Microsoft Windows Store hits 100,000 Windows 8 apps, still playing catch-up with Google and Apple

The Windows Store, key to Microsoft's 'devices and services' strategy, hits an app milestone.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Microsoft's Windows Store has hit the 100,000-app milestone, but it's still playing catch-up with Google and Apple when it comes to overall numbers.

A Windows Store app is a new type of application that only runs on Windows 8 devices. "Thanks for a great \\build! Just passed 100k apps in the Windows Store", Microsoft said via its Windows App Builders Twitter account.

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The emphasis on Windows Store as a way of delivering software to Windows 8 devices is part of Microsoft's evolution into a devices and services company. Since the runaway success of iPhone and iPad apps, any device is only as good as the app ecosystem that surrounds it.

The Surface RT can only use apps from the Windows Store, for example, as it can't load existing desktop Windows applications.

Unlike traditional desktop apps, a Windows Store app has a single, chromeless window that fills the entire screen. Once downloaded, Windows Store apps appear as a tile on the Windows 8 Start screen, which means they can show new information to users even when they aren't running.

Developers can write Windows Store apps in languages such as JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic, or C++, and Microsoft says it offers developers up to 80 percent revenue sharing when you reach $25,000 or more in revenue — which Microsoft claims is higher than Apple or Google offer.

But Microsoft is still playing catch-up when it comes to building an app-based ecosystem around its hardware. Microsoft also claims to have more than 160,000 apps and games in its Windows Phone store, but these numbers are dwarfed by the approximately 700,000 apps that Google has in its Play store, while Apple has around 850,000 iPhone apps and 350,000 iPad apps available.

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