Last week, I explained why I believe that Windows Store was Windows 10’s biggest problem. This week, Microsoft defended the Store, and promised to make major improvements going forward.
As a refresher, be sure to check out And the Biggest Problem with Windows 10 Is …, where I explain that Windows Store is a double-whammy of unreliability and a wasteland of uninteresting and poorly-conceived apps. “Store is the lowliest app store on any platform, with the least choice and, worse, the worst app functionality,” I wrote. “It’s a wasteland.”
That’s not how Microsoft sees it. 🙂
In a post this week to the Building Apps for Windows blog, Microsoft’s Todd Brix explained that the average Windows 10 customer is downloading six times more apps than the average customer on Windows 8. And that this is due, in part, to Microsoft having “taken steps to change the way people discover and experience apps in Windows 10.”
That is, Windows 10 suggests apps right in the Start menu, and it even pins tiles for apps and games you might want to install. “Microsoft Edge and the Notification Center will also suggest apps that customers might enjoy,” he explains. And the Store app itself offers a “more visual experience, [with] new search and list algorithms.”
None of this addresses my central complaint, of course, which is that there is no good content in the Store. To that end, Microsoft is pretty much doing what it can do, by making it easier than ever for developers to create Windows 10 universal apps. “In addition to the Windows 10 SDK and middleware solutions, we’ve invested in bridge technologies that make it easy to bring your code to the Windows platform and reach this growing base of Windows 10 users with existing mobile, Windows and web apps,” Brix correctly explains.
But I’m more interested in how things will improve in the future. Here’s what he has to say.
“Now that the Windows Store is itself a Universal Windows Platform app, we will be updating the Store more frequently to bring new capabilities (and bug fixes) to market faster,” Brix says. “For example, we’ve already released Store updates to add device filtering for ratings & reviews (available on the app’s listing page) and to address initial constraints with search. And you can expect us to add new capabilities in the coming months, including support for carrier billing (paying for apps via your phone bill) on PCs and tablets to help you reach customers who don’t have a credit card or traditional payment methods, as well as enabling you to offer in-app subscriptions. We’ll also launch the first phase of a new storefront designed to help organizations to acquire, distribute and manage digital content across their small business, enterprise or education institutions. And, of course we will release Windows 10 for mobile devices.”
None of this is actually new information. And sadly, none of this, again, addresses the central complaint: The lack of quality apps in Windows Store. This is of course a chicken/egg issue, but now that Microsoft has pretty much solved the chicken bit, it’s up to app developers to show up with the eggs, er, apps.
How about it guys? Windows 10 will absolutely hit 1 billion installs within a few years. How about showing this enormous user base-to-be some love?