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Wednesday, 03 July 2013 16:42

Dog bites man: Windows Store beats iOS, Android to 100K apps

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According to Microsoft, 100,000 Windows 8 apps reached the Windows Store in less time than it took for iOS or Android apps to reach the same milestone.

It should come as no surprise that Windows 8 apps have ramped up very quickly, and certainly faster than iOS or Android apps did.

Firstly, Apple effectively invented app stores, smartphones and modern tablets. By that I mean that while other companies may have got in first, it was Apple turned each of these into something that large numbers of people would actually use and pay serious amounts of money to acquire.

If you start something new, it takes time to get developers onboard. Android and Windows 8 have benefited from Apple's trailblazing, and the recognition that it's possible to get worthwhile revenue from high-volume, low-cost apps.

Secondly, Microsoft was able to pitch Windows 8 to its huge developer base as an operating system they could easily write for using their existing tools and techniques.

Thirdly, don't overlook the bounty that Microsoft has been paying developers for each app going into the store, and the six-figure sums the company is reportedly offering companies behind big-name apps in return for Windows 8 versions.

Finally, there are suggestions that there is a relatively proportion of junk and "me too" apps in the Windows Store. But with 100,000 apps in the Windows Store, 700,000 in Google Play and 850,000 in the App Store I'm not about to analyse the truth of that.

And talking of the 'nuggets to dross' ratio in app markets, I do find amusing the way some of my fellow Apple users have changed their tune.

Several years ago, when Mac users felt they were an oppressed minority, they - make that we - responded to observations about the much larger range of Windows software by pointing out that you don't need dozens of programs in any category, just one or two that work really well.

But iOS and the App Store took off, and more recently I've heard some of those same people trumpeting the wider range of apps available for the iPhone and iPad compared with Android phones and tablets. The wheel turns...

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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