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Wednesday 4 March 2015

To the Power of 10

As originally published on the MSDN Blog: Canadian Developer Connection

I’m going to //Build/ 2015 in April.  I couldn’t be more excited.  If you have ever thought about working with the Microsoft Windows Platform, right now has to be just about the most exciting time there is.  There are a bunch of reasons I’m looking forward to Microsoft’s premier developer conference and I’ll outline my reasons here and you can decide for yourself. 
//Build/ is a conference by developers for developers.  This is one of the main times each year where public developers out there in the wide world can interact face to face with the folks that built the platforms they are trying to build applications for.  From enterprise to entertainment, it all gets covered here.  Often new bits of information are unveiled for the first time allowing first access to the attendees.  Now that’s all good, but there is bad news and good news with this.  The bad news is, if you are not already registered, it sold out in just 45 minutes.  The good news is, that most past Build conferences streamed almost all of the sessions to the internet live and provided on-demand viewing after the fact.  So take note of the web site above return when the show is on to join in the fun with other developers.

Windows 10

The reason Build is so important this year is Windows 10 and all the goodness that goes with it.  Windows 10 has been around for a while as a Technical Preview.  Microsoft periodically rolls out updates to those that specifically requested the WIndows 10 Technical Preview and there has been a steady march of new features and improvements ever since available was first put out there.  The pace of improvements has been steady but not overwhelming which is good as it shows a great deal of care in quality.  Well, on the 21st of January Microsoft unveiled some major new enhancements aimed at the consumer.  Things like Cortana on the desktop.  An enhanced Action Center and Continuum Mode.
As developers you should be thrilled but not necessarily for the things you think you should.

WIndows 10 = More Monetization

If you write Apps for Windows or Windows Phone you understand some of the difficulties in monetizing your apps.  While there are lots of people using both platforms it’s almost never enough.  Windows 10 is going to change all that.  With Microsoft’s announcement that Windows 10 will be free to all Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users for the first year.  When it’s released your potential customer base is going to explode.  Are you ready?  Advertising in your app is a popular way to monetize your app and advertising relies heavily on volume.  You need lots of downloads and you need those that download to use your app on a regular basis.  If your potential customer base triples in a short amount of time, you can greatly benefit if your apps are well positioned.
There are also new technologies going into Windows 10 that you can take advantage of.  Features that you add as in-app-purchase options to your app.  While you can’t write code right now for some of these things, you can definitely stay informed of those features you might add benefit to your apps and plan for them.  There are going to be new features you can leverage for monetization or just to make your customers happier so pay attention as announcements are made and make note of what will work for you.
//Build/ is going to help you jump start the development you need to increase the monetization of the apps you have or ones yet to be written.  Need to know more about all the features you can add that make your app more attractive.  The sessions at //build/ are for you.

Add Advertising to your App

With all those people (hopefully) upgrading from Windows 7 there are going to be a lot more customers for your Store App.  Are you ready?  If you will be getting more downloads then it stands to reason that you could be earning more revenue from your App with Advertising.  You are already using ads?  Are you using Ad Mediator?  Ad Mediator lets you not only collect revenue from ads supplied by a single provider but from many.  You may have heard of the term fulfillment rate.  If your fulfillment rate is low with the one you are using now, the Ad Mediator will just pull up an ad from another one.  Thus, you keep earning $$$.  Long ago, I wrote my own ad rotator.  This is much easier with a one stop shop!

Stay Educated

If you are not yet building Universal Apps, you need to start now.  Universal Apps will give you the jumpstart on building apps for Windows 10.  Get the technical preview.  It’s available now for your desktop and soon for your phone.  Get familiar with some of the new design paradigms being introduced.  They aren’t all that different but there are some great ideas you can leverage in your own apps. 
Visit MVA to learn about all of the above.  I’m pretty sure as soon as SDKs are released you’ll see content at Microsoft Virtual Academy suited just for you.

See You at //Build//

Windows 10 is coming and coming fast.  Are you prepared to make the most of all the new potential customers out there?  Because if you are not, I will be!  And I’ll happily take each and every one of them!

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