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.