Mac App Store
- Launched January 6, 2011 with 1,000 apps
- May 2012 reported to have 10,000 apps
- Apple takes 30% of sales
- $100 a year to be in the store
- Does not allow : beta, demo, trial or test versions of software
- Does not allow : content that has content or services that expire
- Does not allow : software only licensed under GPL
- Launching October 26, 2012 with over 3,000 apps
- Microsoft takes 30% of sales, but over $25k in sales it drops to 20%
- $100 a year to be in the store, but free if you have an MSDN account
- Has a built in trial mode for apps
- In-App purchases allow for purchases to expire (think like a magazine subscription)
- Allows open source software. Link: ExtremeTech
Also as someone that is developing apps for mobile and tablets, I personally like the idea that I can have a trial app and then people can just purchase it and then they have the full one. Right now I have some iOS apps where I have to maintain a free version and a paid version and rev both of them when a new SDK is out or new things that I want to put in. Having a single app is very appealing to me. I know that some of the iOS developers actually use this to their advantage to put out multiple versions of a single app - this one does animal sounds, this one does English voices, etc and then flood the category with multiple free and paid versions of each. In the Microsoft store, this could be a single app with in-app purchases for each different thing. Easier to maintain and enhance. A friend of mine has close to 80 iOS apps and many of them are very similar like this. But to me, submitting updates for all 80 would be very tedious.
As far as reporting that Apple has over 650,000 apps compared to Microsoft's 3,000 apps, be careful on how you read stories like that. Are they comparing apples to apples (no pun intended) or are they comparing apples to pumpkins?
Microsoft will have more apps in the store at launch time than Apple did. Microsoft is making it easier for the app developers to get people to try their apps with the trial/buy method built into the SDK. Microsoft is taking less money after you start making a good amount. Microsoft is supporting the open source movement better than Apple. Microsoft is giving store developer accounts to people with MSDN subscriptions for free, where Apple will make sure that you pay for it.
Desktop App Store Winner -- Microsoft
Now go make some more apps for the store.