Windows Store seems like a work in progress, always. The app gap (a commonly used term to refer to the difference of applications between any two mobile OSs) is huge. Having replaced BB from its position a few years back, the OS now comes third, after Android and iOS, in terms of mobile OS’s market share, but it is a distant third indeed. Microsoft has always been vocal about its plan to woo developers to build apps for the Windows platform, but such claims seem vacuous if one sees the number and quality of applications in its store.
Having said that, I cannot assume that the future of Windows Mobile is bleak. At least, the Redmond company has taken its hardware department seriously and its flagship model, Lumia 950, is promising.
Is Windows a viable store to park your application?
The Introduction of Windows 10
The higher the number of adopters, the easier it becomes to attract the developers’ attention. More developers means more apps and this, in turn, attracts even more users. It ignites a virtuous cycle.
With Windows 10, Microsoft seems to be doing just that. There are more than 100 million users running Windows 10 on their PCs. Naturally, the number of Windows application users will be more than they ever were. Windows 10 is yet to be launched for Windows phones. There are new avenues, such as HoloLens, built to support Windows 10. Everything points towards a more holistic Windows environment and developers may not go wrong with this platform.
The number of applications on Windows is less than half the number present on iOS or Android. The competition is definitely much less. Also, there are not many quality apps present on the store, and this gives an amazing opportunity to competent developers to launch their apps natively for this platform.
More Devices from Microsoft
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 has already been hailed as a wonderful and successful hybrid computer. Also, Windows handheld tablets have a decent market share. If Windows 10 remains popular in coming years, the OS ecosystem will flourish and developers and businesses may expect more takers for their native Windows applications.
Significant Number of Users
If you are only a new stakeholder in the app market, you may give a miss to Windows Phone OS without losing on any major opportunity. Google Play Store and iOS are way better than Windows Store in terms of number of app users. But if you are running a business and your target audience uses the Windows OS in their smartphones, you run a risk of alienating these users even if they are not in big numbers.
Also, Windows Phone market share is more than 2.5% and is predicted to grow to 3.5% in coming 3-4 years. Windows OS is still a preferred choice for desktop PCs. Collectively, the user-base is large.
Windows mobile app development has never picked any significant pace. The scarcity of Windows smartphone users and developers for the platform has always been the pain-points of software giants, but things are boding well with the success of Windows 10. It is yet to launch its most successful OS for smartphones and if the company can push competitively priced hardware with impeccable specs, Windows can be a big player in smartphone segment as well.