Apps. The only reason why people still stick to Windows. The word of the decade. I think that the number of X86 (and X64) apps developed for Windows could be higher than the number of iOS app downloads. Ever since Windows 95 came out, there has been an explosion of applications. Every day, there is an app released for windows somewhere on the internet. What if, since 1995, all these apps were made available through an application store? How much revenue that would’ve generated? How much ad revenue Microsoft would’ve generated if these apps had ads integrated in their UI in non-obtrusive manner?
On the other hand, for the users, for us, isn’t it easier if there is one single place where we can search for apps that we need, payment done without a feeling of insecurity, download/install knowing that the app that we are installing is genuine, malware free and secure.
As a developer, don’t you think that you will get a better chance of advertising your app, a better place to sell your app, no headache of losing your app to the wilderness of WWW, getting help from Microsoft in the form of better APIs and tools, better and faster recognition if you publish your app in a centralized app store?
Isn’t this what Windows Store is going to provide? Money for Microsoft, ease of access to users and better recognition to developer.
There were many instances when I see announcement of an iOS or android app and think when I will see such innovative apps with beautiful UI on windows. How many apps are there that provide UI like Windows Media Center and Seesmic Look? There are a few such apps here and there but one need to dig hard to find such apps. Think how many such apps will surface when Windows 8 comes out. Take a look at this facebook app Socialte:
I get live udpates of my facebook feed in the start screen, thanks to the live tiles and the app gives a fresh way to access/post from/to facebook content. Would you believe that this was developed by a tiny team of interns at Microsoft? Imagine what a highly innovative and vastly experienced developer can do (not that these interns are less experienced or innovative). Same is the case with feed reader app developed to run on Windows 8’s Metro UI
Compare this feed reader to top feed readers currently available for Windows. Actually, just try this reader once on a Windows 8 PC and then try something like Feed Demon and you will understand what I am talking about. This feed reader is developed by interns at Microsfoft. How are they able to create such better looking apps when compared to the developers who have been in the industry for years? I need not answer this question as you already know the answer.
By combining Windows Phone 7’s Metro UI with traditional Windows desktop, Microsoft has given us a new way of picking applications. I can live with my old style apps installed in traditional way (download from internet and install) and at the same time, I can slowly get used to the newer Metro UI style apps and the Microsoft Store. This way, I am sure that by the time Windows 9 (or whatever they call it) comes out, people will be begging to get rid of antique thing called Windows desktop. If I am having a tablet, there is no need to worry at all as I don’t think any of these X86/64 apps will work and there may not be a PC like desktop to switch to. It’s full time Metro UI.
Another big positive is that having same app running on my PC, tablet and smartphone makes life easier for me to switch between these devices. Who knows, with NFC spreading its wings slowly, time will come when I just need to tap my smartphone on PC or tablet and I can continue using the app (with content synced to it from earlier device that I was using) on my smartphone (similar to what HP demoed with webOS devices) while I head out for masti. And this is exactly what I want. Seamless transition from one device to another and I hope that Microsoft will have enough headstart in this new generation of personal computing.
Here is how my Windows 8 start screen looks like:
Beautiful isn’t it? If this home screen gets the following functionality, it will be even better:
- iOS style task switching with the flick of a button. Half a dozen of those Function keys are useless. better make use of them
- F3 (search) in start screen should let me search for an app. This would be helpful if there are too many apps added here
- A Shutdown/Reset button at bottom left or right corner so that I need not go to Start button, right click, settings, power and then click on shutdown to turn off windows.