Microsoft: For Windows 8 apps, numbers don't count
Don't simply tot up the number of apps in the Windows Store, insists Microsoft. It's the quality that matters
With the Windows 8 launch one day away, Antoine LeBlond, corporate vice president of Windows Web services, insisted in a private briefing with UK journalists that the number of apps in the Windows Store isn't what matters.
"The one thing you won’t hear us spending much time or any time about is an absolute count of apps, and that’s because it’s a tricky number to wrap your head around," said LeBlond, who leads the Windows Store team.
"You’ll get developers who will submit 50 apps at once," he said. "Here’s my Justin Bieber app, and here’s my Beyonce app and here’s my Rhianna app, and what they’ve done is built a template app and then they connect it to Justin Bieber’s Twitter feed and Facebook and they’ve put up a bunch of photos, most of which they don’t have the rights to."
"They’re not bad apps, but in terms of design and on how to build a high-value app, our view is that to have one app that does all of that and maybe doing things that let you pick certain artists and pin them to the Start screen if you want, makes a lot more sense than having 50 individual apps."
LeBlond believes rival app stores, that build their reputation on quantity, would be quite happy with such an approach.
"If you’re obsessing about overall count then you’ll choose differently. You’ll say yeah, let’s take 50 instead of taking one."
LeBlond went on to cite examples of double-counting apps where there's both a trial of an app and a full version.
Despite this, he insisted that in one sense at least numbers did count.
"The one count-related thing that I think is exciting is that when we open the Store [on Friday] we’ll open with more apps in our store than any store has ever had when they opened. So as a measure of momentum, as a measure of excitement, it’s neat to be in that state."
When PC Pro pressed him on what would define the Windows Store as being a success, or otherwise, LeBlond refused to be drawn.
"I wouldn’t say that having 'n' thousand apps is a good thing or a bad thing, I wouldn’t say that having ten specific apps is a good thing or a bad thing, so I don’t really know how to answer the question.
"But to me, what I care about is developers building apps and people using apps, and the more of that the better."