Windows 8 might be launching next year, but Microsoft is already making it clear that the stakes are high with the operating system. Microsoft sees Windows 8 as an opportunity for the company to continue the success it sees with Windows 7, and potentially put it in a position to take on the iPad and Android in the tablet market. To say that there is a lot riding on Windows 8 would be an understatement.
Perhaps that's whythe Windows 8 application store is so important. If the marketplace proves successful, there's a good chance Microsoft will be able to achieve its lofty goals with Windows 8. But if it fails, there's no telling what the future might hold for the operating system.
That's why Microsoft will work hard to keep the Windows 8 store prominent in consumers' minds and buying decisions. But it won't be easy. Apple's Mac App Store continues to grow. In the tablet space, the Android Market, Apple App Store and Amazon's own Appstore are long-established competitors. Exactly how Windows 8's store will fit into such a market landscape is anybody's guess.
But for Microsoft, failure is not an option. Read on to find out what the company must do to ensure its application store succeeds in Windows 8.
1. High-end applications across the board
Part of the success of Apple's App Store and the Android Market has been their ability to attract top-notch developer talent. Both stores have popular applications, like Angry Birds, Flipboard and Cut the Rope. For an application store to be successful, it must come with apps consumers want to use.Microsoft better remember that.
2. A solid selection of business apps
Although it's not necessarily important that a platform like iOS or Mac OS X come with business-focused applications, it's an essential component in Windows 8's marketplace. The corporate world will want to at least try Windows 8. But if it can't find programs it wants, the store won't succeed. Business apps are a key component in the Windows 8 store's future success.
3. Tablet-optimized applications
Microsoft says Windows 8 will be running on a host of tablets. That's great. But until there are a large number of applications optimized to run on those tablets, there's simply no way for the devices to gain traction in the marketplace. Tablet-optimized applications are vastly important.
4. Strong developer support
All this talk of the kinds of applications that must make their way to Windows 8 dovetails with another important factor for the store's success: developer support. Currently, Apple and Google have been able to attract a large number of developers to their stores, and they're making money from these application markets. Now it's Microsoft's turn to woo developers. Its 80 percent revenue share for apps making over $25,000 is a good start.