Although it lags well behind its more popular rivals, Windows Store, Microsoft’s answer to the Apple App Store and Google Play, is picking up steam in the wake of Windows 10’s release.
According to Microsoft’s latest figures, more than 200 million PCs, tablets and phones are running Windows 10, making it the fastest-growing Windows operating system in the company’s history. Bernardo Zamora, director of the Windows App Store at Microsoft, says brisk demand for the new OS, which was officially released on July 29, is already having a big impact on the Windows Store app marketplace.
“Over 3 billion visits have been made to the Store since the Windows 10 launch,” blogged Zamora. “While Windows 8.x still accounts for the majority of Store downloads, Windows 10 users are the fastest growing download segment, growing both in volume and total percentage of downloads.”
Windows 10 users also spent more on apps during the holidays. “This past holiday season we saw double the number of paid transactions for PC and tablet customers over the previous holiday season, and Windows 10 customer[s] generate 4.5x more revenue per device when compared to Windows 8,” noted Zamora.
Overall, the United States led in terms of paid apps in the fourth quarter of 2015. “The United States accounts for 36 percent of all paid transactions, though the United Kingdom, Germany, and France account for an additional 25 percent,” Zamora.
While English-language apps still remain the most popular, Windows 10 mobile appears to have widened the store’s international appeal.
“We see some realigning of the top languages this quarter with the release of Windows 10 for mobile,” said Zamora. “For example, Russian rises to the number four spot, while Mandarin drops to ninth. English remains in the top spot, but the percentage of overall Store customers downloading apps in languages other than English has increased: Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Hindi, and Italian have seen an increase in total downloads over the past quarter.”
Games are far and away the most popular app category, accounting for more than 30 percent of all downloads during 4Q15. Utilities and Tools took second place with 15 percent, followed by Photo and Video, Music and Social to round out the top five.
Games are also a major driver of in-app purchases, revealed Zamora. “The IAP [in-app product] model is particularly popular in the Games category, which comprises over 85 percent of IAP purchases from October to December 2015.”
Going forward, Zamora is advising developers to get onboard the code-once Universal Windows Platform bandwagon.
“As customers continue to look for apps that will work across all their devices, Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps are growing in popularity,” Zamora stated. “Windows 8.1 code is designed to easily transfer into a UWP app, and doing so will allow you to take advantage of the entire Windows customer base.”