It's not just the Windows 8 Developer Preview coming in February 2012; Microsoft will also launch the Windows Store, its download center for Windows 8-based PCs, notebooks and tablets. The Windows 8 app store will include in-app purchasing and trials, along with support for subscriptions, while Microsoft's revenue split with developers is set up to particularly reward those with top tier software. Those looking to get in through the door early can take part in Microsoft's new First Apps Contest.
Developers will be able to release free apps, trials (either based on a limited period of use, or with the trial offering only select features) and paid apps, including support for in-app purchase. Sales up to $25,000 in revenue will follow the by-now usual 70/30 split, with developers taking the lion's share. However, anything beyond $25,000 will be paid out at 80/20, as Microsoft attempts to woo high-profile devs to focus on the Windows 8 platform. It's worth noting that, during the Windows Store beta period - i.e. the time between February and Windows 8's full release - only free apps will be offered.
Multiple payment platforms - including PayPal - will be supported, along with a broad range of ad platforms. Like Apple with the App Store, Microsoft will vet each inclusion into the Windows Store for quality and safety, giving users some degree of reassurance that they're not downloading malware.
231 countries will get the Windows Store, and there'll be options to release apps in only certain markets or across the board. Individual app download pages will be linkable, and will show up in search results; if you're viewing those results on Windows 8, a button to download the app will automatically show up. Developer registration fees will be $49 for individuals and $99 for companies; more information here.
Windows Store for Windows 8 Preview: