Windows Store doing better, but is it enough?

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 14, 2015

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 store app downloads
App downloads by operating system

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.

Now You: What's your take on Windows Store?

Windows Store doing better, but is it enough?
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Windows Store doing better, but is it enough?
Microsoft revealed that Windows Store's performance has improved significantly since the release of Windows 10.

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  1. MikeFromMarkham said on October 16, 2015 at 6:44 am

    I wonder how many of these downloads are actual choices initiated by users versus the constant stream of pre-installed and other app updates issued by Microsoft through the Store.

    I also wonder what “user engagement” means in Microsoft-speak. Is that code for the number of downloads that weren’t subsequently uninstalled, or some measure of apps actually used under Win10 versus Win 8.1? Given how many apps come pre-installed by Windows 10 versus Windows 8.1, and how many are essentially un-removable by the average user (i.e. non-PowerShell user), I’m surprised the “user engagement” isn’t higher than 2-to-1.

    As a desktop user myself, I really have no use for anything I’ve ever seen in the app store so far. My opinion may change if I ever get into using Windows 10 heavily on a mobile device, but that’s not something I’m even contemplating at this time.

  2. Vinay said on October 15, 2015 at 1:37 am

    This is the worst article windows store is the worst store but the mobile performance is the best so don’t compare the lack of apps and the mobile value the most of apps Is available but not like android its also to be get specified that in android phones apps get hang so the mobile performance wise android is the lack in system but windows is better so iff windows get aa good plenty of apps and games and needed app in store than its aa winner in mobile market

  3. Max said on October 14, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    As a desktop user, it has zero value for me. And there’s no way that I’d sign up for a MS account to download from it anyway.

  4. beergas said on October 14, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Desktop user too so rarely go there anymore. Tried some s/w initially but lately don’t bother. Probably time to take a quick look again. Liked couple pieces like weather & news offers. Tried couple games but gave up since most weak or internal pay functions while better elsewhere, even Chrome has a few ok ones, lol. Steam and OriginsEA still go to choice for those.

  5. Jeff said on October 14, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    I started with Windows 3.1 back in the early 90’s. Never dreamed that I’d one day see a freakin’ commercial ‘store’ built into the OS. Win 7 for life!

  6. MarkB said on October 14, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    App stores just restrict and limit choice and availability.

  7. Johann said on October 14, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Do you really want to know what I think of the Windows Store? It’s a load of crap! Completely useless.

  8. Nebulus said on October 14, 2015 at 10:31 am

    On one hand, from a desktop user perspective I don’t care too much about Windows Store and the apps for Windows and this won’t change for a long time. On the other hand, I’d like to see a better Windows Store mainly for the Windows smartphone users.

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