Windows Store now offers 100,000 apps, but quality concerns remain
Every Friday, my colleague Martin Brinkmann details the best Windows 8 apps that surface in Store during the week. I have closely followed the series mostly to check new arrivals (since I use Windows 8) but also to get a feel of the quality and value that developers bring to the new ecosystem.
As some of you have mentioned in the comments, the highlighted apps are not exactly up to par with offerings available on Apple App Store or Google Play. The most noteworthy ones are few and far between, something that is immediately noticeable after browsing through the available selection on Windows Store. The most resounding apps come, for instance, from Microsoft, Nokia, Shazam, Twitter and a couple other major players. There is more to it, of course, but the quality and value are still inadequate these days.
So what seems to be the problem? It is certainly not the number of available offerings, as Microsoft just announced earlier today that Windows Store surpassed 100,000 apps. That is a significant milestone, which would lead folks to believe that the platform has finally matured.
Microsoft also announced, last week during the Build developer conference, that Facebook and Flipboard will arrive in Store later this year. That is great news for users of Windows 8 and Windows RT, but these are just two major titles with plenty of big names still turning a blind eye to Microsoft's daring new products.
The aforementioned milestone doesn't necessarily mean much though. As Canalys pointed out in late-May, when referring to the BlackBerry and Windows Phone app stores, it is the quality that matters and not the quantity. Microsoft is in a similar position now with the tiled operating system as the company was with its smartphone counterpart last year -- lackluster offerings make up the large numbers, with not that many big titles to show off.
Maybe, at least in the long run, Windows 8.1 will overcome one of the largest barriers -- the poor user adoption levels -- that is holding major developers back from releasing Store apps. But, for now, my colleague Wayne Williams continues to sum up the current state pretty accurately -- "The Windows Store is like a Bangkok night market -- full of cheap knockoffs".