The potential ROI of developing Apps for Windows 8

I’ve kind of touched on this topic before but I think it kinda bears repeating.

Assuming Windows 8 is even moderately successful, it may make more sense for developers and advertisers to develop for Windows 8 than for Apple’s iOS.

This was a point that was driven home to me by an executive during and after the BUILD conference last September.

The writers on this site have been accused of bashing Microsoft and Windows 8 and I wanted to try and even things out a bit by acknowledging some of the potential positives of this Operating System.

During the BUILD conference last September, Microsoft graciously invited some of us in the press to a private dinner where we were able to sit down with some third party executives who were excited about the potential of Windows 8.

During the dinner, we had a chance to have a pretty in-depth discussion with Naveen Jain, the CEO of Sparkart (an Oakland California based application development company).

I also got a chance to interview him later and you can see those interviews here.

I asked him why he was excited about encouraging his clients to spend their development and advertising dollars on the Windows platform versus the more mature, robust and successful Apple IOS platform.

His answer was interesting so I thought I would share that here with you guys and girls.

It goes like this (I’m paraphrasing):

If a company has $100,000 to spend on developing a website and mobile application that will drive customers to their brand, they want to get the most bang for their buck.

Typically, that company sets a fixed budget number ($100,000 in this example) and won’t add to that number (important to remember).

Today, it’s an easy choice – you build a mobile application for the iPhone and iOS that can be seen on iPhones and iPads. That’s the big player in the market.

If Windows 8 is available however, there is now a more sophisticated discussion about the use of that $100,000.

The amount in the budget probably won’t be enough to develop both for Windows and iOS so the question becomes, which platform would provide the bigger bang for my buck?

Now, let’s assume that Windows 8 is mediocre and only sells 200 million copies (that’s mediocre – crazy).

You are now faced with two choices

  1. Developing an application for a new Windows marketplace with less apps (less competition) and a huge audience.
  2. Developing an application for an established Apple marketplace with way more apps (more competition) and a smaller audience.

Ultimately, if you have a fixed budget and you can’t do both, it can be argued that it will make more sense to go with Windows 8.

As I have said before, it’s not about sentiment, it’s about making money and reaching consumers.

Apple as a brand is the gold standard in mobile applications today, there’s no question about that. It can however be argued that when Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 hit their stride, the potential number of Windows users may quickly dwarf the Apple market.

Large businesses have the luxury of being able to play in both markets because money is not an issue.

If you’re a small to mid-sized business, it’s hard to make the case that you will be able to ignore the Windows 8 opportunity. It’s all about reaching the most consumers with the budget that you have.

A lot of things need to happen to make this scenario a reality but we can’t argue that this is the direction Microsoft is heading in.

If Microsoft, OEM’s and development partners execute flawlessly, Windows 8 may prove to be a compelling proposition for companies in the future.

That’s all from me.

What do you guys and girls think?

Use the comments below and let me know…

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • Marcus Affiong

    I would still develop for the iPad. Who cares about Windows and their whack OS?

  • Asimov

    Screw the iPad and Apple. The author is right..makes more sense to go with Microsoft…

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thats what people are saying…

  • Alvaro

    I think is more of. Who is my company trying to reach?.

  • Pjl1941

    I have an apple mac laptop, IPad, Iphone, Nokia Phone, Sony laptop, & a PC.  I hate apple & in particular Safari.  Windows forever

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Sounds like a Windows fan to me.

  • vic

    windows 8 is games changer. full blown apps on a tablet? awesome! this time ms got it right. they’re leading instead of just copying apple. if had $ i’d buy shares

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Interesting…

  • http://www.JVE.biz/ Rug Ratz

    You have to know your target audience and what your audience is buying.  our customer base is the maintenance industry and technicians are using more mobile devices than ever.  More iphones and smartphones than tablets, though.  Laptops instead of tablets because of the degree of security and applications running on them.  Many companies still see the iPad or any tablet as a personal play tool more than a client workstation.  They came around to finally seeing laptops as mobile stations – will that translate to tablets, too?  Only if the tablet applications can replace the same programs used company wide now and the security is there.  Companies won’t buy users a laptop AND a tablet, except for the high execs.  We’re looking to do more mobile programming, but not necessarily tablet style.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Great feedback…

  • NazmusLabs

    No, not all writers have been bashing MS and Windows 8. 
     Andrew Grush, has been saying very positive things about his experience with Windows 8 and its potential. I have seen very few negative things about Windows 8 from him, He even stated that he has replaced Windows 7 with Windows 8 and is not planning on going back.

