Microsoft offers developers $100 per Windows 8 app

In an apparent policy turnaround, Microsoft is now using cash to try to get more developers to write apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Mary Jo Foley
Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network.
Mary Jo Foley
2 min read

Up until last year, it seemed to be an unwritten (or maybe written) policy that the Windows client team wouldn't pay developers to write apps for Windows 8.

But that edict seems to have been rescinded. Microsoft is now offering developers $100 for each Windows 8 and/or Windows Phone 8 app they write, up to a total of 10 apps per Store. This limited-time promotion -- which started March 8 and runs until June 30, 2013 -- is known as the "Keep the Cash" offer. (Participants must live within the 50 United States and be at least 18, according to the fine print.)

Microsoft has paid for the development of Windows Phone apps in the past. As The Verge's Tom Warren noted, not everyone thinks paying for app development is a sound idea.

I've spoken with some business app developers writing apps for Windows 8 who've said Microsoft didn't pay directly for them to write for the platform but did still indirectly fund app-development work.

Officials with Microsoft partner Sogeti, for example, talked about Microsoft funding "proof of concept" apps by playing matchmaker between devs and customers, offering devs some money up front for their app-development time.

In recent months, Microsoft has been stepping up the app-development promotion pace around Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Last week, company officials posted a free two-part video aimed at developers interested in writing apps for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

With the coming "Blue" release, Microsoft is expected to bring its Windows and Windows Phone dev platforms and app models closer together, making it easier for developers to write once and run on any version of Windows.

This story originally appeared on ZDNet under the headline "Microsoft offers developers cash to write Windows 8 apps."