10
Dec 12

100 Days – On Twitter and the virality of exclusive information.

Early Aug. 2012 - Short of information about how the Windows Store, the forthcoming home for Windows Store (nee Metro) applications was doing, I began exploring the store, trying to assess how many applications were actually there. I had heard rumblings of 400 or so applications. As I said late in Sept. 2012, my intentions were never malicious. I pondered whether there was any way to query the store programmatically. Here’s how it went down.

Aug. 15, 2012 – I had discussed an idea with a friend on how to query the Windows Store, and tried it. My initial results, after fiddling with my idea for a bit, resulted in a count of 534 applications available worldwide.

Aug. 28, 2012 – I registered winappupdate.com and created the Twitter account @WinAppUpdate, but let them sit dormant for a while.

I was still only polling the store on occasion. On Sept. 5, 2012, I saw the store pass 1,000 applications worldwide – on Sept. 10, 2011 I began polling it every day, and we posted a State of the Store article at Directions that sought to more broadly discuss the composition of the store, not just the count.

Sept. 16, 2012 – I posted the first blog post on WinAppUpdate.com, announcing that there were 1,749 applications worldwide, and linked to it from Twitter. I added myself and a few other people, but effectively I had no followers. As someone with a psychology and sociology background, the virality with which the statistics spread and followers of the Twitter account for @WinAppUpdate grew, I found it fascinating, and I was glad that people found the information and the numbers interesting and helpful.

Over the next two weeks, as Mary Jo Foley, Alex Wilhelm, and Charlie Kindel, among others, mentioned this site, my stats, and the Twitter account, it began to grow in followers significantly. I can tell you from having had it happen on getwired.com before, you do not want to get sent Mary Jo’s traffic when you are not ready. It does unpleasant things to your site.

Throughout September and October of 2012, stats that I posted on Twitter resonated pretty well, and the @WinAppUpdate account began to grow in followers. Anytime Mary Jo or Alex would mention the Twitter account or the site, I would gain several – or many – followers. What I found most fascinating was how many of these followers were Microsoft employees or partners. There was a genuine scarcity of information around Windows 8 throughout the preview process and both employees and partners, among everyone else, seemed to want to know what was going on with the Windows Store. Over the next almost 3 months, the @WinAppUpdate account grew slowly at first, but then quite dramatically.

There were, for the next two and a half months, only two sources of application counts – my site and this site, where he has diligently counted the number of apps using a different approach than me, and at first I didn’t think his methodology would work – but I think it does, and lucky for him, it can continue where mine may have hit the end of the line.

Oct. 26, 2012 – Windows 8 RTM – I noted that the store was at 9,029 applications, and as media coverage of Windows 8 increased, so did discussions of my counts, and the number of followers. Conversations with Mary Jo and Alex on Twitter, as well as mentions of the Twitter account in the news media surely helped to keep the count of followers growing, even as I both diligently tried to stop making “the count” the focus of discussion – and in particular the discussion on my @WinAppUpdate account. On the same day, I also posted on getwired.com The Turn, where I more or less bared all about how I collected my statistics.

Throughout this exercise, as I said, my intent was never malicious. I knew at some point, Microsoft could - nay, should figure out how I was doing it, and either ask me to stop or simply shut off the spigot (easier said than done, as it could affect the SEO of the Windows Store). That said, I have always felt that if Microsoft asked me, I would have stopped counting or discussing the content on the store. I was providing the numbers, and then the deeper analysis, to help people understand what was going on in the store. I did announce when the store had hit 10,000, and 20,000, applications worldwide, and when there appeared to be more apps in the China Windows Store than the US Windows Store.

After I announced how I did my counts, as I somewhat anticipated, a few people started emulating.

Nov. 30, 2012 – I was about a group of guys who have built a Web-based front-end to the Windows Store, now at http://metrostore.preweb.sk/.

