Microsoft's Windows Store now open to all developers in 120 markets

Microsoft's Windows Store now open to all developers in 120 markets

Summary: The Windows 8 app store is fully open to developers as of September 11.


Microsoft's Windows Store -- the built-in app store for Windows 8 and Windows RT -- is open to all developers in 120 markets, as of September 11.


Of these 120 markets, 82 are newly supported, as of today, according to a new post on the "Windows Store for Developers" blog. (Here's a list of the  markets now supported.)

To reward developers "for their interest and commitment to Windows," Microsoft officials have said they are providing all eligible Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers with a free, one-year Windows Store developer account as part of their MSDN benefits. ("Eligible subscriptions include Visual Studio Professional, Test Professional, Premium, Ultimate, and BizSpark," according to the Softies.) Microsoft's DreamSpark program for students also waives the Microsoft Store subscription fee.

Here's Microsoft page listing available Windows Store app-development tools and resources, including Visual Studio 2012, the Windows 8 software development kit, certification kit for Windows RT, samples and more.

As of early August 2012, there were an estimated 450 or so WinRT-based, "Metro-Style" apps in the Windows Store. More recently, I've seen estimates of anywhere between close to 800 and 1,000 (depending on whether international versions of certain apps were counted).  Directions on Microsoft analyst Wes Miller says there are 1,033 Windows Store apps available internationally as of today. Directions has a good report on "State of the Store" with further breakdowns on available Windows 8 and Windows RT apps.

The vast majority of apps already in the Store are games and other consumer-focused offerings, which isn't too surprising, given Microsoft is targeting Windows 8 at consumers more than businesses right out of the gate. Microsoft has been looking to recruit developers of all stripes via workshops, bootcamps and proof-of-concept development programs for the past few months. The company is holding its second Build developers conference in late October, when it is expected to provide more details and guidance to developers about how to write apps for Windows 8.

Windows 8 and Windows RT will be launched on October 25. The new operating systems and Microsoft's Surface RT tablets will be available on October 26


Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Software Development, Tablets, PCs


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Egads! I hope they get more Apps...

    I want a MS Surface on Day 1, but only 1,000 Apps? I know...I know...a lot of people are going to be building Metro due to the fact the MS has 90% of the PC Market. But, get on it, would you developers and MS!
    • did you not read the article

      they dont have many apps at the moment because they only just opened up the store to developers today. Not to mention that Microsoft takes the Apple approach of vetting apps before they go into the store. I wouldnt be so surprised if they got over 1000 app submission already today.
    • Oh believe me, once the Marketplace is open in India

      apps will be rushing in to be published. There are literally armies of students in India trying to be a MSP (Microsoft Student Partner) and at the same time, they are developing apps for WP8 and Windows 8. There are thousands of these Indian developers waiting to develop (and some are developing now) for Windows 8.
  • Pity The Platform Is So Fragmented

    Customers are going to be bewildered why so many "Windows" apps from this "Windows Store" won't run on their "Windows" device. Are they going to understand why apps written for "WinRT" won't run on their "Windows RT" tablet? And why they can't even get apps for their "Windows" Phone from this "Windows Store"?

    This totally fractured product line is just going to drive more people to Android.
    • Huh?

      In general, any "Metro-style" app (i.e., one written to the WinRT APIs) will run on any Window 8, Windows RT and (I think) Windows Server 2012 box. It's possible to code an app so that it will run on only one processor family (if you code in C++ and target a specific architecture).

      In addition, I'm pretty sure that if you go to the Windows Store with a particuar device, you will see only apps that target that device (for example, if you go to the Store using a Windows RT device (whether it's a tablet or not), you won't see some app that someone coded up to run only on x64 Windows.

      It's the same thing with Windows phone. If I go to the phone app store with a WP7.x phone, I won't see apps that are specific to WP8.

      I expect that both the iOS and Android stores do similar filtering.
      • Re: In general, any "Metro-style" app (i.e., one written to the WinRT APIs)

        Not a chance. Apps built for Windows RT (ARM processor( will not run on Windows x86 tablets. Apps built for desktop Windows will not run on tablets. Apps built for Windows Phone 7.5 (still on sale, need I remind you) require Silverlight, which is obsolete on other platforms. And nobody knows how you will build apps for Windows Phone 8, since even the SDK doesn’t seem to be finalized as yet.

        So no. There is no commonality across the 5 different platforms that are now part of the “Windows” brand name. Is that fragmented, or what?
        • You don't have any idea what you are talking about...Do You?

          let's break them down your interesting thinking:

          Apps built for Windows RT (will not run on X86 tablets or vice versa):

          I'm not sure what you are trying to get across here because you simply might be confused with Metro. But let's take it for what you wrote. True, ARM Office Desktop Apps won't run on X86 Machines. But, then again, why would you want an ARM Windows Office Apps run on an X86 Machine when you already have X86 Microsoft Office Apps for it? Nobody can build desktop Apps on Windows RT, so...I don't really see how that's an issue for developers?

          "Apps built for desktop Windows will not run on Tablets." Huh....Yes they will. They will run on X86 Tablets just fine. They won't run on Windows RT Tablets, only Microsoft Office Apps will (which I noted earlier).

