Microsoft plans to have 100,000+ apps available to Windows 8 users by February 2013 according to Keith Lorizio, the company's vice president for US sales and marketing.
This will be good news for consumers and businesses alike as, despite excitement surrounding the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system plus its first Windows 8 phones and Surface tablets, many have been questioning whether the company will be able to build a big enough apps store to compete in a market dominated by Apple and Google. There remains, however, some concern as to how users of the new system will react to the advertising that will be integrated into all apps available in the Windows Store.
In a Beet.TV interview this past week, Lorizio stressed the importance of apps to the Windows 8 platform and to winning customer loyalty and hitting the company's target of getting 400 million users for the Windows 8 operating system: "When Windows 8 goes live on October 26, the available marketplace is 1 billion users. In order for us to reach our goal which is a conservative estimate of 400 million units in the marketplace by July 1st, we know that we have to have a very, very healthy ecosystem of applications," he said.
It is no secret that Microsoft has invested heavily in building its apps platform and in ensuring that apps provided by third parties will have the same look, feel and navigation as Microsoft apps and the Windows 8 operating system in general. Integrating advertising and sharing the revenue with developers is seen as one way of not just recouping these investment costs but of attracting developers to the platform through revenue-sharing agreements.
Lorizio explained that he believes that Microsoft will be a guaranteed success because it will be able to offer three things that its competitors cannot yet offer when the new operating system launches: namely distribution (more people still use Windows than any other computer operating system); a unified user experience across all Microsoft products from phones and PCs to the Xbox; and integrated advertising that he described as beautiful, relevant and useful.