Over the next week, that site got some publicity. I continued to shift discussion away from counts both on my blog and @WinAppUpdate. Though that Web-based Windows Store now included a count, I only handed out a vague “over 25K” answer when asked during the week of Dec. 3, 2012. I had spent the last month really trying to find and discuss apps that I found significant, rather than discussing counts.

Early on, the script that ran my counter did its work in the morning. I shifted it to the nighttime – at about 10PM PST, when the time that Microsoft would push out their sitemaps seemed to have reliably occurred.

Dec. 5, 2012 – The last successful polling of the Windows Store occurred from my app.

Dec. 6, 2012 – I checked my stats in the evening before going to bed. My Excel spreadsheet, which has grown from several KB to more than 7MB, was completely empty, save my Excel formulas that I inserted at build. I checked the sitemaps manually. The first part was there, and pointed to the second. The second part was there, and pointed to the actual sitemaps. The actual sitemaps… were dead. Search engines that hit the site manually are going to be confused. But if Microsoft has elected to do this on purpose, then that meant they are likely submitting the sitemaps directly to Bing, Google, and Yahoo.

Dec. 12, 2012 – So here we are. It was 100 days since from the day I first created the @WinAppUpdate account and registered  the domain name to when I lost the ability to investigate the store. The Twitter account now has 1,378 followers, after only 831 tweets. That works out to 1.65 followers per tweet, or 16.65 followers per day. When you compare that to my original @Getwired account on Twitter, which I created on May 31, 2008, it’s pretty astonishing. After an insane number of tweets (59,518) and 1,653 days on Twitter, I have only 2,513 followers. With @Getwired, I’ve found that breaking the news – finding a news source before anyone else (or saying something genuinely, uniquely witty or thoughtful) – really does help generate new followers and create tweets that resonate. Though @WinAppUpdate did not generate a massive number of tweets, nor a massive amount that resonated widely on Twitter (I think 13 or 20 RTs of one was the largest I saw, and I’ve seen better than that on @Getwired), the number of followers, and followers who recommended the account to others, speaks highly of the value people find in Twitter when the information is truly unique, and can’t be found through any other source.

As for me, for now (for obvious reasons) I’m standing down on counting apps or mining the store. I can’t be certain whether I was the reason, or someone else was the reason, as to why the sitemaps went offline – or if they went offline by accident. @WinAppUpdate has been an amazing ride, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the conversations I’ve had around the Windows Store over the last several months. I’m leaving the app counting to those who have other means to count than my methodology, and leaving analysis of the contents and quality of Windows Store apps to those who have the time to do such an exercise justice – given the need to dig through the store to find them now, I don’t have the time to carry on with it.

I plan to retire the @WinAppUpdate Twitter account shortly. The blog URL will most likely redirect to this site, or perhaps a partner site if I can find a relevant one. All of the blog contents have been moved to Getwired.com for posterity, under the account  at WinAppUpdate. To my followers on Twitter – I thank you all for joining me on this wild and crazy ride, and hope you’ll join me at @getwired as well, where I’m really just getting started with Windows 8.


02
Dec 12

Windows Store: Any Way to Figure out Who’s On First?

The recent statistics Microsoft handed out about regarding the Windows Store made me think a bit. Microsoft noted that some apps on the store have had significant numbers of downloads. The fact that several “parts of Windows 8 and Windows RT” are only available as a download from the Windows Store innately twists what “some apps have had millions of downloads from the Windows Store” can mean. Some third parties have claimed to have statistics on this as well. In general, only Microsoft can really know or reveal download statistics – I have no ability to see this information without Microsoft sharing it with me.

