It is weekend, which means I have a few minutes to rant about my frustration on the direction MS is going concerning Mobile Apps (the so called Metro/Modern/Universal Apps) and Windows 10.
As you may recall, Microsoft put out the news this week they will nix their Lync Metro App in preference of the Desktop Skype App. Of course all the yuppies were clapping and shouting “giddy on” to Microsoft without considering the consequences and the trend this is setting.
The trend I see at the moment is the rejuvenation of the Desktop, a complete reversal of Microsoft from its mobile-first strategy of two or three years ago. Put bluntly, the Desktop people have won at Microsoft. Fine and good you say, but it didn’t address the reason why MS went full mobile a few years ago. Continue reading →
Microsoft unveiled a nice surprise at its 2014 build conference: the third major upgrade to the Windows Store! Windows Store was introduced on Windows 8.0 as a software distribution platform. It received a major upgrade that drastically improved its usability with the launch of Windows 8.1. However, Microsoft still didn’t go far enough to make the browsing the Store a pleasant experience as it is in competing platforms. Although there were minor UI enhancements since the launch of Windows 8.1, the third upgrade to the Store truly brings it on par with the app stores of iOS and Android. I am very excited for this and I hope you are too. So let’s see what’s new! Continue reading →
The business model for software has seen tremendous change in the last decade. Gone are the days of buying software in large boxes from retail store for a hefty price. Gone are the days when you needed to pay nearly as much to receive updates to the software you purchased. For instance, in the past, if you payed $50 for a version 1 of a software, you were expected to pay another $50 for version 2. In many instances, “upgrade” prices would slightly reduce the cost of the new version, but not by much. Today, with a few exception, that is not how it works. Only a few big name software has been able to hold on to the tradition, namely Microsoft Office and, until recently, Adobe Creative Suite. But even these software makers are moving away from the old model. We are truly moving to a new era in software business. Continue reading →
Click on this pic to see “Helpful” Yes/No figures.
A picture they say is worth more than a thousand words. I think the picture above is a good testification of that age old adage. The picture shows what is wrong with the Windows Store review system. Here is an app that obviously is resonating with end users, but because some unhappy souls got to review the app early, they got the high “helpful” figures and pops to the top for Microsoft to feature them as most helpful reviews even when the are negative and has no bearing with the app popularity in the Store. I mean 4335 people couldn’t be wrong with 5-Stars compared to 134 with 1 Star.
So, there you have it, an app can be insanely popular with end users but still be deemed not suitable by review logic of the Store. Microsoft need to fix this ASAP. It is known fact that only frustrated and unhappy users take the time to vent their venom about a product. You don’t see happy users at a support desk. Happy users are too lazy and don’t take the time to review, they are just content to give the app 5-Stars and move on. This is end-user psych 101. A good Store logic should catch this and bubble up positive reviews above negative ones for very popular apps. Period.
Note that I have no bearing with this app nor it’s dev., I don’t know them, neither have I been contacted by them. I am just using the app as an example amongst other apps that fall into this negative review trap while being very popular with users.
I was rummaging through the Store App today, and look what I found. Microsoft has activated the Windows App Store for Gift Cards in preparation for the GA of Windows 8.1!
For those of you who do not get how big this is, talk to anyone with kids and Windows devices. We’ve been clamoring to have a coherent way of giving our kids entry into the Store for Windows and WindowsPhone Apps without the kids bankrupting us. It is either you let your kids buy their $1.99 apps with your Microsoft Account or you attach your Credit-Card info to their MS account. A prospect that is not healthy in both cases. You might as well give them access to your bank account.
Thank God, now you can just purchase a $10 or $20 gift card from Microsoft, and give it to the kids and let them redeem it. Once they burn it up, they are done, teaches them also to be prudent with financial transactions.
Well I for one I am glad for this development. All my household is on MS platform. This is a relief. Had to do some PayPal ju-jitsu to get my Wife and kids to purchase stuff in the Store. Now, it is a straight forward process.
