Thursday, October 4, 2012

App Store Race - MS the winner??

I was looking at an article on The Register and they were comparing the Windows 8 App store and Apples iOS App store.  Microsoft has over 3,000 apps (which 1 is mine) and iOS store has over 650,000 (11 are mine).  This got me to thinking that this is actually bad journalism and that things are not being reported correctly.  The true comparison to new Windows Store is actually the Mac App Store, not the iOS one.  So here is a comparison of the 2 desktop app stores.

Mac App Store
  1. Launched January 6, 2011 with 1,000 apps
  2. May 2012 reported to have 10,000 apps
  3. Apple takes 30% of sales
  4. $100 a year to be in the store
  5. Does not allow : beta, demo, trial or test versions of software
  6. Does not allow : content that has content or services that expire
  7. Does not allow : software only licensed under GPL
Windows Store
  1. Launching October 26, 2012 with over 3,000 apps
  2. Microsoft takes 30% of sales, but over $25k in sales it drops to 20%
  3. $100 a year to be in the store, but free if you have an MSDN account
  4. Has a built in trial mode for apps
  5. In-App purchases allow for purchases to expire (think like a magazine subscription)
  6. Allows open source software.  Link: ExtremeTech 
As a developer I look at both stores, Microsoft is launching with over 3x the number of apps that Apple did.  Even after over a year, there are only around 10,000 Mac apps in the store and Microsoft is launching with over 1/3 of that.  I can see that the number after a year will be a lot higher than 10,000.

Also as someone that is developing apps for mobile and tablets, I personally like the idea that I can have a trial app and then people can just purchase it and then they have the full one.  Right now I have some iOS apps where I have to maintain a free version and a paid version and rev both of them when a new SDK is out or new things that I want to put in.  Having a single app is very appealing to me.  I know that some of the iOS developers actually use this to their advantage to put out multiple versions of a single app - this one does animal sounds, this one does English voices, etc and then flood the category with multiple free and paid versions of each.  In the Microsoft store, this could be a single app with in-app purchases for each different thing.  Easier to maintain and enhance.  A friend of mine has close to 80 iOS apps and many of them are very similar like this.  But to me, submitting updates for all 80 would be very tedious. 

As far as reporting that Apple has over 650,000 apps compared to Microsoft's 3,000 apps, be careful on how you read stories like that.  Are they comparing apples to apples (no pun intended) or are they comparing apples to pumpkins? 

Microsoft will have more apps in the store at launch time than Apple did.  Microsoft is making it easier for the app developers to get people to try their apps with the trial/buy method built into the SDK.  Microsoft is taking less money after you start making a good amount.  Microsoft is supporting the open source movement better than Apple.  Microsoft is giving store developer accounts to people with MSDN subscriptions for free, where Apple will make sure that you pay for it.

Desktop App Store Winner -- Microsoft

Now go make some more apps for the store.

2 comments:

Frank said...

Not really surprised that MS is winning the desktop app race, but I'm fairly certain Apple will continue to win the mobile one. And let's be real, no one really cares about desktop apps anyway. Besides, if it wasn't so tricky to force quit Mac apps, they'd probably be winning the desktop race too.

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