With two of the most popular app stores in existence- Google’s Play store and Apple’s App store blooming with hundreds of thousands of applications, Windows has finally felt the crunch. Although, pre-release builds of Windows 8 have been well-received by the consumers, they still haven’t attracted the developers’ attention; which puts a question mark on the company’s future except for personal computers.
To tackle this issue head-on, Microsoft has decided to take the platform directly to the developers instead of inviting them to their campus at Redmond, Washington. The frantic app-development program is now on tour, scanning and training developers in cities all over the world – from Paris, France to Guangzhou, China.
Microsoft’s recent switch to ARM technology from its previous loyalty – Intel, puts it in a grave conundrum of re-designing everything from scratch for Windows 8, if it stands any chance of competing against the already stable and widely-acclaimed iPad. A prediction by Gartner suggested that applications would generate sales as high at 58 billion dollars after two years; an indication enough for Microsoft to start pushing applications into its newest release.
The American multinational corporation has already taken a few steps that can catalyze this procedure. Firstly, the “moonlighting” restrictions which hold back employees from working on apps have been waived. Moving out of the organization, Microsoft is also providing paid internships at Foundry, based at its R&D Center at New England. The program has an intake of 22 university students, who train and develop Windows 8 applications and get assistance from the company.
Apart from budding developers, Microsoft now faces a daunting task of convincing the big shots of app development sphere to write/port their applications for Windows 8. The only advantage Microsoft holds, as of now, is that the applications will also be readily available to its PC-user base. An investment tracker app developer, SigFig has already started writing its app for Microsoft’s platform. The main players, however, still remain unconvinced if their apps would be profitable in Windows 8 – Facebook and the Galaxy S III’s exclusive Flipboard have no intentions to develop their app for the platform, yet.
Laurent Bugnion, IdentityMine’s Director of Operations (Europe wing) was quoted saying that the OS can catch developers’ attention once there are potent devices out in the market. With SigFig(Investment), Corel(Design) and Pop(Gaming) already involved in Windows 8’s app development, it will be crucial how Windows ropes in the iOS and Android developers.