For now though, I am not sure you can purchase the Gift Card from Microsoft online. I heard you can in the brick and mortar stores. Hopefully we’ll be able to purchase with GA.
Now see if you can decode that code in the textbox. :)
P.S: Anyone with experience with this new feature, please let us know via the comments.
Yesterday we broke the news about Microsoft now making the Windows Store Searchable from the web, today we are glad to announce that the Windows 8.1 themed Webstore has gone live. The former web access in the Win8.0 timeframe only gives you limited information and the experience was limited. Now you have a web access that is full, rich and informative. It is on-par with the MX Store App.
Please note that this is not the full Store experience. You can’t purchase apps from the webstore, and you can’t just open this web access, you have to approach it via an App link. For example after searching for an app like we showed you yesterday, clicking on any of the apps will bring you to this new Webstore. For example, seaching for and clicking on WebAccess App brings you to this new web store.
Well Microsoft is on the roll lately on all front, so this comes as no surprise. Which company is most innovative right now? Yes, you guessed it right. Go Microsoft!
Unfortunately, Microsoft has pulled the site, so there is no way for you to verify we broke this story. Luckily I have the full screenshot in IE MX shown below. Hopefully the new WebStore will be back. We are keeping an eye on this for you as usual.
This week, the App Store has turned five years old, and to celebrate, EA is giving away some of their popular paid games for iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Okay, so Mirror’s Edge is one of them. I really enjoy playing this game on my iOS device. It is a touch version of the popular console and PC running and action game with a female lead. The mechanics are fun and smooth. The entire experience is really enjoyable.
“With crisp visuals and sharp gameplay, you dear Mirror’s Edge are the fairest iPad launch game of them all.” – Tracy Erickson, PocketGamer.com
“Mirror’s Edge is not just one of the top launch games for the iPad, it’s also a damn fine game, period.” – Levi Buchanan, IGN.com
EXPERIENCE THE WORLD OF MIRROR’S EDGE
Grab hold of the cutting-edge gaming power of your iPad as you bolt into action as Faith Connors – an underground “Runner” who must stop a deadly threat in a “perfect society” full of sinister surveillance and relentless pursuers.
RACE HEAD-TO-HEAD VS. FRIENDS
Using the incredible split-screen interface, challenge friends on time and tactics in 2 Multiplayer modes. Outrun them with the fastest time in Race Maps, or outmaneuver them on a city hunt to uncover secret packages embedded in multiple Rival Maps.
SIGHT, SOUND & ACTION TAKE A LEAP FORWARD
See and feel the iPad difference as you run up walls, slide down ramps, ride zip lines, and hurdle between rooftops. Pound through a visually stunning HD cityscape flooded with realistic sounds, a pulsating soundtrack, and dynamic camera angles.
14 LEVELS OF INCREASING INTENSITY
In single-player campaign mode, think fast on your feet, engage in furious hand-to-hand combat, elude your enemies, and push yourself to the very edge. Mirror’s Edge on iPad puts it all out there. Once you experience it, you won’t look back.
This week, the App Store has turned five years old, and to celebrate, EA is giving away some of their popular paid games for iPhone, iPod, and iPad. One of these games is Dead Space, a si-fi shooter with multiple game modes!
“BEST MOBILE GAME OF THE YEAR!” ( 2011 Meffy Awards)
AN ORIGINAL DEAD SPACE STORY DESIGNED FOR iOS
Featuring hardcore gameplay and a rich audio experience, immerse yourself in events that unleash the Necromorph horde again – and set the stage for the horrifying action of Dead Space 2. Hailed by fans and critics, this stunning vision of the Dead Space franchise is truly a landmark “must-play.”
ENTER SURVIVAL MODE FOR THE NASTIEST NECROMORPH RUSH YET
With two engrossing channels of gameplay, Survival Mode offers as much strategic dismemberment as you can stomach. Hack and shoot your way through 4 maps in both ENDLESS and “5 MINUTES TO KILL” modes. Bring in weapons, suits, and ammo from Story Mode, rack up big combos, and earn more credits!
