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Windows Store may have only 50 business apps for Windows 8 tablets

by Doug Drinkwater

September 17 2012

Microsoft is now accepting all app submissions to the Windows Store
Microsoft is now accepting all app submissions to the Windows Store

A new report suggests that only 5% of apps on the Windows Store will focus on business, with the majority targeting consumers.

Citing Microsoft Taiwan, tech website Digitimes says that the Windows Store covers three app categories: consumer-focused Windows 8 apps (think Angry Birds), business to consumer apps, and a line of business software for things like CRM and ERP.

The source claims that C2C apps currently account for 75-80% of all apps in the Windows Store, with B2C and business accounting for 15-20% and 5% respectively. It is not clear if these figures include apps for both Windows 8 tablets and desktops.

The business figure does look surprisingly low however, especially when you consider Microsoft analyst Wes Miller recently estimated there are only 1,033 apps on the Windows Store (note: this figure excludes desktop apps).

If both the Digitimes report and Miller’s prediction were true, then that would mean that there are just over 50 Windows 8 tablet apps available through the Windows Store. For one analyst, this figure would not be overly surprising.

“I don’t think it is a surprise,” said 451 Research analyst Vishal Jain, when speaking to TabTimes. “Businesses are keeping an eye on Windows 8 app development, but it is not something they’re looking to invest in over the next three to six months.

“Enterprise is more focused on looking at what devices employees are bringing into the company, and at the moment these are running iOS and Android. So I think most companies are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to see what the uptake of Windows 8 is like.”

Ben Bajarin, director of consumer technology at Creative Strategies, agrees with Jain. "Business adoption of a new Windows OS is typically very slow to begin with. This is not a huge issue since most major business already have licenses to most of the Windows software they run their business on.

"Microsoft has emphasized more consumer apps in the hopes to capture consumer attention who will then be interested in the dual purpose of using the tablet for work and personal use."

In contrast, Apple revealed last week that it has 700,000 apps on iTunes, 250,000 of which are iPad-specific. The App Store currently lists there as being 25,000 'new' iPhone and iPad business apps.

TabTimes has reached out to Microsoft for a comment, but we are still to hear back from the firm. Stay tuned to this page for a comment from the Redmond company.

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