How Microsoft will supercharge their App Store
UPDATE: At Build 2015, Microsoft also announced ways developers could more easily port Android and iOS apps to the Windows platform. Hopefully this will spark even further dev interest in Windows 10.
Recently Microsoft posted on the Windows Blogs an article explaining exactly how the Universal App platform will work.
Well, this platform, among other solutions Microsoft is incorporation, are set to supercharge the Windows and Windows Phone stores and boost the app numbers from around 500,000 combined to compete with the nearly 1.5 million apps the Google Play and Apple App Store each hold.
So let’s start with the Universal App platform, probably the major key in boosting the app store. So, basically, any developer can write one main app, and with a little tweaking for each different version of Windows, can make one app for the entire world of Microsoft. This includes Windows phones, tablets, PCs, Xbox, Surface Hub, HoloLens, and even Internet of Things devices. Considering Microsoft also recently released an SDK for the Microsoft Band, IoT devices would probably encompass things like smartwatches, thermostats, etc., although Microsoft has not revealed much about IoT at the present time.
Considering Windows 10 will be *free* for all Windows 7/8.x users, as well as Windows Phone and Xbox One, the potential customer reach with this platform is nearly unheard of. At Apple’s Spring Forward event this week, Apple announced they had sold over 700 million iPhones. Paired with the iPad/iPod touch/Mac devices, Apple probably has around 1 billion devices running their latest software. That’s pretty impressive, but Windows has an even farther reach. There are at least 1 billion Windows 7 and 8 computers that will be eligible for an upgrade to Windows 10, and then there’s the several million Xboxes and Windows Phones to take into account, as well. This opportunity for user reach is one that smart developers cannot resist.
But Microsoft sweetens the deal further for developers who don’t want to spend the time to create a whole new separate app. I’m talking about web apps. Yes, Windows devices will be able to run web apps nearly as easily as a regular app in the store. Web developers will be able to integrate notifications, voice control with Cortana, reminders, the whole system, pretty much, into their web apps.
These new features trump anything Apple has to offer. Apple is now purposely making things tedious for developers in order to keep them interested in their platform. Apple developers must create specific layouts for every different size of Apple devices, and the apps are generally limited to the iOS platform. Windows, on the other hand, offers an easy solution to create an app for the 1.5″ screen on your Microsoft Band all the way to the 100″ on your Xbox.