However, I can look at the data I do have and extrapolate from there…

I contend, however, that the submittal of feedback is a bit of very useful data. In particular, applications with significant numbers of ratings (“star”) submittals tend to reflect apps that have either incited positive or negative feedback from lots of users. So while lots of ratings submittals may not correlate exactly to the most downloaded apps, there is, I believe, a correlation indicating that lots of users have downloaded it, as only a percentage of users take the time to submit feedback (either the app was stellar and they say so, or it was crap and they don’t mince words). I’ve often noticed that there tends to be a vacuum of feedback in the middle of the feedback range (2-4 star), which I theorize is a bit of a “couch potato factor”. People are satiated enough with the app to not submit negative feedback, but not ecstatic enough to submit positive feedback.

Because I don’t poll every page for every app in every locale (I long ago changed this to try and be kind to Microsoft’s site), I can’t tell you the statistics across every locale – there could be some apps in some locales (in particular, I know there are in the China Windows Store) that have a very high count of ratings submittals as well). But I can tell you in the US Windows Store. So, what happens when I take a look at my entire list of apps, filtered down just to the US? Here’s the answer:

Out of the 30 apps with the most rating submittals, 19 are from Microsoft. Almost all of the Microsoft apps have also been on the store since August as well though – so the stats may be a bit confusing/misleading. What’s more interesting is that even with the barrage of Microsoft apps early on, prolific (promiscuous?) apps such as Skype, Netflix, Fruit Ninja, Cut The Rope, and Kindle have managed to eke their way into the list of apps with the most rating submittals. It’s also notable that an app from (what I believe is an) independent developer like Bernardo Zamora can both attract this volume of ratings submittals, and hold it’s review score as high as a 4.5! That isn’t easy to do.

So, while it isn’t possible for me to tell who the top downloaded Windows Store applications are, I think that this set of apps reflect a collection that lots of users are downloading.

Finally, while I probably shouldn’t really say anything here, it is notable that all of these apps in the top 30 support ARM. Um… Except two of them.

 


26
Oct 12

Windows Store: Taking Inventory at Launch

The last 48 hours have been very significant for the Windows Store. More than the count – which is up significantly just in the last 2 days – apps from many mainstream news and entertainment sources have begun to arrive, and some new apps have shown up that take advantage of the WinRT platform on Windows 8 and Windows RT. I’ve posted quite a few updates in the last 2 days about what’s new and relevant on the store on my Twitter account, so start there if you’re looking for individual apps.

The big question is, where is the store at on 10/26? Well, the store didn’t quite bust the 10,000 app mark worldwide by launch. But it did come close – 9,029 applications available worldwide. In each of the last two days, more than 500 apps have shown up daily – and again, quite a few of these have been high-quality apps from mainstream content providers around the world that can help lift the platform.

Below, you can see the total growth of the Windows Store since I started a daily tally beginning on 9/9:

Recall that when I started counting in mid-August, the Windows Store had 530 apps in it. When I say 9,029 Windows Store apps worldwide – it’s important to understand a few things:

  1. This excludes desktop apps, which will not work with Windows RT.
  2. This is across ALL locales that the Windows Store supports. There is no locale that supports every single app, so all stores have a count of less than 9,029 in their own inventory.
  3. This is polled once per day, so the actual count can increase through the day.
  4. These apps are usually not available to pre-release versions of Windows 8. It’s time to update to the final release!

Out of the global count, 88% (still) of apps, a total of 7,940, are free:

Amazingly, while the store has grown dramatically, the worldwide percentage of free apps has remained almost constant for just under one month (hovering between 87 and 89% free). The number of free apps in the US Windows Store (until recently, the locale with the largest inventory) has generally been lower than that percentage.

The Chinese Windows Store continues to have the largest inventory, with 5,553 apps as of today. The second largest inventory is the US store, with 5,179 Windows Store apps. Yes, these two locales now feature over 5,000 apps – the only two that broke the 5,000 mark by today. That said, every locale supported by the Windows Store now features over 4,000 apps. This does not, however, take into account how well these apps are localized for each locale (if they indeed are), or how useful the apps are. There’s still too many apps barely above “hello world”, simply sugar-coating the templates provided by Visual Studio, and many that are failing at fundamentals such as inserting their own application icon, leaving the “todo” icon inserted by Visual Studio!

