We’re exactly one month away from the release of Windows 8. Over the past year, Microsoft has been steadily preparing for the release of its next operating system, and one of its largest initiatives has been to encourage the development of its app store.
Today, Microsoft started noticing the fruits of those efforts when it reached the 2,000 app mark in the Windows Store. According to this article, there were 2,188 Windows Store applications available on Monday, September 24, and that number is expected to grow in the weeks leading up to the release of Windows 8.
Unfortunately, not all of these 2,000 apps are available to North American users. Apparently, only 1,593 of those 2,188 apps are available to American consumers, and a further 150 apps are designed exclusively for Windows 8 or Windows RT, but not both.
Nevertheless, the growth rate of apps in the Windows Stores has been significant. In the middle of August, just over a month ago, there were a measly 530 apps available in the Windows Store. Microsoft claims that between 60 to 120 apps are being added to the store on a daily basis, which means that there should be between 3,800 to 5,600 apps in the Windows Store by the time Windows 8 is finally released.
And here’s the good news for consumers: of the 2,188 apps available in the Windows Store on Monday, September 24, 84% of them were free. Like other app stores, most of these apps were entertainment-related, and ‘Entertainment’ and ‘Games’ are currently the leading categories in the Windows Store.
While Microsoft’s app store numbers are significant, they’re nowhere near the number of apps available on iOS or Android marketplaces. Here are some comparisons drawn from this article:
-Google Play app store: 675,000 unique apps
-Apple Store: 700,000+ applications (this is the vague number Apple revealed at their iPhone 5 press event)
Still, the growth rate of the Windows Store is significant given that both Apple’s App Store and Google Play had a five year head start.