Microsoft runs afoul of excessive iOS app store restrictions

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At first glance this is the same kind of problem we've already seen with DropBox, Amazon Kindle and Spotify. Apple don't allow apps to offer payment options outside of the "Apple takes a 30% cut" model.

Likewise, the 3rd party SkyDrive API offers a link to sign up to SkyDrive, which if you follow it through allows the option to purchase an upgrade. Again, this is a big no-no in the Apple world and DropBox had exactly the same issue.

The most interesting part of the story is this:

[Microsoft] offered to remove all subscription options from its application, leaving it a non-revenue generating experience on iOS. The offer was rebuffed.

This signals a more hard-line approach by Apple that essentially amounts to "if you offer a subscription, that option must be available in your iOS app, and you must allow Apple to take a 30% cut."

It will be interesting to see if Apple decide to move forward with this approach (which could have huge implications for other apps like Box, Zinio, DropBox, Spotify, Amazon, Rdio etc) or if this is purely a rule applied to Microsoft software in preparation for the upcoming Office on iOS launch which is rumoured to be unlocked via an existing Office 365 subscription.

Until then, it appears Microsoft users on iOS devices are left in the lurch while Apple flounders around making rules up on-the-fly.