Microsoft will launch operator billing for Windows Store in a few months, reports PTI. Vineet Durani, Director, Windows Phone made the announcement during the launch of its latest smartphone platform Windows Phone 8.1.
The company had shifted to a unified store model last year and if a payment mode such as operator billing is added in the mobile store, it should be available on the desktop as well. Durani had earlier told Medianama that the company is working on operator billing in India. The main issue he pointed out at that point was the revenue share demanded by the telcos. He wanted the revenue split to be done in such a way that the developers will not be affected at all.
Microsoft generally retains 20% of a payment made by a customer and passes on the rest to the developer. Similarly, the company wanted Indian operators to hand over 80% or 70% of the revenues to the developers and take the operators’ percentage take from Microsoft’s 20-30%.
The company has a payment gateway in India unlike Google and Apple. it also follows two-step authentication process mandated by the RBI, but only supports credit cards for payments at this point. Durani had said that prepaid cards for buying items from Windows Store will be available soon, but there has not been any information on this front yet. Once available these cards could be used for buying apps for Windows 8 store on mobile and desktop and also for buying games from Xbox Live service. Even the other big mobile players — Apple and Google — have not added operator billing in India yet.
It is worth noting that Nokia, now part of Microsoft, has operator billing in India with almost all operators, but it’s not clear if Microsoft is using this relationship for pushing Windows Store. Microsoft also has a 35% stake in Oxigen. Oxigen Services India was started in 2004 and had tied up with Nokia India last year to allow renewal of Nokia music subscription using its Oxicash system.