A CHARGED SENSORY EXPERIENCE
Featuring a fully voice-acted stereo soundtrack, plus a movie-quality score and sound effects, we recommend experiencing the game with headphones for full immersion. Cutting-edge visuals, rich in effects and atmospheric lighting, reproduce the cinematic horror of the console experience.
INTUITIVE CONTROLS FOCUS YOU ON THE ACTION
The on-screen HUD is seamlessly integrated into the game. Navigate 6 varied environments and battle Necromorphs with simple swipe and tap controls.
INTRODUCING 2 EXCLUSIVE WEAPONS & FEATURING CLASSIC MODULES
Access the all-new Plasma Saw and Core Extractor, plus 3 more weapons from the Dead Space universe – and get on with the business of strategic dismemberment. Also utilize Kinesis and Stasis Modules well-known to players of the console game.
INSTANTLY BUY & DOWNLOAD UPGRADES – INCLUDING THE ALL-NEW HEAVY PULSE RIFLE
Enhance weapons and more with additional Power Nodes. Increase offensive and defensive capabilities with Weapon Output and Armor Integrity Modules. Or get the Credit Booster to scavenge more credits from dismembered Necromorphs.
FANS & CRITICS AGREE: DEAD SPACE FOR iOS IS ONE KILLER GAME…
“…a wholly original and terrifying experience splattered in deep gameplay, outstanding graphics, and chilling audio.” (App Store iPhone Game of the Week)
“5 STARS …a game-changer as far as 3D action games go on iOS platforms.” (Ryan Rigney, GamePro Editors’ Choice)
“4/4 MUST HAVE …all the limb-slicing action, Retina Display crispness, nail-biting audio and run-for-your’s-life thrills you could want…” (Chris Reed, Slide To Play)
** NOTE ON SURVIVAL MODE DEVICE COMPATIBILITY – DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? Survival Mode is ONLY compatible with 3Gs devices or above. This mode will not appear in the game when played on 1st or 2nd generation devices. **
Shoot to clear all the orange pegs from 55 sparkling levels in what msnbc.com calls one of the “top 5 most addictive games of all time.” Become a Peggle Master and pit your skills against over 40 Grand Master Challenges. Rack up bonus points and hit style shots that will make you smile for weeks.
FOUR WAYS TO PLAY
Clear all the levels and train with the Peggle Masters in Adventure mode. Revisit your favorite levels in Quick Play. Face off with friends or your iPhone or iPod touch in Duel. Unlock Challenge mode and prove that you have become a Peggle Master.
ACTION ON MANY LEVELS
Raise the Fevermeter in spectacular, colorful levels including snow banks, tulip fields and outer space.
MASTER MAGIC POWERS
Hone your skills with the help of 10 Peggle Masters and learn their magical skills.
EXTREME PRECISION WHEEL
Fine-tune your aim to bust more pegs with every shot.
COOL NEW STYLE SHOTS
Rack up more bonus points with tricky shots like Off the Wall, Double Long Shot and Eye of the Pyramid.
Build a shrine to your own awesomeness in the new Peggle Trophy Room.
SAVE AND REPLAY YOUR BEST SHOTS
Relive your Peggle glory and show your friends your most spectacular shots!
Classic Peggle background music is now available during gameplay!
MORE COOL FEATURES
-Optimized for faster, smoother play and improved frame rates.
-Compatible with iOS 4 multi-tasking.
Greetings readers! Today, we hit a new milestone. The Windows Store has over 35,000 apps worldwide. Reaching this number of apps took Windows Phone one whole year; Windows 8 has reached it in merely two months since release. According to Win Rumors, Windows Phone was released in October of 2010, and in October of 2011, it had over 35,000 apps. Windows 8 was released on the October of 2012, and, now, in December of 2012, we have passed that milestone.
