The Windows Store has been available for Windows 8 users since 2012, but it has never been terrible successful. In fact so poorly supported was the store that Satya Nadella said that it was only with Windows 10 that users began engaging with the app repository.
Responding to a question at their shareholder meeting about the absence of high profile apps on Windows Phone, he noted “we are seeing, for example, for the first time on the core of Windows desktop, with 100-plus million users, active engagement, the fact that they can find these Windows applications in the store, some of the developers like Netflix are seeing more engagement for the Netflix app vs. the web.”
Previously Microsoft said Windows 10 has been 6 times more effective in stimulating use of the Windows Store than Windows 8.1.
Nadella said he expected this increased engagement would “entice more of these developers to build more of these applications” for Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox and Hololens.
Nadella asked for more time for this strategy to play out.
“This is new. We’ve had different efforts in the past but we now have one store and one app platform. Give us time to keep focused on it,” he said.
The Microsoft CEO did not think simply paying for high profile apps was sustainable, despite the absence of these apps causing buyers to choose other smartphones.
“We recognize how the challenge influences choice on the phone. But we do need to think of the unified platform and make sure organically — instead of doing one-off deals to get one app — we’ve got to organically build momentum for the platform and that’s what we plan to do,” he concluded, saying the company was “very focussed on that challenge.”
It remains to be seen if the Universal Windows App platform can attract the kind of mobile apps such as Snapchat or the Starbucks app which Windows 10 Mobile desperately needs, but it is good to know the Microsoft CEO is aware of the challenges facing its phone OS.