Windows 8 Application Support: Are App Developers On Board?
When Windows 8 arrives for PCs and tablets, and Windows Phone 8 arrives, how many new applications will surface for the new Microsoft operating system? Microsoft keeps comparing Windows 8’s approaching arrival to Windows 95’s debut in 1995. But on the ISV (independent software vendor) front, I’m not sure the comparison holds water.
The VAR Guy doesn’t mean to rain on Microsoft’s parade. There’s a lot to like about the Windows 8 smartphone, tablet and desktop strategy. Application developers finally get a single code base upon which to write. Microsoft finally delivers some multi-touch innovations. And customers gain more alternatives to the iPad, where Apple’s profit margins remain super-high but innovations have slowed a bit over the past year.
So far so good. But here’s the irony: Microsoft was so dominant in the 1990s that it wound up killing many of its best ISVs — Borland, Lotus and WordPerfect come to mind. Older ISVs remember that lesson well. Newer ISVs, meanwhile, are often consumed with Apple iOS and Google Android support.
Microsoft recently said the Windows Phone Marketplace now has 100,000 apps. And of course, there’s the app store from Windows 8. And Micros0ft is educating developers to write Metro-style apps for Windows 8. But the software giant hasn’t said much about how many ISVs are writing applications for Windows 8’s October 2012 launch. Can VARs expect:
- Multi-touch Windows 8 applications for health care, financial services, insurance, retail and other vertical markets?
- Traditional desktop applications like accounting and productivity software?
So far, Microsoft’s Windows 8 story is tightly connected to hardware enhancements (Surface tablets), the Office 2013 suite, and integrated cloud services.
The VAR Guy is putting aside some money for a new Windows 8 hybrid (notebook-tablet). But he wonders: Will there be killer applications that for the new operating system? Hmmm…