In app purchasing coming officially to Windows Phone 7

in-app1We have seen a number of services offering in-app purchasing for Windows Phone 7 using services like Paypal, but it seems an official version may eventually be coming to Windows Phone 7.

First we have this video from the Portland Code Camp on developers monetizing applications where Kelly White notes that in-app purchasing is on the way, and next we have an agenda item in Microsoft’s Gamefest developer sessions talking about downloadable content and microtransactions.

Keep Them Coming Back: Downloadable Content on Windows Phone
Speakers: Darryl Yust and Tim Gill

Come learn proven approaches for dealing with some of the toughest hurdles in adding downloadable content and microtransactions to your Windows Phone games! This talk introduces the new in-game purchase API for Xbox LIVE titles on Windows Phone. We’ll get down to the nitty-gritty of how the API is used in Beards & Beaks, a shipped game title. We’ll delve into a sample code framework that helps you implement game-side functionality not included in the SDK library, including the handling of file transfers, tombstoning, serialization, offline scenarios, localization, content ingestion, and fast content iteration.

Micro-transactions are somewhat controversial at present with Lodsys currently suing developers to extract royalties for the use of the feature. They are however widely used by developers on other platforms to monetize free applications.

The wording however suggests this may be an exclusive Xbox Live feature, which may make indie developers feel even more like second class citizens.