Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 8, launches in just two and a half weeks and contains vast changes to its predecessor, Windows 7. The only problem: the digital distribution platform that comes with it, Windows Store, right now includes just two thousand applications. That’s at least half a million fewer applications than can be accessed through similar Android and Apple stores.
However, Microsoft is working hard to change that.
“As we get close to the general availability (GA) of Windows 8, there are many things that the Windows team and other teams at Microsoft have been doing to get ready,” noted Windows project management team recruit, Gabriel Aul.
First off, Microsoft is providing major downloadable updates for some of its already available and popular apps. For example, the Bing search app is getting an overhaul that will provide users with better search results and a “zoom” feature that provides more specific though relevant suggestions.
Then there’s an update to Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage app that adds search functionality to the tool. An updated photo app allows users to crop and rotate photographs and view pictures from networked locations.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s News app receives added content from The New York Times and its Sports app gets additional access to Major League Soccer content.
Of course, the big issue isn’t existing apps, it’s the absence of new ones. Last week Microsoft took some heat for only having about 2,000 apps in its Windows Store.
As time goes on, however, Microsoft expects many more apps will be added. “We’re working with developers from around the world to bring more in every day,” Aul said.
Overall, Microsoft says it has made fifty important changes to its Windows Store in recent weeks. But will that be enough to make Windows Store a winner? Only time will tell.