After success with HTML5, the Financial Times readies Windows 8 app

by Doug Drinkwater

May 29 2012

The FT's Rob Grimshaw says the news publisher will launch on Windows 8
The FT's Rob Grimshaw says the news publisher will launch on Windows 8

Rob Grimshaw, the managing director of FT.com, today told Journalism.co.uk that the news publisher hopes to launch a Windows 8 tablet app in time for when Microsoft’s new OS launches later this year.

"We're very excited about Windows 8 and what that might do for the market place," said Grimshaw, when speaking at a meeting titled 'Beyond the Desktop'. "We think the tablet space has not yet been settled in who owns it”.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk about the Windows 8 app, Grimshaw continued that while Apple has done ‘amazing things' with a ‘device that has defined a whole new category’, he believes Microsoft’s Windows 8 will still have a significant role to play. “We can't believe that this is going to be a marketplace which is just dominated by one player in perpetuity”.

"When the devices first come to market and people start buying them, one of the first things they are going to find is a Financial Times Windows 8 app. And we are going to make a fantastic job of it because there are some lovely features to Windows 8 which we can use to create a really exciting and interesting version of the FT mobile application."

This news may come as some surprise given the FT cut loose from Apple’s App Store in favor of an open HTML5 app, because it disagreed with Apple’s policies on retaining subscriber data and taking 30% of app revenues.

Despite this, the FT seems willing to sign up to the FT's Windows Store, which will charge a 30% app entrance fee first, before reducing this to 20% when the app reaches $25,000 in sales.

The FT has since fared well with its HTML5 app, with recent figures presented by FT’s Mary Beth Christie indicating that the HTML5 app has been downloaded two million times.

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