Patrick Moorhead, Principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, has been a long time skeptic of the potential success of the Windows Store. Mr. Moorhead believes that there aren’t simply enough apps available to provide the diverse ‘long-tail’ library that would make the store a success — on either the P.C or tablet platforms.
“They have to have a large number of high-quality apps…. I’ve said 5,000 is a reasonable number…to be successful at launch. They don’t need 100,000, but they need a decent number,” Mr. Moorhead said to ComputerWorld.
Referring to the potential of an app store to make or break a mobile platform Mr. Moorhead said: “As the industry learned from the failed consumer tablet launches of the Motorola XOOM, HP Touchpad and Blackberry PlayBook, the number of quality apps at launch does matter.”
With Windows 8’s ARM-variant, Windows RT, users will be restricted to apps purchased through the Windows Store making a well populated store even more important.
According to Win App Update, the Windows 8 app count stands at 3,660. Of these 3,600 apps it is impossible to determine how many are the high-quality apps needed for the store to be successful, and how many are simply ‘filler’ apps.
Rob Enderle, of the consultancy Enderle Group, believes that the top-quality apps that would drive users to the store, won’t come until the user base dramatically expands.
“Developers don’t want to develop for you until you have enough users, while users don’t want to use your [device] until there are enough of the key apps,” Mr. Enderle told PC World. “That is the critical weakness of the Windows Phone store, and the Windows 8 store is even younger than the Windows Phone store.”
Currently the Windows 8 app store is devoid of many of the popular cross-platform app brands: Facebook, IMDB, Instagram, Pandora, and DropBox have yet to make an appearance.
Angry Birds, however, is promised at launch.
Hardware Canucks’ coverage of the launch of Windows 8 continues through the week.