This is a huge and unprecedented milestone. Windows Store continues to be the fastest growing app store, and it makes sense. Windows is sold in hundreds of millions each year, making it the biggest platform in terms of market share. There is absolutely no reason that developers won’t flock to this platform. As Microsoft MVP Richard Hay likes to say, “It’s Windows, developers will develop apps for it.”
We are getting this number courtesy of the third party Windows Store tracker known as the Metro Store Scanner. That website tracks newly released and updated apps and the latest app count. Note that the 35,000 is the worldwide app count. You will certainly see less apps on the Windows Store. The amount you can browse and download depends on your country. The US market has 22,703 apps, which is stall a big amount. Your country may have more or less than that amount.
In the US, there are 18,469 free apps, and 4,233 paid apps, making a ratio of 77% free apps and 23% paid apps in the US market. Again, your country can have more or less apps.
What we don’t know is if the 35,000 thousand apps include apps that Microsoft or the app publisher might have taken down from the store. If it doesn’t, the total number of apps published will be much more than the 35,000 amount.
While the app developers doubted the feasibility of making apps for the Windows Phone due to its small market share, we are not seeing this trend in terms of Windows 8, and reasonably so. Also note that total number of apps doesn’t mean much because we are interested in quality apps. We will continue to feature apps that are truly quality apps, so be sure to stay tuned on this site! As always, you can follow @McAkins and me, @NazmusLabs, on twitter.
Here is another run of the News from the Windows Store. First my sincere apologies for missing the news run last weekend, I just couldn’t catch a break, had to go native and please the family. Coupled with an absorbing project at my day job you can understand my spottiness also online, via Twitter etc.
So here we are two weeks after General Availability, as Microsoft love to call their public deployment of their wares, and the Store is still waxing strong. As you can see from the Stats above, we grew 3656 apps in two weeks. Divide that by two and you have the per week number. Question is can Microsoft keep this momentum up? Time will tell. You can also see the exponential growth on the graph. Funny thing is, there are bonehead bloggers out there bad-mouthing the new platform for lack of apps. There you have almost 10000 apps, and how many does an average person have on their device again? Of course you can argue most them are chaff, yes, so it is with all App Store that I know as of today. Its all about Quality Apps. There are quality apps in the Store right now and more are still coming.
I will not burden you by listing all apps that debuted these past two weeks, but the Quality ones you will see I have already blogged on this blog, and the other that are worthy of mention are listed here below. I am sure you’ll find something for yourselves in the list. In the category of news is the return of the Trackage app in the Store, it was pulled for some reason, now it is back. Also HP has decided to make their Windows 8 Introductory Demo app available to everyone. You can now download the app in the Store on all devices and not only on HP devices anymore. Flixster also made news this week by releasing a major Update that fixed most issue with the app. I refused to blog/mention the app because of various issues with the app. Now, the app is fully usable so you can go download it. My personal favorite this two weeks have to go to the two Apps released by Telerik in the Store. Please see my post about them on this blog.
Talking of Chaff in the Store, have you also noticed that our friends from India own the Windows App Store? There are more Apps from India than every other localized countries combined in the Store. The Windows Store is in this way of much more value to someone from India than any other part of the world. This should be an incentive for other countries to catch-up. Let kids learn to code for crying out loud! Anyway, the number of apps now in the store has reached an impossible level that it is humanly impossible to be mentioning each app. I am now very selective in what I blog or mention, so if you see me blog an App here on this site, you can be sure it will be worth your money. That doesn’t mean I will not miss some apps, so please I welcome your suggestions if you think I have missed some killer app that you really love.
Back on the Stats. Have you noticed Entertainment and Education Categories left Games in the dust the past weeks? Simply incredible if you ask me. Education takes the crown, seconded by Entertainment and Game came on a measly third. The Education increase can be attributed to a few companies releasing books as Apps filling the Store like there is no tomorrow. Good for number chest-thumping for Microsoft, but makes it difficult to see the forest from the trees in the Store. I am still watching the Store like a hawk for the big Apps announced in the GA Keynote. ESPN is still not in the Store for example. I’ll keep you posted. Pardon me that I didn’t have time to collate the Paid/Free Apps numbers this week, I owe you one on that for next week.