As before, about 6% of Windows Store apps available worldwide do not support Windows RT. We will see over the next few weeks if this changes as more developers obtain Windows RT systems and can test for, and properly support, Windows RT.

In terms of developers, there are 3,751 distinct entities with apps on the Windows Store worldwide. Regrettably, there are quite a few developers who are doing exactly what Microsoft had said they would discourage developers from doing, and submitting multiple apps that all had the same or nearly similar functionality (IMHO, “quote apps” seem to be one of the worst offenders in almost every ecosystem’s store). The top 11 developers all have more than 50 apps each – I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. That said, the mode of developers on the store have only 1 app each.

Looking just at the Windows Store in the US for a moment, then, we can see it holding at the same percentage of free apps as earlier, 83% (4,278), 5% lower than the worldwide average for the last month. The mode of app prices in the US is US$1.49, with a mean (average) of US$5.23. The most expensive app on the store is one at US$999.99 (BrainControl) – the previous most expensive app, EMR Surface continues to be available at US$499.99. These two financial standouts are, interestingly enough, both in the Health & Fitness category, one of the smallest on the US Windows Store (~2%).

Speaking of categories, we’ve had some good settling as the store wrapped up for GA. See the chart below:

 

I was happy to see that the Productivity category has doubled from 6% from the last time I inventoried the US categories. Games have declined 3% to 17%, but still make up the largest single category. In general, I think the spread of the top 6 categories is now in a reasonably healthy place, and as I noted, we’re starting to see some good keystone apps arrive in the store, and the next several weeks and months will likely bring more.

All in all, more than 9,000 apps worldwide, more than 5,000 in two key global markets, and more than 4,000 in all others? Not a bad way to start Windows 8 and Windows RT. Congratulations to Microsoft, their hardware partners, and the Windows Store developers.


24
Oct 12

Windows Store: The (almost) Final Countdown

Quick post today, working to have a comprehensive rundown of Windows Store stats about mid-day Friday (pending any sort of explosion in either the number of apps or my system that counts them). But today, wanted to run through the basic set of numbers most people are interested in.

Worldwide:

As of today, there are 7,873 Windows Store apps available worldwide. Of these, 88% (6,964) are free – mirroring the percentages first seen much earlier this month. The number of apps added per day has been rather significant, and includes 459 apps worldwide that have been added since I polled yesterday.

Almost all applications are available in both x86 and x64 architectures. Only two apps appear to solely target Windows RT (ARM), 31 target only Windows 8 x64 and don’t have Windows 8 x86 or Windows RT  support. The gap I first noticed some time ago is still there, however. While almost all apps support Windows 8 on x86 and x64, 6% of apps do not support Windows RT on ARM at this time. This may change after GA when developers can test on Windows RT systems – but it may always stay lower, reflecting the challenges of developing WinRT apps on Windows RT that I have heard from several developers.

Speaking of developers, there are now 3,367 distinct developers who have apps available on the store at the current time.

Of the total number of apps added since I polled yesterday, 219 were added to the US Windows Store (likely added to others as well). Something interesting happened this week, though. More apps have been added to the Chinese Windows Store than US English. As a result, the US Windows Store is now the second largest, at 4,516 Windows Store apps – while the Chinese Windows Store features 4,795 Windows Store apps.

US Store:

As I noted, the US Windows Store now features 4,516 apps. Of those, 83% (3,749) are free – indicating more willingness to try selling paid apps in the US store than across the average of all other markets. I haven’t analyzed what other markets may be featuring a higher percentage of paid apps – I may try to calculate that later this week or early next.

More important the count, the past two weeks have seen several significant applications come on line, including NetflixHulu PlusFood Network (what can I say, I’m a foodie), and of course Skype coming on line Friday with the GA of Windows 8 and Windows RT – when we can also (hopefully) expect many more apps. Next update – including pretty pictures and category breakdowns, will be available on Friday.


