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Microsoft's long-term Windows 8 app strategy may backfire, say analysts

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 2, 2012
As the countdown clock ticks toward Windows 8's launch later this month, Microsoft has still not shown that there will be enough apps to drive users toward the new OS, said analyst Patrick Moorhead.

The poll also revealed some of the reasons why most developers weren't planning on entering the Windows 8/Windows RT app market. Most important, they said, was the large installed base of devices, and thus users, necessary to create revenue opportunities.

That, of course, is a chicken-and-egg problem: To entice developers, Microsoft has to sell a large number of Windows 8/Windows RT tablets or other touch-enabled devices. But customers are reluctant to buy such hardware without a well-stocked app store.

Microsoft has not yet disclosed prices for the Surface tablets it announced in June. It will start selling the Windows RT-powered Surface on Oct. 26, then follow with the Windows 8 tablet several months later.

"Windows 8 success is far from a sure thing," concluded Appcelerator and IDC ( download PDF). "Microsoft has to deliver a strong showing right out of the gate; with its reduced market share position and falling interest in the Windows Phone platform, developers are unlikely to tolerate any missteps. Microsoft will have to deliver for both end users and developers, from launch."

"The big question is, is it too little, too late for Microsoft and Windows Store?" asked Moorhead. "Will it be enough at launch? I just don't know."



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