel their subscription, and then re-purchase it outside of the Apple ecosystem, but as that would save them no money, few, if any, will.
It is unclear just how and when the dispute between the two companies may be settled, but for the time being both SkyDrive app users and both developers and users of third-party apps relying on SkyDrive are finding themselves increasingly affected by the standoff.

Update 11:04 AM: Engadget reports that Microsoft has issued a statement acknowledging a "delay in approval" for its SkyDrive app.
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Similar to the experiences of some other companies, we are experiencing a delay in approval of our updated SkyDrive for iOS. We are in contact with Apple regarding the matter and hope to come to a resolution. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.
Article Link: Apple and Microsoft Reportedly Facing Off Over SkyDrive In-App Subscription Revenues
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:09 AM   #2
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Microsoft acts the bigger man and Apple acts like a child
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:10 AM   #3
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Microsoft deserves the money. Sorry but they are running the service and apple taking 30 percent of an in app purchase is wrong especially when that purchase is not anything to do with the appstore.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:11 AM   #4
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As an app developer for apple I tried to add third party paymens in the past and have been rejected for the same reason as Microsoft. At least big companies are not favored in this regard and everyone is equal. Though the same cant be said for the App Store as big companies seem to have a huge advantage. Since iOS 6 search rankings suck and apple features apps from big companies. Not to mention removing the new app list in the App Store altogether thus giving indie dev no exposure that will help them have an I trial boost and rank climb. With iOS 6 App Store on the iPhone, searching results of apps are displayed one at a time, so unless your at the top of the keyword search then your screwed. Not to mention new apps will be listed at the bottom of the keyword search so new devs making apps are screwed to begin with. It seems apple has intention to kill off indie devs altogether.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by skate71290 View Post
Microsoft acts the bigger man and Apple acts like a child
MacRumors is increasingly turning into FOX news. What a misleading article with no facts, just assumptions, and relentless Apple bashing.

For those who will respond with 'What's misleading?' Everything. Has Microsoft actually submitted an app update? We don't know. Is Apple not allowing an app update to be approved? We don't know. Is Microsoft upset with Apple? We don't know. Is Apple upset with Microsoft? We don't know. Just assumption after assumption is all this 'article' is.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:13 AM   #6
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I still think the 30% cut is audacious of Apple to ask, but I guess they aren't going to relent. Microsoft will have to do what Amazon did with their Kindle App.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bbeagle View Post
MacRumors is increasingly turning into FOX news. What a misleading article with no facts, just assumptions, and relentless Apple bashing.
I'd rather be on a site that would report all rumors, even that bash Apple when Apple is in the wrong, than a site that only posts positive articles on Apple (i.e. DaringFireball).
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
The report claims that Microsoft has offered to remove the subscription options from the SkyDrive app, but Apple has still declined to allow updates to the app. It is unclear why Apple would have refused such an offer, as many similar apps such as Dropbox operate under this model.

The Next Web goes on to note that the dispute between Apple and Microsoft is also affecting third-party developers who have integrated SkyDrive into their applications, as the login pages for SkyDrive displayed by these apps contain a "sign up" link that runs afoul of Apple's guidelines.
Is it really "unclear", or is it answered in the very next sentence. Dropbox and several other similar services went through this when the payment guidelines first started to be enforced strictly.

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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
It is unclear just how and when the dispute between the two companies may be settled, but for the time being both SkyDrive app users and both developers and users of third-party apps relying on SkyDrive are finding themselves increasingly affected by the standoff.
"Unclear" again? Once Microsoft removes the 'sign up' link, it'll be good to go. That's exactly how all of these sorts of disputes have been resolved in the past.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:16 AM   #9
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When I ran a retail store, we charged a commission when we sold third-party services. Nobody thought this was strange or childish.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bbeagle View Post
MacRumors is increasingly turning into FOX news. What a misleading article with no facts, just assumptions, and relentless Apple bashing.

For those who will respond with 'What's misleading?' Everything. Has Microsoft actually submitted an app? We don't know. Is Apple not allowing an app to be approved? We don't know. Is Microsoft upset with Apple? We don't know. Is Apple upset with Microsoft? We don't know. Just assumption after assumption is all this 'article' is.
Since you are the authority on fact in this case, why don't you enlighten the rest of us.

This is not the first person/company to have their app rejected becuase of this, they are just one of the largest.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:16 AM   #11
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Apple generally tries to do things to create a consistent and smooth user experience, but this whole subscription thing is just awful and always has been. Every app that has some subscription service that doesn't want to use Apple's system has to work around it and it just makes a huge mess for everyone.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by skate71290 View Post
Microsoft acts the bigger man and Apple acts like a child
You sure about that? Sounds like Microsoft is refusing to abide by an agreement that they signed, despite the fact that others do follow their agreements. Where I was raised, that's called "being a liar."
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by blackhand1001 View Post
Microsoft deserves the money. Sorry but they are running the service and apple taking 30 percent of an in app purchase is wrong especially when that purchase is not anything to do with the appstore.
If Microsoft gets special treatment and we devs have to pay the 30% I'd be pissed off for that. At least in this regard all devs are the same.

