Numbers is one thing that Microsoft has on its side. After disclosing the coming of the Windows Store before the official release was to happen, Microsoft said that they have so far served the Windows 8 Developer Preview over three million times through downloads. And we know that the actual number of downloads will increase when we count the circulation through unofficial channels. When it comes to developer support, Microsoft confidently quotes the current Windows 7 install base — 500 million. All of these machines have the ability to run Windows 8. If you are not convinced, there’s another number to be talked about — the 400 million PC’s that are sold worldwide every year. Every PC coming out now has the ability to run Windows 8.
Senior VP of consumer channels ar Microsoft, Capossela, had all of this to say and some more about the developer interest about Windows 8 and whether there will be enough of it. According to him, there’s a lot of opportunity on the market for developers to tap in to. Considering the plausible install base that runs in to at least a hundred or two million initially, it is easy to understand why anyone would want to get in on it. Additionally, the Windows Store’s revenue models rewards higher selling apps through greater sales percentage. Whereas developers get 70% normally, any app that sells over $25,000 worth will receive 80% of the sales. Also, Microsoft is building in support for multiple ad networks for developers to use. However, they are also not going to force developers to use particular ad networks and they will be free to choose on their own.
These are all measures that Capossela talked about when commenting on why the company is bullish on gaining developer support. However, these are only features that are meant to attract developers. A platform such as this is nothing without its buyers and Microsoft has been hard at work devising strategies to ensure buyer interest as well.
The Windows Store’s policy is very much tilted towards making the consumer’s experience a smooth one. To start with, developers will have to ensure that their apps are CPU architecture agnostic, which means that they will have to develop each app for x86 and ARM processors. For users, this will mean all apps being available on anything that is running Windows 8. We have already reported on how Microsoft intends to handle the varying screen size issue.
Video streaming will be capped at 256Kb/s and audio streaming at 64Kb/s to safeguard the user against maxing out their data cap. However, Microsoft is not looking to get all big brotherly here. So if the app needs to have greater video or audio bandwidth, it will simply have to ask for permission from the user. This way, the user will be aware of the potential drain on their date usage and won’t be taken by surprise.
Best of all though is the multi-machine installation policy. Microsoft allows not just two or three, but up to five machines to have the app installed per purchase. The higher number makes sense because Windows 8 is going to have multiple devices types under it and there are 3 main classes already — PC, Tablet/Slate and Phone. So 5 installs per app is going to be a very realistic scenario once Windows 8 launches. This would be great especially for the professional people who have to buy expensive pro-level apps for their work. Now they can enjoy having them apps with them on all their devices.
So it shows that Microsoft is definitely working hard to promote the Windows Store to both the contributors and consumers. At the same time they are taking care of the finer details of user experience on both ends. Put together, it is the prefect combination to have, at least on paper. If they can actually pull this off, it will be a great store that will ride on the tidal wave of market penetration that is almost certain for the world’s largest OS platform.