Microsoft VP: 100,000 Windows 8 apps by January

Can Microsoft really add 97,000 apps to the Windows Store between now and January 2013? Or is someone in Redmond doing some funny figuring?

As of last week, there were an estimated 3,000-plus Windows Store style (Metro-Style) apps in the app store that Microsoft has built for Windows 8 and Windows RT. That same week, a Microsoft sales vice president told Beet.tv that Microsoft will have 100,000 apps for Windows 8 within 90 days after the operating system launches, which is October 25.

winappupdategrowthchart

Unless that official, Keith Lorizio, vice-president of U.S. sales and marketing at Microsoft, is counting both Windows Store and Desktop (Win 32) apps, I can't see how these missing 97,000 apps are going to materialize so quickly. (Desktop apps in Windows 8 can be listed and promoted in the Windows Store, but they cannot be purchased and downloaded directly from it, per Microsoft's orders.)

Lorizo told Beet.tv that Microsoft is "expecting to aggressively pursue 100,000-plus apps in the first three months" Windows 8 is available. He added that Microsoft is "putting millions of dollars against that effort."

Yes, Microsoft is creating more tutorials, more workshops and more contests to try to encourage devs to build Windows Store apps. And yes, as WinAppUpdate -- which is tracking Windows Store app growth -- has noted, the number of Windows 8 apps is growing steadily. Microsoft is indirectly paying for development of some of these apps, by encouraging some third-party developers to build proof-of-concept apps for customers in an attempt to get them interested in Windows 8. Teams at Microsoft, like the Bing AppEx unit, also are hustling to build Windows 8 apps for the Store.

But unless there are going to be tens of thousands Flashlight apps introduced between now and January, or unless someone's doing some funny figuring, I am really hard pressed to see the Windows Store revving up this quickly. Here's WinAppUpdate's break down of what kinds of Windows Store/Metro-Style apps were in the Windows Store as of last week:

winappupdatecategories

Microsoft officials have said previously they are not going to allow Windows Phone apps (of which there are over 100,000) to be sold through the Windows Store. Developers can use their existing Windows Phone code to rebuild Windows 8 apps, but they cannot simply put an existing Windows Phone 7.x app in the Windows Store. Microsoft is not allowing this. And -- at least for now, the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store (formerly known as the Windows Phone Marketplace) are two separate things.

I've asked Microsoft if Lorizio misspoke. If there's any further clarification around his remarks, I'll add it to this post.

Microsoft isn't doing much to clarify what "counts" as Windows, as my ZDNet colleague Mary Branscombe noted recently. However, Windows 8 is not the same as Windows RT, which also is not the same as Windows Phone 8 OS. Microsoft's longer term goal is to make these as similar as possible so as to improve both the consumer and the developer experience. But not all Windows are created equal at this point. And not all "Windows" apps are, either...

This story was first published as "Microsoft Sales exec promises 100,000 Windows 8 apps by January 2013" on ZDNet's All About Microsoft blog.

About the author

    Mary Jo Foley has been a tech journalist for almost 30 years. She is editor of ZDNet's "All About Microsoft" blog. She authored "Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in the Post-Gates Era" and co-hosts the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT Network.

     

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