18
Oct 12

Windows Store: Top Markets

A reader earlier today asked if the overall growth of the global count of apps while US English stayed at a lower count generally meant that non-English markets were growing well. The answer is yes – in fact I pointed out that the locale with the second largest app count is the Chinese/China locale, at 3,456 – which interestingly has a much higher app count than any other Chinese markets (Chinese/Singapore: 3,104, Hong Kong: 3099, or Taiwan: 2953) – indicating that – in this case – app developers aren’t blanketing apps across locales that may not be appropriate for them.

In general, I’m still seeing some app developers squeeze apps that aren’t locale appropriate outside of the locale where they do belong – but in general, I think this is getting better.

I thought I’d take a quick moment to examine the commenter’s idea of which locales were at the top of the charts. So here we go – the top 10 Windows Store locales (actually 5, since there are multiple ties):

Rank Locale Number of apps
1 US English (en-us) 3,660
2 China/Chinese (zh-cn) 3,456
3 (tie) Mexico/Spanish (es-mx) 3,384
3 (tie) Japan/Japanese (ja-jp) 3,384
4 (tie) Basque (eu-es) 3,378
4 (tie) Catalan (ca-es) 3,378
4 (tie) Galician (gl-es) 3,378
4 (tie) Spain/Spanish (es-es) 3,378
5 (tie) UK/English (cy-gb) 3,289
5 (tie) UK/Welsh (cy-gb) 3,289

Interesting notes – all of the *-es locales are tied other than Mexico. This likely means that apps are being offered across all of the locales even when they may not really be localized. Same in the two UK locales listed – I sincerely doubt (m)any apps have been properly localized to Welsh.

I also thought it was strange that by the time I hit 10, I hadn’t run into the German (de-de) locale. Amusingly, it was next, with 3,252 apps.

Disclaimer: These counts were tabulated using information available last night, and do not include desktop applications. As a result, when you perform a search from your Windows 8 (or Window RT, if you have one) device, the count will be higher than the above. That’s expected. I never include desktop applications in my counts, and only retrieve my dataset once per day.


10
Oct 12

Windows Store: Wednesday Number Time

Apologies for the brevity of today’s post – didn’t time my travel to Chicago well.

This week has been a rather slow week, as I think next week may be as well. I’m anticipating things really picking up as we go in to the week of 10/22 and on after the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT. There should be well over 5,000 apps on launch day – perhaps more – depends on the bumps on the way.

For now, here’s where we are.

Globally, the store was at 4,326 Windows Store apps when I ran inventory last night, of which 3,783 were free.

Most days only added 100 or less apps, with one exceptional day that added 351 apps. Here’s what the chart of all apps looks like currently:

The percentage of free apps has been holding steady at 87-88%, globally:

As of last night, there were 2,854 total apps available in the US English Windows Store.

The category breakdown in terms of apps is holding relatively close, though the total percentage of the store that is comprised of games appears to be down (18%, was 20%), which frankly I’d like to see continue. We need some strong productivity apps in the store. While I’ve seen a few good mind mapping tools, more is needed, so I hope to see apps in the productivity category in particular grow between here and launch.


03
Oct 12

Windows Store: Show me the numbers.

If you haven’t yet read my post from yesterday, please do. It’s very relevant to this conversation. As I stated – The Windows Store doesn’t need a large number of apps to be successful. It needs a number of great apps that drive people to the platform.

Sermon aside, I know many people are visiting this site to find out where the store is at, and where it may be by 10/26. So let’s have a look.

As of today, the Windows Store has 3,610 Windows Store apps available for purchase or free download. This is a non-trivial increase, and I’ve been seeing an average of 118 apps per day, but it ebbs and flows. Nothing so far matches the huge increase seen on 9/13, but during three days of the last week, over 240 apps hit the store each day. Charted with the earlier data, here is the result:

Pretty strong growth. If you trend that out, the Windows Store will indeed be at over 5,000 apps by launch day.