          "Apps built for Windows Phone 7.5 (still on sale, need I remind you) require Silverlight, which is obsolete on other platforms" Again, I scratch my head in dismay. Actually, Microsoft demo'd Windows 7.5 Apps running on Windows Phone 8. Those Windows 7.5 Apps WILL RUN on Windows Phone 8. In regards to Silverlight...You can write Apps in Silverlight and use XNA for games. Also, Silverlight is not obsolete, it's supported for several years to come by Microsoft. I believe it's 2020 when it's not supported anymore and can be written on Windows 7.5 and any supporting Windows OS.

          Windows RT SDK is suppose to be released on the 12th of September. So the mystery will soon be over for that bullet point.

          Would you please not talk out of your Arse and do some research or please hold your breath because you make yourself simply look like an idiot. Sorry, but I'm really just trying to help you out here.
          • Re: But, then again, why would you want an ARM Windows Office Apps run on a

            And how are customers supposed to keep that straight? Up to now, they just had to look for the “Windows” brand name as their assurance of compatibility. But not any more. Now they have to watch out for Windows-on-ARM versus Windows-on-x86-tablet versus Windows-on-x86-desktop versus Windows Phone 7/7.5 versus Windows Phone 8. And the only way to keep it all straight is to carefully read long, boring, tedious explanations like yours.

            You really expect customers to have to do that every time they go to buy a Windows device? They’re not going to bother.
          • LOL!

            Yeah, you really have no idea what you're talking about. It's really simple. Need to run current desktop software, and device that runs Windows 8 will do that in addition to the new touch and tablet apps. Want something that only runs new touch capable apps and you don't need to run regular desktop software? Windows RT should work.

            Some People don't even realize that an iPad doesn't run Mac or Windows programs, they just need a little info. It's that simple.
          • Explanations are needed because...

            It needs to be S P E L L E D out for some people who incorrectly post comments that make absolutely little sense.

            One area I do agree with you somewhat is that it will cause some confusion when X86 Apps won't run on the desktop of Windows RT tablets. I believe people are more intelligent than you give them. If Microsoft and their partners explain what to expect in a Windows RT tablet this should clear up a lot of confusion. But Yes there is going to be some confusion, but not a complete cluster of confusion you probably want to happen.
        • WRONG

          Apps built for WinRT (the runtime library not the OS) will work on x86 and ARM. X86 apps will not work on Windows RT (although you can virtualise them). Our Win 7.5 app was XNA not Silverlight and can be easily ported to Windows (Phone) 8 - as can all the Silverlight apps as well. Anyway, this is not really a problem for the people who just want the usual email, browser, Office and apps, including Mary Jo's beloved Notepad.

          As for Windows Phone 8, the featrues haven't been announced, so an SDK will wait until that happens.
          • Tick, tock the mouse....

            “As for Windows Phone 8, the featrues haven't been announced, so an SDK will wait until that happens.”
        • I Was Holding Back To Be Kind, But...

          Each of Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 is actually TWO sub-platforms. Depending on whether your app uses 3D graphics or not, you have to write it two different ways, using different languages and different build methods.

          Contrast that with Android, where OpenGL is just another library your app can use without any change to how you build it or what language it's written in.

          Why doesn't Microsoft adopt OpenGL? It is the single most popular and widely-supported 3D graphics API in the world. But no, their "Not Invented Here" syndrome keeps them wedded to their obsolete and outdated proprietary APIs, hobbling their own ability to compete.
        • That's not the kind of thing that bothers me

          That at most is re-target the build, relink, and recompile. Trivial, even if true.

          What bothers me is how Microsoft threw .NET developers under the bus, in favour of resurrecting COM, hyping HTML5, and promoting C++... after 12 years of telling us to use .NET.

          That would be like Apple saying, "Forget xcode, forget Objective C... you're doing everything in Delphi now! yeah baby!"
  • What?

    WinRT is an API used to develop Windows 8 modern applications which will run on Window RT.
  • 1,000 is small, but...

    hopefully the 7 day refund policy on apps will encourage higher quality apps and filter out the garbage that has swelled the other apps stores.

    Still that is a very small numbers. Even smaller when it is spread across how many different markets/countries.
    • Yeah, but Windows 8 isn't even out yet and there's lots of apps that...

      won't be released until Oct. 26th. Windows 8 will have PLENTY of apps, it's be the biggest selling tablet platform out there, even more than the iPad if you count desktops, laptops, tablets and Windows RT devices combined since they can all run Windows 8 apps and don't even need a touch screen to do it in most cases.
      • You have a crystal ball?

        All we can say for certain is that there are roughly 1,000 apps available and that is a small number. Hopefully that number will contain the apps people find to be must haves and more will follow. I think that is inevitable, but anything is possible.

        As for Windows being the biggest selling tablets, I doubt that. I somewhat agree with what you are saying, but rather devices that run mobile operating systems will be replaced by devices running full powered operating systems.

        Be that Windows, bigger builds of Android or whatever apple decides to do with merging iOS and OSx, but as it stands Windows tablets do not sell very well right now and that may not change.
  • Is the app store online?

    Is there a web page for apps on WinStore (like google play), or do you need Windows 8?
    Eric Gisin
    • I think you have to

      have windows 8 to view what apps are actually there. Unless someones keeping a list somewhere.
      Sam Wagner