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Microsoft May Cut SkyDrive Support for iOS

The Next Web reports that Microsoft may pull support for SkyDrive on iOS due to a fight with Apple over Cupertino's 30-percent cut of App Store revenues.

Previously, Microsoft added the ability for users to upgrade their SkyDrive subscriptions from an iPhone and iPad. However because of this in-app transaction, Apple now wants its share of the Redmond pie. Apple reportedly won't approve any updates to the SkyDrive app from here on out until Microsoft coughs up the required revenue cut.

According to the report, a critical bug fix that prevents the SkyDrive app from crashing has now been put on hold thanks to the monetary dispute. Sources close to the Microsoft/Apple argument claim the situation may be unresolvable, forcing Microsoft to pull SkyDrive support from iOS altogether.

Why not just own up to Apple's requirement? Microsoft is reportedly trying to work out a compromise, but the two parties have yet to reach an agreement. Microsoft has even offered to remove all subscription options from the iOS app so that it's not generating any revenue, but Apple has refused that as well.

Sources claim that Microsoft's problem with Apple's cut is that it extends beyond the iOS platform. As an example, an iPhone owner could install the SkyDrive app and sign up for additional storage. The billing is through Apple, not Microsoft. Thus, if the iPhone owner decides not to use the iOS app after all, and switches over to Android or Windows Phone 8, Apple will still continue to collect its 30-percent because the subscription is billed through Apple.

To make matters worse, Apple is reportedly "freezing out" developers building third-party applications that interact with SkyDrive. "A few days ago our last update was rejected by the Apple review team because of the presence of the 'Sign Up' button in the Live login authorisation page," the developer of Files Pro said. "According to Apple the presence of this button violates their guideline."

This guideline states that apps "that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, such as a 'buy' button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected."

Sources point out that even if Microsoft removes its SkyDrive app from the App Store, developers will still be required to remove SkyDrive support from their third-party solutions unless they implement a system that would allow Apple to receive its 30-percent cut.

Dropbox ran into a similar roadblock. Developers using its Dropbox API said that their apps were being rejected because of a "rogue" link that led to the desktop version. Naturally this version offers subscription options, thus violating Apple's policy.

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