There was a rush of paid apps that became available, but generally a much higher percentage of apps coming in the store have been free. As of today, 88% of the store’s global inventory consists of free apps. Here’s how that has been trending:

There are a total of 1,837 developers (both individuals and organizations) represented in the store, with the majority having one application available each, though a large number have submitted 2 or more up to about 5. Above that, the spread gets thinner, with the top 10 developers all having 20 or more applications in the store. The top development organization has 96 applications, and the second most is the individual who previously had the most – who now has 51 applications available. There are quite a few larger organizations represented in the Windows Store, such as Asus, AT&T, Amazon (of course),  BMW, eBay, NBCUniversal, Toshiba, and Viacom among others – but I’m also seeing a lot of apps written by individual developers, and a fair amount from Microsoft IT consulting organizations as well.

Many apps on the store are smaller, unitasking apps – the kind I’d frankly like to see less of, since it makes the store harder to navigate. In some ways, these small tchotchke apps are like the Windows command-line tools of yore – power toys for power users. Nice to have, but I’m hoping we start to see some truly unique, well-designed apps that reflect the tenets I mentioned yesterday.

From here on out, all stats are for the US English store (which still has the largest app inventory, at 2,420 apps).

Here’s how the categories break down:

The top two categories are the same, but games have declined 2% in the overall inventory (down from 20%), Entertainment is up 1%, and Tools is up dramatically, from 5% to 10%. Education is up dramatically, from 4% previously. Unfortunately, all of this took a toll on productivity, which is down 2% to 6% of overall inventory today. The Music and Video and Lifestyle categories were unchanged.

94% of the titles that are on x86 or x64 are available on ARM at the current time – though it remains to be seen if that changes after developers can obtain Windows RT systems to test their applications on.

Microsoft’s Mail, Calendar, and Contacts suite of applications has the largest number of ratings submissions by users, at 1,511 – with a rating of 3.2. A rating I expect to improve over time as Microsoft enhances and improves the somewhat constrained applications. The app with the second most ratings is Fruit Ninja, with a rating of 4.0. Aside from that, the apps with the most ratings so far are generally those from Microsoft, landing most in high 3 to 4.x territory.

 


28
Sep 12

What’s the deal with counting Windows Store apps?

I’ve had a few people ask me why I started counting the number of apps. Why should I care? Do I have some sort of vendetta against Microsoft or something?

No. I don’t.

The Windows Store count is what it is. I’m not here to say it’ll trounce iOS. I’m not here to say it’ll be a failure. That doesn’t matter, and little I can or do say will change how Windows 8 does with consumers and corporate customers. My goal in counting was simply to find out what’s going on. How much interest is there among developers.

For my day job, I’m a research analyst who writes about Microsoft. I generally write about SQL Server and SharePoint, but I do write about Windows, Office, Bing, and other subjects too.

The entire Windows 8 development cycle has been largely a black box for me – and as a result, for my readers, who are IT decision makers within some very large-sized companies (that traditionally use a lot of Microsoft software). When it comes to Windows 8 and Windows RT, when you learned about things is when I learned about them (it didn’t always used to be that way). Last year at Build I had a good conversation with a friend – an IT pro – who helps drive Windows decisions within his business. He was already frustrated with the lack of transparency around Windows, and I’ve only seen his frustration grow. You have to understand, this is someone who I worked together with years ago when I was helping build Windows XP (nee Whistler) and he was helping to deploy it within a very, very large company – we had a very different method of information exchange (as Microsoft and a large corporate customer) than Windows 8, and especially Windows RT, presented to most corporate customers

So back in August, when I started thinking out loud with a friend about whether there was a way to get more insight into the state of the store, my intentions were largely to help provide my customers – predominantly corporate customers – with some insight around the Windows Store.

