For many, a strong and vibrant apps ecosystem is the number one factor when choosing a platform. Not only is Microsoft fully aware of this, but this very point is often brought up by analysts and market watchers when it comes to Redmond platforms.
The software titan, for its part, continues to bet big on the Windows Store, and tries to cater to the needs of both larger developers and small. But at the end of the day, it is a cycle.
A large user base results in a thriving ecosystem — a flourishing ecosystem enlarges the user base.
But even though several high-profile apps have recently landed in the store, from Facebook to Foursquare and Flipboard, maintaining developer interest in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is still a tough sell for sole reason that most users buy these operating systems for use on desktop PCs.
An analyst at Tech Thoughts, Sameer Singh, talking to News Factor said:
“Most Windows 8 devices are bought as PCs, not tablets. Slapping a tablet Relevant Products/Services interface (or a touchscreen Relevant Products/Services) onto a PC doesn’t address this problem.
Most users would spend very limited time in the Metro interface and switch back to desktop for the jobs they needed the PC to accomplish. As a result, the Windows 8 store has been relegated to the background and developers are losing interest in the platform.”
Microsoft positions both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 as opportunities for developers that want to monetize their applications, while at the same time the company has also made efforts to improve the desktop side of these operating systems.
One interestingly overlooked factor here is the myriad of Windows 8.1 Pro slates, Atom powered, from big vendors like Dell, Toshiba and Lenovo that have started to hit the store shelves.
If users start choosing these affordably portable solutions, these touch devices may hold the key.