When we launched Windows 8, we allowed customers to roam their apps on up to 5 devices. This gave customers who embraced the new OS the flexibility to run their apps on all Windows 8 devices they owned, while protecting the app builders’ investment and helping to prevent abuse.
Since we launched Windows 8, we heard growing feedback from many developers and from our most enthusiastic customers that the limit of 5 was not enough for their needs. Developers asked for more flexibility in implementing their business models, and customers wanted to run those apps on the variety of tablets, laptops and desktops they owned.
In response to that feedback, and as we announced at the Build conference in June, we’re increasing the app roaming limit to remove friction from the app installation process. Starting on October 9, Windows Store apps can be installed on up to 81 devices associated with a single Microsoft account. This will apply to all apps in the Store, for both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
We believe this change will be beneficial to the app developers. On one hand, the ability to run on more devices may mean more revenue from the apps that are ad-based. On the other hand, if limiting the service that can be accessed simultaneously on devices is critical for the business model of the app, we provide a set of APIs to build a service-side verification to set that limit. The following resources will help developers restrict where and how their apps can be used:
- Using receipts to verify purchases
- Guidance on using the App Specific Hardware ID (ASHWID) to implement per-device app logic
- Validating Windows Store Purchases for Your App (a Build talk that showed a sample implementation—start at 28:00)
Developers that decide to have the app enforce a constraint around the number of devices must disclose that constraint to Windows Store customers and set expectations appropriately.
Customers are loving Windows Store apps and want to use them across a broad range of Windows devices, especially as more new devices become available every day. The change we’re introducing will reduce the friction that most active customers have in being able to access their favorite apps from any device, and will give developers additional opportunities to monetize the incredible reach the Windows platform provides.