Why Windows 8 Will Succeed: The New App Store(s)

Microsoft is making a big push with its app store in a way most other companies aren’t.

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I’d say there’s still a lot of caution alongside Windows 8, but why? It’s not because of apps

If you look at iOS and Android then you see one ecosystem, which in the case of iOS is integrated into iPhones/iPod Touches and iPads. Microsoft is evolving what Apple started by allowing developers to effectively hop between its mobile and desktop operating systems, which could be the killer app (pun intended) for Windows 8.

I mean, look at iOS: it’s successful because developers know what phones they’re targeting. Right now it’s the iPhone 4S, 4 and 3GS — just three phones. Compare that to Android, and you’d probably lose count before you finished counting. Android hasn’t built bridges between the phones and tablets because developers don’t know where to start developing for, and if they do make decisions then inevitably a large amount of consumers – or at least more than those compared to iOS, or Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 which we’ll touch on in a second – behind. And that just exacerbates the fragmentation problem.

Fragmentation? Not A Problem

For Microsoft, it’s very clearly developed a consistent experience across all of its device: if you compare Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, the only difference is size and the desktop half of Windows 8. What developers are immediately going to find is that an app can quickly be ported across, and that means added revenue and exposure with minimal effort. That’s why making universal apps for iOS and the iPad has been successful: the interface is identical. I’ve don’t really think iOS, in its current forms, takes advantage of the added screen real estate a tablet brings because it’s very simple. But Apple will update both devices concurrently, so developers are always going to have feature parity.

That will probably means Windows 8 will have apps from day one, and I bet some will be from the better developers for Windows Phone. Over time we’ll see apps built for OS, just like Flipboard was originally built for iOS. It’s that kind of compelling design that sells an operating system Microsoft needs, both for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

Published: Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 Last Modified: June 26, 2012

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