Software, they say, makes the hardware, which in turn drives the software. It is a perfect circle. We have seen many a great devices, some even ahead of their time, fail to take off due to lackluster applications.
And the fact that, for Microsoft, a lot depends on the number and quality of apps is no secret.
Analyst and experts, users and partners have been saying this ever since the release of Windows 8. The launch of the modern operating platform was a new territory for Redmond, who had up until then, built up a platform with millions of compatible desktop software.
Apps were the Wild West for Microsoft, and remain so.
And according to a Gartner analyst, users still chose their operating systems based on the app ecosystem, which clearly represents a big opportunity for Microsoft to drive home an advantage against competitors like iOS and Android.
In the words of Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner:
“In emerging markets where other operating systems may have a chance, consumers will start to move to devices based on the operating system in order to access applications.”
Now, while some progress has been made on the Windows front, both Windows Phone and Windows RT are lagging behind when it comes to popular solutions that are available on other mobile app stores.
A merger of Windows Phone and Windows RT, one can hope, enables developers to code a single app that works on both smartphones and tablets. The game will get doubly interesting, then.