Windows Mobile devs to Microsoft: where's our money?

Windows Mobile logoOver at the Windows Mobile Developer Center, a few Windows Mobile developers are up in arms for not getting paid. Some claim they are owed thousands of dollars after selling their apps through Windows Marketplace for Mobile. At the end of the month, Microsoft totals all transactions for a developer's application sales for which money was collected, calculates 70 percent of all application sales prices as their revenue share, and verifies if that number equals or exceeds $200. If so, an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) payment to the developer's bank account is initiated.

Developers aren't just complaining about January sales, either: some say they have been using the mobile store to sell their apps since it launched last October. So why haven't these developers been paid? We contacted Microsoft earlier this week, but we didn't get a statement back; instead we were told that Microsoft would post an official statement in the thread and to refer to that. "Firstly, let me assure you that we want to pay all our developers that have met the $200 threshold at the earliest," begins a lengthy reply by Mihir Rao, Windows Marketplace for Mobile Product Manager. "In some situations (like the ones I explain below) where we are not able to pay, the payout amount remains in the developer's balance for a future payment."

The problem centers around the Dashboard Payout Status which can either say "Not eligible for revenue payout," "Pending eligibility for revenue payout," or "Eligible for revenue payout." Microsoft's explanation seems to suggest many of the users complaining are seeing a "Not eligible for revenue payout" status and thus need to rectify the issue on their end before getting paid. Unfortunately though, resolving the problem doesn't seem that simple.

Soon after Rao posted his explanation of the issue, a few developers have responded that they have had the "Eligible for revenue payout" since the first month. That status apparently means that Microsoft has successfully paid the developer in the past, there is no action needed from the developer, and that the company will continue to pay if the payout amount exceeds $200. Some developers who have had this status since launch say they have yet to be paid. Furthermore, others say their status remained eligible even during the time when Microsoft notified them of problems with their payment eligibility and they took the steps to fix them. They still have not been paid and are questioning whether the issues are related solely to the status system.

Despite Redmond's best efforts to make sure the payment system was clear, it appears the company still needs to work on its communication methods. Indeed, Rao followed up when he realized this. "I see my explanation of the 'Eligible for revenue payout' status has raised more questions than it has answered. I am going to get some more details on this particular dashboard status to provide further clarification." Hopefully Microsoft will have these issues sorted in time for the launch of Windows Mobile 7. After all, as Ballmer says, it's all about "developers, developers, developers, developers…."

Source: ars technica

Tags: Microsoft, mobile phones, Windows Mobile

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