Windows Phone 7 Marketplace: Ditch the Annual Fee for Free App Developers!

Dear Microsoft,

A few facts:

  • I’m a competent Silverlight developer. I’ve even dabbled in XNA.
  • I’m an owner of a iPhone 3GS.
  • I would like a new phone.
  • I’d like to buy a phone powered by the Windows Phone 7 OS when it’s made available.
  • I’d like to make some free applications for my phone and others to use. A few for hobbies (like photography), and a few utilities for myself for work.
  • I don’t however want to spend $99 a year for the privilege of doing so.

Why not open it up for people like myself?

Here’s a few alternatives:

  • Make it free for those who make only free applications
  • Make it free for those who agree to include a Bing-Ad placement component in the application, in a prominent position.
  • Make it free for those who buy a copy of Visual Studio 2010 and Blend (like myself – I don’t use the Express editions).
  • Make it free so that there’s no barrier to entry – that people and companies don’t need to worry about the extra fee – just jump on the Windows Phone 7 bandwagon.

Without this change, I probably won’t buy a Windows Phone 7, and will start building more HTML 5 web apps, that will work just fine on my iPhone 3GS (powered by iOS4). Sad smile