30 Days with Surface Pro: Day 6

How many apps are enough? Microsoft had lofty aspirations of hitting 100,000 apps in the first 90 days following the launch of Windows 8. Instead, the Windows Store just passed 40,000 apps last month. Meanwhile, the Apple App Store boasts three quarters of a billion (with a “B”) apps.

Don’t cry for Microsoft, though. Granted, Windows 8 only has about one-twentieth of the volume of apps available for iOS, but nobody needs 40,000 apps. Hell, nobody needs 400 apps, never mind 800,000. Most people only use 10 or so apps on a regular basis.

What’s more important than how many apps, is whether or not the apps you actually want and need are available, and how well the apps that are available work. Value and quality are more important than quantity. For instance, Apple has twenty times the apps, and a variety of office productivity tools available–but no Microsoft Office. There are apps like DocsToGo that work with Office files, and manage to fill the gap to an extent, but an actual Microsoft Office suite for iOS would be a much better solution (assuming Microsoft did a decent job with the apps themselves).

Well, my Surface Pro has Office–the full Office 2013 Pro suite because my Surface Pro tablet is also a full Windows 8 PC. That’s a win for Windows 8 and the Surface Pro, but not quite as awesome when I’m using the tablet as a tablet. Microsoft has developed a version of OneNote (OneNote MX) for the touch-enabled Windows 8 Modern interface, and it did a very good job with it. But, for most of the Office applications you still have to drop into desktop mode, which isn’t as awesome when using the tablet. I wouldn’t want to work with the Office software without the Touch or Type cover so I still have access to a keyboard and touchpad.

For more on the Windows 8 Store, and Windows 8 apps, check out Surface Pro, Day 6: Good, bad, and ugly of Windows 8 Store.

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