Microsoft Corporation has outlined a few developer-friendly changes to the Windows Store ahead of the much anticipated Windows 10 launch in 2015.
According to Todd Brix, the general manager of Windows Apps and Store, currently the tech goliath is trying to make it simpler for developers to monetize their apps once the highly anticipated Windows 10 OS released in 2015.
In spite of tailing Google Play and Apple’s App Store in the app count as well as popularity, Microsoft’s Windows Store failed to bring in any passive revenue. Presently, Microsoft is aggrandizing Windows Store to gain momentum and improve its app ecosystem.
As stated by Brix in a blog post, Windows Store made some good progress by attracting more than 30 percent active users and by surpassing the 110 percent YOY in gross sales as well as app downloads. Additionally, the apps ecosystem has grown witnessing an 80 percent increase in registered developers as well as 60 percent increase in app selection YOY.
In 2015, Microsoft will be providing a platform to developers where they can develop successful apps. In order to make this an achievable feat, Windows Apps and Store team will be facilitating app developers to target different device classes and geographies, in addition to cropping the total amount of time and effort it takes for ideas to transform into installs.
To begin with, Microsoft will allow Android apps to run on its Windows 10 OS. It hopes that, by doing so, more and more people will be encouraged to buy a Windows phone or a tablet. Today, a majority of apps are both available for iOS or Android users which creates a very less demand for Windows apps. Hence, developers hesitate in creating apps for Windows devices, believing that they are simply a waste of time and energy. On the other hand, Windows remains to be one of the most popular OS for desktop PCs and laptops. It might be possible that by using the popularity of its operating system, Microsoft is trying to appease developers by creating a universal app model for apps that can available across tablets, desktops, and mobile devices.
Microsoft Becomes Developer-Friendly Shangri-la
The tech giant is working closely with independent software vendors (ISVs) to generate more interest in Windows which would in turn help create a greater app development momentum.
The four types of ISVs that Microsoft will focus on are: start-ups, the traditional client/server ISVs, ISVs with renewed focus on mobile and cloud solutions, and those that have grown on mobile or cloud.
In 2015, Microsoft will keep on chasing carrier billing, i.e. applying app purchases to cellphone bills, especially in emerging markets. It should be noted that carrier billing has helped global players monetize from the eightfold increase in average transaction volume in high-growth markets. At present, Windows Store carrier billing is available in 46 regions, including Brazil, China and India.
As per the information divulged in the blog post, Windows Store will be working with the carrier to aggressively promote the purchase option to their subscriber base. The carrier billing will offer subscribers a range of payment choices, including credit cards, Alipay, Paypal, app gifting with digital gift cards (in Canada, Germany, France, U.S and the U.K) as well we Bitcoin (in U.S. only).
Furthermore, Microsoft is also planning to help developers earn more money through in-app ads. As stated by Brix, Windows Apps and Store will be increasing its focus on in-app advertising in order to improve fill rates as well as increase developer revenue. The most recent release of the Windows ad mediation for developers is an early example of how Windows Store improved fill rates to over 95 percent and increased revenue by up to 200 percent.
Windows Store also promises to refine its user interface and improve app discoverability. In 2015, Microsoft will enhance its toolset for those who have ideas to create great apps, but no former development experience so that such ideas can come to idea to life. It will be integrating more capabilities like the recently added TouchDevelop.
Lastly, Microsoft Corporation will continue streamlining the complete Windows Store app publishing process. The effort was initiated in 2014 with the shift to Windows Dev Center lifetime registrations. Microsoft is focusing on amending these changes and evolving over the coming months and at the same time making the transition much more simpler and unique for users and developers.
There are more anticipated changes scheduled along the way in 2015. Microsoft is also scheduled to roll out its new default browser, named “Spartan” that will replace the medieval Internet Explorer. It aims to encourage more and more users to use Spartan rather than switching to Chrome and Firefox, which has lately turned into the most widely preferred browsers for users around the world. We are yet to see the result of the seeds down by Microsoft prior to Windows 10 launch. Although, it might take a few more years for Microsoft to fill the giant app gap, it’s good to see that Microsoft is working hard to overcome this issue and generate developer interested in Windows based apps.