My readers, my co-workers, and my friends in the Microsoft IT space, need insight to help guide their careers and their IT decisions. While Windows 8 will run most/many/all (choose one) Windows 7 applications, it doesn’t include Windows XP mode, has some pretty big user interface changes, and really focuses on touch. So those are issues. But all those aside, the Windows Store then becomes a “nice to have” conversation piece.

But my readers – our customers – some of Microsoft’s most faithful fans – have held iPads at bay for some time within their organizations. For cost, power consumption, weight and many other reasons, Windows RT devices will likely be the first option considered in those scenarios. But these individuals have so little information to guide their decisions around hardware, deployment, licensing, management, etc that anything helps. For example, a friend pointed out that the first link when you Google search for “Windows RT PowerShell” is an article I wrote quite some time ago pondering whether Windows RT would even include PowerShell 3.0 (this absolutely shouldn’t be the first hit for this topic!!!). For this reason, I feel that any insight I can provide to these customers (and any other readers or potential Windows RT buyers as a result) is beneficial.

I never meant any ill will to the Windows team in pointing out the state of the store. My goal in pointing out numbers of apps wasn’t to do a Nelson Muntz “ha-ha” laugh at the Windows Store, nor was it to say “this is amazing, it’s going to smoke all of the other tablet ecosystems. I have no idea, and I generally don’t like to make predictions around unpredictable things.

But my intention was to see if I could gather this information in a useful, usable way, and when I found that I could, my goal was to share that – to inform others – heck, to hopefully incentivize more devs to come along and give it a shot. This is a new ecosystem, a new platform, and a brave new world for Microsoft. As I’ve said before – it’s anybody’s game.

As I mentioned on the WinAppUpdate twitter feed the other day. I’m going to change the focus of WinAppUpdate – the site and the Twitter feed. As long as I can continue to do so, I will provide updates, likely every Wednesday, about how the store is doing, what the top categories look like, etc – because I think that info is interesting to everyone.

But I just as much plan to delve into the quality of the apps. Who is using the breadth of the charm bar, app bar, etc, who is providing something new and novel that you can’t get anywhere else.


28
Sep 12

What’s the deal with counting Windows Store apps?

I just posted an entry on my “regular” blog that relates to this site. Thought some of you might want to read it.

What’s the deal with counting Windows Store apps?


26
Sep 12

Windows Store: A second wind

It’s been a few days since I posted an update on the growth of the store. Yesterday Mary Jo Foley posted an article with some of my recent stats, and Alex Wilhelm posted a bit more cynical take. Today, fellow EXMSFT, Charlie Kindel posted on his blog about how important it is that the growth of the Windows 8 Store (or any sustainable ecosystem) be organic, not subsidized.

First: I’m happy that there is so much interest in these statistics. I can’t emphasize enough that this is all “seat-of-the-pants” numbers that I believe to be reasonably accurate.

Second: There’s been another second wind of apps appearing. Later this week I hope to write a few posts about the apps themselves, instead of just throwing out app counts for once. In the mean time, let’s just say that the last couple of days have been very kind to Windows 8 users.

According to my calculations today, there are now 2,452 Windows Store apps available globally, with 1,741 of them available in the US.

Back to the “seat-of-the-pants” aspect. As I rewrote some code I discovered a bug in how I was calculating free apps internationally (outside of the US English store). Because of that, the percentage is up. Not dramatically, not fatally, but up. Today the number of free apps is 2,122 globally, meaning ~86% of apps are free. I’m looking to post more granular updates of the US store in particular, and will hopefully start updating the stats around it (including categories) in more detail. In a nutshell, I believe that the percentage of apps that are free outside of the US may be higher than it is inside the US. Further calculations in time may reveal more info here.

Finally, I’m introducing a stat that I believe will be interesting, which is how the ARM app count stacks up to the count of x86 and x64 (which are effectively at parity). By calculating
ARM/average(x86/x64) I have a general percentage of apps that are available for Windows RT but are for Windows 8. Today that percentage is 93%.