Though I don't mind Microsoft gets 100% as long as I get my 100% instead of 70% and be able to add my third party payment from long ago.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:17 AM   #14
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Just make it a better web App.

Problem solved
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:18 AM   #15
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Not too sure what the fuss is about.

The app store terms and conditions state that if you wish to sell additional services through an app, you have the be able to buy the same services through in-app purchasing.

It's a) in the T&C MS have agreed to and b) it's Apple's network, they can do what they want. Nobody's forcing MS to use the app store.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:18 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by blackhand1001 View Post
Microsoft deserves the money. Sorry but they are running the service and apple taking 30 percent of an in app purchase is wrong especially when that purchase is not anything to do with the appstore.
And you think that hosting space, update pushing, and bandwidth is free? Feel free to host MS's apps on your own equipment for free then.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:21 AM   #17
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Bold text should be the sub-title of the article

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"The report claims that Microsoft has offered to remove the subscription options from the SkyDrive app, but Apple has still declined to allow updates to the app.It is unclear why Apple would have refused such an offer, as many similar apps such as Dropbox operate under this model."
...but then nobody here would want to read it.
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Last edited by VenusianSky; Dec 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:21 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by BaldiMac View Post
When I ran a retail store, we charged a commission when we sold third-party services. Nobody thought this was strange or childish.
A retail store differs from a digital store, given your example.

Apple wanting a 30% cut for services that never touch their (Apple's ) servers is taking the p!ss. Its basically free money for Apple. The product seller gave apple its $99 charge that is required for AppStore commission.

For example, Best Buy don't take commission for all future MMO game subscriptions when that product was purchased at its store.
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Last edited by Stella; Dec 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:21 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by BaldiMac View Post
When I ran a retail store, we charged a commission when we sold third-party services. Nobody thought this was strange or childish.
This.

And remember that a basic axiom is simplicity.
Selling something thru App Store? 30%. Simple.
Of course this simplicity means application of the axiom seems odd or unfair at times, but better that than the raging confusion that would follow from a policy of exemptions or per-app negotiation.

Don't like it? Android is thataway. Oh, don't want to go there? 30% then. Simple.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:22 AM   #20
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I still think the 30% cut is audacious of Apple to ask, but I guess they aren't going to relent. Microsoft will have to do what Amazon did with their Kindle App.
Microsoft IS doing that with the app, but Apple is still refusing to push it through. Apple is really getting on my nerves with their walled garden. Dropbox has an in app subscription for the same price as if I did it through Dropbox.com. I'm sure Dropbox doesn't want to give up $30, but I guess they bet most people aren't going to do the in app purchase anyway.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by BaldiMac View Post
When I ran a retail store, we charged a commission when we sold third-party services. Nobody thought this was strange or childish.
I don't think you've read the article.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:26 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Stella View Post
A retail store differs from a digital store.

Apple wanting a 30% cut for services that never touch their (Apple's ) servers
He was referring to 3rd party services. Same idea: the retail store, and the App Store, put the customer in contact with the provider and handles initial payments. Nothing hosted by the middleman, but the transaction occurs because of the middleman, who takes a fair (and generous) cut of the price. So long as the middleman handles the payments, he takes a percentage.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:27 AM   #23
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Easy Cheesy!!

The fix is pretty simple. Microsoft can remove the service from Apple's app store, and focus soley on Android devices. Or they can heed to Apple's demands and pay the 30% in royalties to Apple. It's a fact, The App Store is owned by Apple, so Apple can charge whatever they want, if 3rd parties choose to go through their system. Nobody is forcing Microsoft to sell SkyDrive through Apples app store.

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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:27 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ctdonath View Post
He was referring to 3rd party services. Same idea: the retail store, and the App Store, put the customer in contact with the provider and handles initial payments. Nothing hosted by the middleman, but the transaction occurs because of the middleman, who takes a fair (and generous) cut of the price. So long as the middleman handles the payments, he takes a percentage.
So Apple are taking 30% commission for being a payment processor?!!

Anyway, similar conversions have occurred in the past... and gets nowhere.

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Nobody is forcing Microsoft to sell SkyDrive through Apples app store.
If microsoft want a product on iOS then yes, microsoft are being forced to use Apple's app store. It is a black and white issue.

Computing used to be open, it is now going back to closed platforms where the O/S owner controls more and more of what content is allowed. That is a shame.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by BaldiMac View Post
When I ran a retail store, we charged a commission when we sold third-party services. Nobody thought this was strange or childish.
Got to agree, this is their business model and it is enforced for all developers submitting apps that require in app payments. If they treat M$ any differently to other companies then that would be a scandal.
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