Microsoft Must Build a Mac App Store Competitor: 10 Reasons Why

News Analysis: With Apple planning on launching its Mac App Store soon, the question arises about whether or not this puts more pressure on Microsoft to open a Windows-based app store of its own.

Even though Apple is planning on launching its Mac App Store to 90 countries on Jan. 6, some of the attention in the OS space must now turn to Microsoft. The venerable software company has millions of customers around the globe using Windows. That makes it seem like the perfect fit and time to deliver a Mac App Store alternative to users.

Speculation abounds that Microsoft might offer a Windows-based app store of its own. But so far, Apple has been leading the charge, recognizing the revenue and growth potential afforded by its App Store. For its part, Microsoft seemingly hasn't been concerned about the updates Apple plans to make to Mac OS X.

But that might be a mistake. Microsoft won't lose control over the operating system market, but if the Mac App Store works as well as Apple's mobile alternative, the software giant might have no other choice but to respond with something of its own. It would be the smart move.

Read on to find out why Microsoft should offer a Mac App Store competitor sooner rather than later.

1. The Mac App Store makes sense

First and foremost, it's important for Microsoft to realize that the Mac App Store makes a lot of sense. It not only will deliver more software options for consumers, but it should offer them an experience that they've shown to enjoy in the mobile market. Beyond that, it could be a key revenue driver for Apple going forward. Microsoft can't let that slip away by turning its back on an app store of its own.

2. It can steal some developers away

If nothing else, Apple has been able to attract a growing number of developers to its products. And they have spent the lion's share of their time creating programs for the company's smartphone and tablet. By offering an app marketplace of its own, Microsoft could potentially bring some of those developers back to its platform to create programs for Microsoft's operating system.

3. It would hurt Apple's offering

Apple might be first to the market with an app store, but that doesn't mean that Microsoft can't hurt the Mac maker's option if it comes up with a marketplace of its own. After all, Microsoft currently has millions of Windows customers around the globe, and far more users than Apple has. The impact a Windows alternative would have could be huge, compared to that of Apple's marketplace.

4. It's unexpected from Microsoft

Let's face it: Microsoft isn't the most forward-thinking company any longer. For years, it was on the edge of innovation, but now it seems that it's waiting for other companies, including Apple and Google, to innovate first. It's an issue. But if Microsoft can come up with a Windows app store of its own, it might just prove that it really does know what the future will look like.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...