Where are all the Windows 8 Metro apps?

Windows 8 will be the first version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system to ship with an app store. It’s called the Windows Store, and it will be the only officially sanctioned place to download free and paid apps designed for the new Windows 8 Metro style full-screen interface.

But right now the Windows Store looks a bit like a ghost town. During the weeks that I was testing the Kupa X11 tablet with Windows 8 Consumer Preview I kept checking the store for new apps, and I kept failing to find any.

Recently Forbes noted that there are only 99 apps in the store. There are a few really nice apps such as the Kobo eBook app and Flixter movie app. But there’s no Netflix app, only a handful of games, and generally the selection is pretty small.

Windows Store

That’s not a huge surprise since Microsoft is just starting to accept early submissions from developers. The number of Windows 8 Metro style apps will likely be much higher by the time the operating system goes on sale later this year.

But there are a lot of people using Windows 8 today. Microsoft recently noted that there are twice as many people already testing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview than there were people trying out Windows 7 beta during the same period a few years ago.

The good news is that if you’re running Windows 8 on a computer with an x86 processor you can run millions of existing Windows app. And virtually everyone is using x86 hardware, since you need Windows RT for ARM-based hardware, and that’s not available to the public yet.

So while there are hundreds of thousands of apps available for the iPad or Android tablets and only about 100 apps available for Windows 8 tablets at the moment, there are actually far more programs available for Windows tablets. They just might not be that easy to use with your fingertips, since most were designed for keyboard and mouse input — or at least a digital stylus or pen.

But right now if you’re hoping to take Windows 8 for a spin, don’t expect to be able to find nearly as many touch-friendly apps as you’ll find for the iPad, Android devices, or even Windows Phone devices.

via Hacker News

  • animatio

    “But there are a lot of people using Windows 8 today. Microsoft recently noted that there are twice as many people already testing the Windows 8″ ……..on tablets ????? these people run “the stuff” mainly on laptops and pc’s …. no need to look or ask for finger apps. thus one might ask what’s the real value of this test ground in regard of “a tablet OS” ?  

    • CyberGusa

      It remains to be seen whether Windows 8 will be just a tablet OS or not.  The preview release is just a preview and a long way from final release.

      While even RT will retain the desktop Mode.  So they could start with the more traditional apps and work their way towards more Metro specific apps… 

      • Someone

        Lets run some logical tests about the RT Desktop.  You can only get applications from the Windows Store.  Even drivers have to be downloaded from the Windows Store, absoltuely NO Unsigned apps not from the store will be allowed, and certified UEFI boot loaders will guarantee that (until they’re hacked and devices are jail broken, which MS seems to be making as hard as possible).  They’ve stated explicetly that only code written with the new RT API will be allowed, which is Metro apps.  Metro apps are full screen, limited UI interface apps that run in a sandbox and require the new contracts interface to expose and use system resources.

        So no, legacy coders, even guys who have been writing .NET software for years without using the Win32 API will not be able to start with more traditional apps and work their way to metro specific ones…  Except on x86 hardware.

      • CyberGusa

         Legacy was never really an option for ARM.  Performance isn’t yet high enough for VM solutions that wouldn’t suck and Windows code, even with .Net, is not easy to port or adapt and even then it would be almost impossible to do without adding significant bloat to the OS.

        Mind Windows RT has to be as lean as possible to run on ARM hardware.  Especially, to not appear slow and sluggish compared to Android and iOS on the same hardware.

        However, Metro development doesn’t exclude the desktop mode.  So, since MS isn’t removing the desktop move from RT, then they can still provide apps for it based upon WinRT. 

        Really, WinRT can be used by both desktop and Metro apps, though
        specific APIs may be tied to one environment or the other.

        More specifically,
        examples like the contract APIs (share, search, file picker) are only usable from
        Metro. While the Deployment APIs, on the other hand, are only usable from desktop.

        The developers tools MS is providing are still being developed but they are providing tools that can let developers provide apps for either or both environments.

        Metro is just being pushed because that will be the easier to use on Tablets and those represent most devices in the mobile market that Windows RT stands to get installed on.

      • animatio

        interesting article covering some of the hurdles programmers of existing applications will be facing if moving to metrohttp://www.virtualdub.org/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=365#body