Microsoft and Apple aren’t the best of friends right now with the SkyDrive app being stuck in limbo as Microsoft isn’t too keen on sharing revenue with Apple. And it seems like the problem isn’t just limited to SkyDrive, but to upcoming Microsoft apps as well. According to reports coming from people familiar with the matter, the real issue at hand was with regards to the upcoming Microsoft Office app for iOS. As we know, the Office app on iOS will only allow users to read documents and in order to edit documents they would require a paid Office 365 subscription. Apple basically wants a 30% cut of these revenues. And Microsoft clearly isn’t too fond of the idea, which means the two companies are at an impasse.
It must be noted that Apple has the same policy for all, irrespective of the developer, so it might seem a bit strange that Microsoft has trouble agreeing with Apple while most developers have been following these rules for a long time. App revenues make up for most of Apple’s incomes, and there’s no doubt that Apple wouldn’t want to back out of its policies just to cater to Microsoft’s requirements. The result is that both the companies make very good arguments, but there’s very little coming out of this.
Here’s Apple’s stand on the revenue sharing issue as mentioned by a spokesperson for the company – “Apple provides customers and developers the largest selection and safest way to discover apps with our curated App Store. We’ve designed our rules to be fair and consistent for every developer — free apps and services are distributed for free, paid apps and services provide a revenue share to Apple. We’ve paid out over 6.5 billion dollars to our developer community who have created over 700,000 apps”.
So what will be the solution to this? It seems like Microsoft will have to back out and agree to Apple’s terms, as Apple is in no mood to compromise on its revenue sharing policy. Considering the kind of hype already surrounding the Office for iOS app, it will be interesting to see if a resolution can be seen soon. Perhaps Microsoft wants Apple to show special treatment as it is bringing the widely popular Office app to the platform, which will certainly have plenty of takers. Microsoft is yet to come out in public about the issue, but we expect that to happen soon. As this unfolds, Microsoft’s updated version of SkyDrive for iOS is still awaiting a green signal from Apple. There’s no word yet on when Microsoft will announce the Office application for Android devices. There’s not much of an issue when it comes to revenue sharing on Android.