Microsoft this year will release the next version of its Windows operating system
, which will include
features that offer publishers more ways to monetize their content. Windows 11 will be available as a free download for existing Windows users during the holiday season.
demonstrated the features in a video
that showcased changes to its news feed widget, which aggregates publisher content based on reader
preferences. A new “Offer a Tip” button” lets readers support content creators, such as local publishers, by offering cash or rewards points. Microsoft doesn’t collect a
commission on the donations.
Microsoft’s tipping system comes as more digital platforms develop ways for creators -- whether they’re journalists, yoga instructors
or video game experts -- to monetize their content. Amid the growing popularity of Substack, a platform for creating free and paid email newsletters, Twitter and Facebook are adding tools to start a
homespun publishing business.
Also important to publishers will be Windows 11’s app store, which will let customers download Android apps from Amazon and run them on a
PC. Amazon has an extensive library of apps, including those for newspapers such as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Daily Mail and The Washington Post, owned by Amazon founder
For publishers that don’t have apps in Microsoft’s app store, the compatibility with Windows 11 and Android would give them greater distribution on
PCs. Windows has lost market share to Google’s Chrome OS on laptops, but is still dominant on desktop PCs, giving publishers access to a large audience.
Microsoft won’t require app publishers to use its payment system, they won’t have to pay fees like those at Apple’s App Store for iPhones. Apple takes a 30% cut on download fees and
first-year subscriptions. The rate drops to 15% after the first year, though Apple also offers a reduced fee structure for smaller app publishers.
Microsoft wants app
developers to create more software for its platform, but traditional publishers will still want distribution on any device, regardless of the operating system. They’ll also want a way to serve
paying subscribers, whether they log into an iPhone, an Android device or a website.
Rob, I have read other articles on Windows 11 that the free upgrade was only available to Windows 10. Earlier versions were not available for the free offer. Could you check on this?
Yes, thanks for pointing that out -- it would be free for users of Windows 10, not earlier versions.