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Microsoft: For Windows 8 apps, numbers don't count

Windows 8 Store

By Tim Danton

Posted on 25 Oct 2012 at 00:01

With the Windows 8 launch one day away, Antoine LeBlond, corporate vice president of Windows Web services, insisted in a private briefing with UK journalists that the number of apps in the Windows Store isn't what matters.

"The one thing you won’t hear us spending much time or any time about is an absolute count of apps, and that’s because it’s a tricky number to wrap your head around," said LeBlond, who leads the Windows Store team.

"You’ll get developers who will submit 50 apps at once," he said. "Here’s my Justin Bieber app, and here’s my Beyonce app and here’s my Rhianna app, and what they’ve done is built a template app and then they connect it to Justin Bieber’s Twitter feed and Facebook and they’ve put up a bunch of photos, most of which they don’t have the rights to."

"They’re not bad apps, but in terms of design and on how to build a high-value app, our view is that to have one app that does all of that and maybe doing things that let you pick certain artists and pin them to the Start screen if you want, makes a lot more sense than having 50 individual apps."

LeBlond believes rival app stores, that build their reputation on quantity, would be quite happy with such an approach.

"If you’re obsessing about overall count then you’ll choose differently. You’ll say yeah, let’s take 50 instead of taking one."

LeBlond went on to cite examples of double-counting apps where there's both a trial of an app and a full version.

Despite this, he insisted that in one sense at least numbers did count.

"The one count-related thing that I think is exciting is that when we open the Store [on Friday] we’ll open with more apps in our store than any store has ever had when they opened. So as a measure of momentum, as a measure of excitement, it’s neat to be in that state."

When PC Pro pressed him on what would define the Windows Store as being a success, or otherwise, LeBlond refused to be drawn.

"I wouldn’t say that having 'n' thousand apps is a good thing or a bad thing, I wouldn’t say that having ten specific apps is a good thing or a bad thing, so I don’t really know how to answer the question.

"But to me, what I care about is developers building apps and people using apps, and the more of that the better."

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User comments

He's right...

How many iOS users have installed 700,000 apps on their device?

What counts is that the key apps are there or at least a decent app in every category the user needs.

I use iOS, Anrdoid and WP7 and I have the same apps loaded on each platform, with a couple of "alternatives", where the same key app isn't available.

By big_D on 25 Oct 2012

@big-D

I agree completely.
Unfortunately, most of the non-Tec media (and some who should no better) are desperate for an easy way to measure success. And as a result, lazily "count the apps". Whoever has most, must be best.
And where the media lead, the ill-informed consumer follows.

By nickallison on 25 Oct 2012

ios apps

In some ways I agree with LeBlond

There's so many terrible, nonsensicle apps on the Apple store that I can never quite understand who on earth downloads them. Having a smaller number of higher quality apps may be better for some of us; but as usual, the Apple marketing bandwagon will just concentrate on numbers.

Time will tell

By bronven on 25 Oct 2012

Marketing

x amount of apps
Retina
4k
1080p

All marketing words to make customers salivate even though they usually haven't a clue what it really all means.

They know no other way as it must be shiny.

By rhythm on 25 Oct 2012

Finding the right app...

... is what really counts. I'm afraid the current version of the Windows Store is not easy to use. It's not intuitive how to search and really needs some serious work. Without being able to find the app you want, neither the quality or quantity of available apps counts for anything.

By skarlock on 25 Oct 2012

I'm looking forward to a bit of cross-pollination and comparison among iOS, WinRT and Android. I just recently got Carmageddon for iOS and it's pretty good. I wonder what it would be like on Surface...

By John_Greythorne on 25 Oct 2012

Windows App

I completely agree. The main problem is compatability and not the number of useless applications that you can get for your iPhone or iPad. What I am looking for is a new OS that is actually working properly with other software such as MS Office and where synchorinising is not a tedious and complicated affair and if it is working up to a point, all the formatting is screwed up. So the guy is absolutely right, it is not quantity that matters, it is quality stupid.

By gerko on 25 Oct 2012

@rythm

Retina?

You seem to be forgetting the iPad mini - retro is in, 1990s resolutions are now hot! :-D

By big_D on 25 Oct 2012

Windows apps are irrelevant....

....to the desktop use of Windows 8. Windows 8 is a really great o/s on the desktop as long as you unpin 99% of the apps from the start screen and populate it instead with the desktop programs you actually use on a day to day basis.

By jmiii on 25 Oct 2012

Funny that...

Back in the day it was Microsoft blowing off about how Windows must be better than Macs because Windows "Had far more programs available than a Mac..."

By SwissMac on 25 Oct 2012

@SwissMac

Oh come now SwissMac, that's not even a viable comparison.

Conventional programs compared to modern tiny Apps... Do you not remember a few months ago when it was revealed that over 99% of all paid for apps on the Apple store have never sold a single copy? Does having all those unused apps make the Apple store better - hardly, it means more choice, but if that choice still boils down to only one real option in a sea of apps for a given function it does explain why most are never used.

The programs MS previously referred to in the past were all selling copies. The big difference was Windows users had a much more variety of software and games available and often many more options for programs that fulfilled similar functions, while Apple due to (at the time) having such a tiny user-base were simply not seen as a viable business for many software manufacturers.

By skarlock on 25 Oct 2012

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