    It is true, though, that you have been very critical of Windows 8. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you don’t like the dual experience of Windows 8, it’s not your fault. You do bring some important points in your criticisms and it is, indeed, worth mentioning.

    I, on the other hand, am with Mr. Grush in that I love Windows 8 and am never intending to go back to Windows 7. Windows 8 has so many features I became used to that I totally miss in Windows 7. For me, the start menu in Win7 feels jarring and is very uncomfortable to use.

    Anyways, good article here.
    Cheers!

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Good points…

  • Lason1864

    First, the company I work for is all Windows. I use Apple at home. I have an iPhone, iPad, and a netbook. I also like Linux. I program in VB and C# (.NET). I am learning XCode, Cocoa, and iOS. I want to learn Android, HTML 5 and JavaScript. I downloaded Windows 8 Consumer Review. Personally, I believe that Windows 8 will be Micro$oft’s down fall, like IBM failed at OS/2. It is about time that there are other players besides Micro$oft.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thats one way to look at it.

  • Indra Nawawi Daeng Parani

    Dear Onuora,

    For most of my life I’ve been through, Engineering is the most favorable knowledge ever. I would like to share some dreams with you showing what I’ve seen in reality. Most of the tech knowledge comes from the Western part of the world, and I’ve to take them with full confidence and cautions hoping that it’ll give future prospect to mankind.

    The story then ended, leaving me stranded in the world of man made machines, that’s computer, and Microsoft as the pioneer, being kind enough giving me the chances to taste some of the Windows products in times of my loneliness. I know it’s sad to say, that I cannot go forward following the tech needs due to low RAM memory ranked of the machine. My Dell Inspiron 8600 machine would not be able to match the level what was desired by the Windows Program that was release for this periode of time, and I’ve learned my lesson well when to quit.

    For Marketing purposes, there’s nothing much to say, the assumption would go wild for the ceiling of the fixed budget won’t hold, it would then blown away as the crowd asked for more.
    It’s trust and branding that’s matter now.

    Thank you.

  • http://profiles.google.com/brookfieldfreecycle Brookfield Freecycle™

    Of course there would be greater economic sense developing for the
    system with greatest market share.  Turnkey developers may starve
    creating programs for OSX, because businesses typically buy cheap PCs —
    not Apple systems.  But that’s where fallacy becomes entwined.  Porting
    code from one system to another should be straightforward, such that
    the cost for releasing to OSX, BSD and Solaris should not be
    substantially higher than for just releasing the OSX version.  But
    coding for windows NT engine is so peculiar and requires costly kludges,
    you cannot easily port the resulting code to another architecture. 
    This is why programmers may develop for the 90 percent and skip the rest
    — it’s also why users are reluctant to leave windows: “all my
    applications are there.”

    Slowly circumstances are changing.  Not only are more open source
    applications replacing proprietary, but people are buying “apps” for IOS
    and Andrade.  If those solutions are pleasing, maybe users won’t buy
    corresponding programs for their desktop system.  The 90 percent
    saturation isn’t going away immediately, but it is consistently fading. 
    Even microsoft knows that.

    Whether Metro will deal with this migration effectively is an
    interesting question, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8#Metro_UI
    We seem to again be dealing with “windows runtime,” so I’m guessing
    there would need to be strong buy-in for Metro to work out well.  Your
    guess is as good as mine..

    Steve

  • Mornoffi

    i thing wind 8 is the best  os in the future ,bat no in this moment.