Memo to Microsoft – If you want Windows 8 to succeed, among other things, get apps in the store that people want

Let me first say I like Windows 8. As on OS, it performs well. I like the way the OS is essentially a first class citizen with the development environment. The consistency across apps, as to sharing, searching, etc. – is a good thing. The WinRT device – very slick. Great battery life. For browsing and cranking out business documents, not a bad device. Some of the native apps – especially email – need to be way better.


Where are the apps? Granted, Words with Friends is finally in store. The new ESPN App is nice. But what about Taxi Magic and Pandora? How about a better FaceBook and Twitter app? Instagram? I was just at an event where somebody was showing Vine – a really cool iOS app. I looked for it on the Windows App Store…. :-( How about Instapaper???

I’ve taken the plunge to give the Windows Phone a fair shake. I love the UI. What is needed are apps…apps people want – which will drive the platform. Whether Microsoft wants to admit it, the Apple AppStore is the store by which the Windows Store is measured. There’s A LOT of noise on the Windows Store. Note – quantity is not quality. If there is a top app in iOS, Windows needs to have that app. Microsoft needs to be focused on those vendors to get these apps built.

Another nit is the difference between Windows 8 and Windows Phone. It would be great if those two worlds could come closer together from a development standpoint. On the plus side, the process by which apps are certified for the store is simple. The Windows App Certification Kit is a nice utility and easy to use. If your app fails, there is clear guidance on what to fix.

None of this is to say there are not useful apps on the Windows/Windows Phone Stores – there are. And when it comes to things like Live Tiles, Microsoft nailed that one. A very useful feature – which makes the negative things especially frustrating to deal with.

At the end of the day, like many, I want to see Windows 8 succeed. I think and believe there to be a great amount of potential. But to succeed, the public needs to see the apps that are available in other ecosystems. Until that day comes, Windows 8, and in particular Windows Phone, will continue to be third in a 3 horse race – which shouldn’t be the case.

About johnvpetersen

I've been developing software for 20 years, starting with dBase, Clipper and FoxBase + thereafter, migrating to FoxPro and Visual FoxPro and Visual Basic. Other areas of concentration include Oracle and SQL Server - versions 6-2008. From 1995 to 2001, I was a Microsoft Visual FoxPro MVP. Today, my emphasis is on ASP MVC .NET applications. I am a current Microsoft ASP .NET MVP. Publishing In 1999, I wrote the definitive whitepaper on ADO for VFP Developers. In 2002, I wrote the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Databases for Que Publishing. I was a co-author of Visual FoxPro Enterprise Development from Prima Publishing with Rod Paddock, Ron Talmadge and Eric Ranft. I was also a co-author of Visual Basic Web Development from Prima Publishing with Rod Paddock and Richard Campbell. Education - B.S Business Administration – Mansfield University - M.B.A. – Information Systems – Saint Joseph’s University - J.D. – Rutgers University School of Law (Camden) In 2004, I graduated from the Rutgers University School of Law with a Juris Doctor Degree. I passed the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar exams and was in private practice for several years – concentrating transactional and general business law (contracts, copyrights, trademarks, independent contractor agreements, NDA’s, intellectual property and mergers and acquisitions.).
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  • Eric Falsken

    I spent 3 weeks trying to get Microsoft to remove the dozen “Pandora” apps that proxied everything you did through China. It ended with them telling me that unless I owned the IP that they were infringing on, they would not remove the apps. (The apps’ descriptions clearly said “” but linked to something in China and Russia.) So I contacted Pandora. They emailed Microsoft and had the apps removed within the week.

  • nportelli

    A more appropriate headline and conclusion would be get more hardware people want. Well that I want. I want a MBP retina or Google Pixel with decent amounts of ram to run Win8 on. Also complain to the companies that write the missing software. It’s not Microsoft’s fault they don’t target Windows.

  • staxmanade

    This doesn’t really help with the cause, but helps to understand why there are so many bad apps getting in.

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