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July 23, 2012

Paid Windows 8 Apps to Feature Free Trial Period

By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

By this point, most of us are likely familiar with app buyer's remorse, that feeling you get when you realize that your hard-earned cash just went toward something you'll never use and there's no way to get a refund. Luckily, Microsoft (News - Alert) has a way to eliminate this that will be featured in the upcoming Windows 8 Store.

Basically, all paid apps in the store will feature a seven-day tryout period, providing potential customers with the chance to see if a particular app is useful or worth the money without fronting any cash. Some are suggesting that this is a necessary move for Microsoft since its minimum price tag (News - Alert) for the store will be $1.49 – much higher than the Apple App Store's 99-cent minimum.

While the Google Play market has its own feature to combat app buyer's remorse – customers can return any app within 15 minutes of purchase – Microsoft's "try before you buy" approach is a much better option. Here's hoping that this new practice becomes standard for other app stores before long.

Microsoft released its fiscal year and fourth quarter financial results last week, reporting its first ever quarterly loss as a public company. The loss, a hefty $492 million, came hand-in-hand with excellent revenue, though, leading some to question just what happened.

Microsoft's net loss essentially has a lot to do with a $6.2-billion write-down related to its 2007 acquisition of an online ad company called aQuantive (News - Alert).

Otherwise, Microsoft's earnings report was mostly business as usual with big businesses contributing the majority of the company's revenue. In fact, its Server and Tools division, which logged its ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth, was among its top earners at $18.7 billion for the fiscal year.

Another unusual aspect of the earnings report was the fact that Windows sales weren't carrying the company as is usually the case.

“Over the last 10 years, they have weaned themselves off the operating system and [become] a very different kind of company. Microsoft is a commercial software company, not an OS company. And I see that as a positive,” Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said in a statement.

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Edited by Braden Becker
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