Wait... so I can't just develop software for Windows Mobile for free any more? That's the main reason I have stuck with Windows Mobile for so long. Developing for these phones is easy, especially with .NET mobile framework.
Now I need a $99 development license? So long WinMo, Hello Android.
My last 3 phones were WinMo. HTC 8125 (Cingular rebrand), HTC 8525, and now the Tilt 2. I even have a Dell Axim X5. I have developed a number of home-brew apps ranging from Poker blind counters, birthday reminder apps, grocery lists apps, and more. I also developed a maintenance application for UTMB Galveston that ran on a Symbol device with a bar code scanner running Win CE that interfaced to a SQL Server backend.
$99 isn't the point. It could be $20, 10, 5 and I would still be upset that I have been working with a product for years and now all of a sudden they want to charge me for development.
Won't be long (Windows 8 probably) before you have to pay a developers license to distribute Windows Applications (of course, if you pay for Visual Studio, it will come with 1-year free).
What's the point of creating a phone with an app store when you are going to charge people to develop for that store (whether they charge for their app or not)? If people want to charge, then Microsoft gets their cut. If people want to give it away, Microsoft still gets its cut (30% of nothing is nothing). No, rather than open their platform and increase its popularity by having more apps included, Microsoft wants to make a quick buck off the few developers willing to write apps for their platform. Why do you think Apple touts their 300,000 apps (even if 200,000 of them are fart apps)? Because people know with more apps, its more likely that whatever they want their phone to do "There's an app for that" (TM).
so wait, instead of having lawyers twisting his arm until he is in the poor house or jail, they are talking? and Microsoft is listening? it almost like they are trying to please their customers like companies should.
personally i think it should work like this, you can put any app on any phone you want, but you pay (or give a portion of your profits) to host your app on the app store.
To my way of looking at it, the 99 fee is just so seperate the guys who care from those who dont- if you pay for the right are you not maybe going to work harder to make sure your App works right, every time? If you have no "skin" in the game, you can just throw anything out there and call it an " app" - look at some of the absolute junk for the android? what good is a good platform if everyone can just come take a dump on it without any stake in keeping it good? I just got a Droid X- love it, but the number of junk apps is amazing- How many flashlight apps do you really need?
I love programming .net and was looking for a new phone. Windows Phone 7 seemed to be the right phone for me. But then I discovered that I had to pay and yearly fee to unlock my phone so that I could transfer programs to my windows phone 7. I only wanted to make programs for my personal use on the phone - why should I pay for that? Sorry Microsoft - Android will be my next phone