The team from the Microsoft Windows Store has posted an update to the Windows Store for Developers blog which provides some information on how the licensing of Metro Apps is intended to work on Windows 8.

You can read the entire story here but I thought I would grab the highlights and summarize them in this post:

  • The Store’s app licensing model centers on the idea of providing customers with access to all of their apps on all of their Windows 8 devices, the ability to get updates, write reviews, and easily reinstall them.
  • The Store’s app licensing model provides developers with built-in protection against casual piracy.
  • Your Microsoft Account, formerly known as a Windows Live ID, connects your Windows Store account to all of your Windows 8 machines. That in turn gives you access to both free and purchased apps when you upgrade or log into a different PC.
  • The Store’s licensing service registers a license to your Microsoft account for each app you acquire. That is how it remembers which apps you’ve acquired.
  • The Store’s licensing model has built-in support for trials that developers can set up for their apps with just a couple of clicks.
  • Developers choose how long the app can be used for free—1, 7, 15, or 30 days—or they can allow the free trial to last forever.
  • Once the free trial period has elapsed, the customer won’t be able to re-install or use that app without buying it. And no other person can install a trial for that app on the PCs where the app has already been tried and expired.
  • The app’s tile shows a small “x” in the corner after the free trial period has expired.
  • When customers purchase an app that they first acquired as a free trial, they get instant access to the full app. All of their work and customized app settings are preserved.
  • Developers can also offer some apps for free, perhaps including some advertising, and then offer to sell additional functionality to customers from inside the app.
  • The Store settings page provides a single place for customers to view their Store account settings and preferences. They can also use this page to get to their list of apps and check for app updates.
  • The licensing terms allow customers to install and use their apps on any user accounts on up to 5 PCs. Why only 5 PCs? Because we also believe in the value of the developer’s investments in their apps, and we want to protect that investment from abuse.
  • You can install your apps on a different user account on the same shared PC.
  • Installing apps on multiple user accounts on a shared PC still only counts as one of the five allowable PCs where you can install apps.
  • Whenever a developer updates an app, it becomes available to customers who have an active license for the app.
  • If a developer starts charging for an app that you got for free, or if they change the price of an app you already have, it does not affect your existing license.

Some of the functionality mentioned in this post such as signing in under different user accounts with your main Microsoft Account to share apps on one of your five registered PC’s is not supported yet in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

I have just spent some time poking around in the Accounts and Preferences page for the Windows Store and really like the ability to look and see what I have installed on different machines.  This will be an easy way to sync things up and install apps on other devices so that the same ones are available on each device.  It would be nice however, to somehow see a comparison between the two listings to more easily see what I might not have on one device compared to another.

Speaking of suggestions for the Windows Store please check out our post from last week about how we think the Windows Store can be improved.  That last idea about the differential listings is a perfect fit for that story as well.