On that note, I’ll leave you with these Notable Apps that I didn’t have time to blog but worthy of your attention:
All data and Information provided in this report is provided AS-IS! It does not warrant any commitment neither from me nor from Microsoft. The data is tallied from the information Microsoft made visible to the outside world, and is subject to change at any time. Applications are constantly being submitted and pulled from Store, and also subject to Store Cloud propagation, which means the data you see here may not be current at any time, and possibly different from your part of the world. Errors in this report are mine and not Microsoft’s and does not constitute any binding agreement.
Well it’s not unusual to hear that Apple yanked yet another app from the Mac App Store, but it’s another thing to hear the story behind a pulled piece of software. Unfortunately, Bryan Lunduke had to end up with the inconvenience of having his app shown the way out. But the story doesn’t end there. Continue reading →
Apple Inc. released a press detailing that over 100 million apps from its Mac App Store has been downloaded in less than one year! The Mac App Store is Apple’s attempt to bring the very successful App Store experiences for iOS devices to the Mac. The Mac App Store doesn’t include iOS apps, but users can discover and install Mac Applications in just one click.
Apple also announced that the iOS App Store hosts over 500,000 apps, with over a billion apps downloaded per month! “App Store, which now has more than 500,000 apps and where customers have downloaded more than 18 billion apps and continue to download more than 1 billion apps per month.”
As with the iOS App Store, the Mac App Store makes it very easy and safe for customers to find applications that they may find helpful and fun. The store ensures that applications are functional, has good quality, and is free from malware. Finally, the store also make installing the application easier than it had ever been on the mac.
The Mac App Store is not the first app store experience for the desktop. Ubuntu offered this experience with the “Ubuntu Software Center” on many Linux-based Operating Systems. However, Apple’s App Store has proven to be the most popular to date. Microsoft is also working to implement an App Store experience in the next version of Windows.
October 20th, 2010. Steve Jobs hosts Back to Mac, an Apple press conference. During the conference, he mentions all sorts of things like iLife ’11 and some things about that Macbook Air thing that nobody cares about, but he also mentioned OSX Lion, the newest addition.
-Mac App Store-
Just like the iPhone and iPad, the Mac will be getting it’s own app store. During the demonstration, it looks exactly like the regular old app store, only with computer programs. For demonstration purchases, Pages was downloaded and installed using only the app store. When Craig (the guy doing the demonstration) pressed the download button, the pages icon jumped down into the dock, and download/installed very quickly. The mac app store sorts all the apps, just like before.
Steve Jobs quickly touches on Multitouch screens and pads, and how multitouch screens are annoying because of how you need to have your hand up, nothing to special.
Also like the iPhone and iPad, Lion will be getting a launch pad, a screen with icons only, and you just click on one to open the app. The demonstration shows off how the icons fade in from the background, and then fade out when you select one. You can also use a multitouch gesture to go to different pages, and organize the icons and stuff. The only issue is that the page switching gesture looks REALLY awkward and inconvenient.
So apple has these four things now, Exposee, Fullscreen apps (which was mentioned earlier, but not enough to be noteworthy), the dashboard, and Spaces. Mission Control combines all four of those into one screen. Mission control looks like Exposee, only now it groups all the windows with those of the same app. Basically, if you have two safari windows open, they will group together, and a Firefox page will be grouped with the firefox pages, etc etc. The apps you have open appear on the top of the screen, and just like some apps from iPhone/iPad, they are exactly how they were when you got out of them. If you have a lot of safari windows up, and you need to see which one you wanted, you can select the whole safari group of windows, and then look through them so that you click on the right one. And as always, the dock is there on the bottom.
Overall, Mac OSX Lion looks like a big step in the right direction. Although many of the updates are just small ones, they all come together to make something good. And I am usually against everything Apple does, so I don’t normally give out congradulations to them.