Windows Store doing better, but is it enough?
Microsoft revealed recently that Windows Store is on a serious upswing thanks to the company's Windows 10 operating system which accounts for more than 50% of all store downloads.
Windows Store will be the universal location for Windows devices to download apps. First introduced on the desktop with the release of Windows 8, it failed to impress the then largely desktop-focused Windows audience.
There have been several reasons for that including the weak selection of apps in the Store and even more so the superfluous nature of most apps on desktop systems. Since desktop users can install full Windows programs, there is little incentive to install Store applications unless they add value of their own that native web services or applications don't offer.
The release of Windows 8.1 improved the situation ever so slightly but did not change the underlying issues. Now, with Windows and the universal apps concept, Microsoft hopes to catch up to the app stores that Google and Apple operate.
Trends released by Microsoft for September 2015 indicate that the Store is doing better since the release of Windows 10.
Windows 10 users account for more than 50% of Windows Store downloads already, and Microsoft states that the user engagement is twice as high as on Windows 8.1, and revenue four times as high per user.
The 110 million Windows 10 users have visited Windows Store a total of 1.25 billion times in the past two months.
The most popular category in Windows Store is games which saw nearly 45% of all downloads in August 2015.
This makes sense actually considering that it is the one category that may offer apps that are not available as web services or native Win32 programs.
As far as apps are concerned, the most popular categories are entertainment, photo & video, and productivity.
The markets with the highest number of downloads are the United States followed by China, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
Microsoft has streamlined Windows Store in Windows 10 by limiting filtering options in the store to put popular apps front and center. In addition, it is pushing apps by other means as well.
Windows Store appears to do a lot better since the release of Windows 10. Considering that Microsoft plans to have more than 1 billion devices on Windows 10 in the next couple of years, it is safe to assume that this trend will continue in that time.
The revelation may attract developers who ignored Windows Store for the most part in the past.
If you check out what is being offered, you will notice that core apps are still missing in Windows Store. While the situation has improved significantly in recent time, with heavyweights such as Facebook, Twitter or King releasing apps for it, it still has a long way to go before it catches up to Google Play or Apple's iTunes store.
The rise of Windows 10 will certainly help, but considering that apps compete with native desktop programs, it is no given that it will ever reach the levels of apps-only operating systems such as iOS or Android.
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