Microsoft demands payment for .Net

Developers will have to pay $10,000 (£7,010) per year to sign up their applications for .Net My Services, Microsoft's...

Developers will have to pay $10,000 (£7,010) per year to sign up their applications for .Net My Services, Microsoft's much-anticipated Web services venture.

The software maker expects much of its .Net revenue to come from consumer subscriptions to .Net My Services. However, it will also charge developers and business partners to develop services and applications based on the technology, plus an additional fee for accessing .Net customers.

Speaking at the company's Professional Developers Conference, PDC 2001, Bob Muglia, vice president of the .Net services platform, said most companies that use the technology for development will end up paying $10,000 (£7,010) per year, and $1,500 (£1,051) for each built application based on .Net My Services.

"From a developer's perspective we're making this very inexpensive," said Muglia. "Microsoft will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the next few years to build out this platform. If this is going to cost a bunch of money, developers aren't going to bear the cost."

On the consumer side, the company will charge users through a subscription model, with Microsoft's controversial Passport authentication service acting as the central point. Muglia said the company will continue offering Passport and .Net Alerts, as well as .Net Presence, a service that locates an end user, for free. However, the company plans to charge a fee for many of the services that rely on the use of more resources, such as calendars and document storage.

Microsoft will start collecting fees once subscribers begin deploying their applications. At the low end of the scale, Muglia said Microsoft would charge small-scale developers $1,000 (£701) a year to use .Net My Services and $250 (£175) for each application they create with the technology.

Muglia suggested that companies could charge customers on a subscription basis, with one-off fees or transaction charges. They could also generate revenue through creating Web services for advertising.

"The reality is that underneath any cool new opportunity there needs to be a way to make a good business out of it," Muglia said.

Microsoft has created 13 core parts to .Net My Services that it will roll out in the next year, including online calendars and electronic wallets.

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