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Product Keys / Authentication Methods for Apps - Allowed?

    Question

  • Hello,

    There seems to be a bit of conflicting information on this topic so I'm hoping someone (ideally from Microsoft) can clarify.

    I have an app that will be distributed through the App store (not interested in side loading at this time given the headaches). 

    However, my app does not fit the 1-price-fits-all model. While there will be a version available on the App Store for individuals to purchase, for instance, there will also be institutional customers who will be buying multiple licenses at a discount. Some customers will have rights to unlimited licenses. I also want to offer academic pricing. And for some people I want to give it away to entirely.

    The obvious solution, it seems to me, would be to offer the app on the Windows Store for free, but use product activation keys administered through a third party to control access to the app's functions. Without a product key, the app would cease functioning after the trial period.

    What I cannot determine based on online information is whether this is allowed. Some posts suggest it is (discussing apps that require authentication) but others have said they have tried this and failed certification. The certification requirements also suggest that in-app purchases can be done through a third-party transaction service if disclosed, which is fine by me, but this will be more than just an in-app purchase.

    Please understand this is not just about avoiding the commission. But like I said, one-price-fits-all simply won't work here. 

    Thanks for any advice.

    Peter


    Friday, March 14, 2014 5:42 PM

Answers

  • Yes your allowed to do. See drawboard app for example. Its aupporting an own activation system.

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer - Windows Store Apps Using C#

    • Marked as answer by pnm655 Friday, March 21, 2014 6:44 PM
    Friday, March 21, 2014 5:39 PM

All replies

  • Sorry for the shameless 'bump', but I really need to find an answer to this. The uncertainty here is causing me to contemplate rebuilding the software as a desktop WPF app (nonetheless touch optimized and tablet-targeted), which I presume is exactly what MS is trying to encourage us not to do. In fact I do think the "Modern" UI has a lot of (largely untapped) potential, but it's not worth it if it constrains me to one business model, i.e., one flat fee per license for all users.

    Maybe my proposed solution is perfectly acceptable - and frankly I see nothing in the Windows Store guidelines prohibiting it - but I can't afford to be surprised for the first time when I submit the app to the store after having invested so much time and effort building and marketing it. So I really need to determine this in advance.

    Is there anyone I can contact at MS directly, in the legal department for example, to find out the official position on this?

    Thanks again for any insights.

    Friday, March 21, 2014 5:11 PM
  • Yes your allowed to do. See drawboard app for example. Its aupporting an own activation system.

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer - Windows Store Apps Using C#

    • Marked as answer by pnm655 Friday, March 21, 2014 6:44 PM
    Friday, March 21, 2014 5:39 PM
  • Perfect! Thank you so much. And seeing an actual approved app employing that system is a big relief.

    Peter

    Friday, March 21, 2014 6:44 PM