Meet Microsoft’s “App Store,” the Windows Store

In a blog post on Microsoft’s new Windows Store blog, Antoine Leblond, VP of Windows Web Services, introduces a laundry list of details on the new Windows Store. Here are some highlights:

  • Microsoft’s focus on making it easier to find apps and its focus on better economic returns for developers sets it apart from both the Apple App Store and Android Market.
  • The app page and catalog will be exposed to search engines and have deeper linking, improving users’ ability to search for apps.
  • An integrated “get the app” function allows a consumer using a Windows 8 machine to get an app from a website using a button displayed on the toolbar.
  • The Windows Store will offer market-specific app catalogs covering 231 markets worldwide with developer opt-in for any or all.
  • Enterprise app support will allow companies to manage enterprise apps or offer their solutions to the larger app market. Enterprises can also control end-user app access on Windows 8 devices.
  • The Windows Store will allow trials and subscription services for in-app purchases.
  • Microsoft promises a more transparent app approval process, with access to reasons for failing and app acceptance guidance in plain English.
  • New apps will receive 70% of profits, and after $25,000 in revenue, the share of profits will increase to 80%, the best return for developers across any platform.

This leads to an interesting question: If app stores killed the brick-and-mortar, boxed-software business model and the availability of high-speed Internet and the app-ization of everything (turning small functions into bite-sized apps to complete one thing pretty well on a mobile or semi-mobile device), what change will come in the future––the death of the web browser and/or significantly increased use of cloud services? Either way, companies that “appify” their services or who make new app-centric services or offerings for the marketplace have a future … but for how long? As adoption continues and smart mobile devices penetrate deeper into every consumer lifestyle, “old” tech like the websites and native desktop apps we have come to know and expect will be the minority and the app-centric functions tied to cloud processing and storage will represent the future. Regardless, the Windows Store will take Microsoft, the leader in worldwide OS installs, into a stronger position in the marketplace by learning from some of the missteps and downfalls of the other app store ventures.

Look for the Microsoft Windows Store in late February 2012, when Windows 8 Beta hits the scene.

Author: John Carew

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