Microsoft touts Windows Store, Kiwi-made apps

Windows 8 may have just launched, but the Windows Store is already going full steam ahead, according to Microsoft.

Windows 8 may have just launched, but the Windows Store is already going full steam ahead, according to Microsoft.

President of Microsoft International, Jean Philippe Courtois, yesterday spoke to a small group of technology journalists about Windows 8 apps at a Microsoft media event in Wellington. In addition to Microsoft New Zealand staff, seven Kiwi app developers attended to talk about their Windows 8 products and development experiences.

Courtois started with Microsoft in 1984, and now oversees the operations of Microsoft in over 100 countries outside of North America.

"Windows Store is a big deal," Cortois said, "first for consumers but also for businesses."

Cortois said advantages of the Windows Store for businesses included the large market of "hundreds of millions of Windows devices" apps can target, and the ability to develop apps that will provide a "seamless experience" across devices such as PCs, tablets, phones, and televisions via Xbox. Developers also get revenue share of up to 80% and the ability to use non-Microsoft ecommerce platforms, as well as the opportunity to optionally "monetise their audience" via platform agnostic in-app advertising (not only from Microsoft, but Google and other online marketing agencies).

On launch day, Cortois said, the Windows 8 store had more apps available than any other platform did at launch. Cortois would not give a specific figure, but specified "thousands".

Microsoft New Zealand's Nigel Parker, business development manager for Windows Apps, said that there were currently over 1,100 Kiwi developers registered with the Windows Store, and there were over 100 New Zealand-built apps in the App Store at launch.

Matt Pickering of NV Interactive explained that the New Zealand company had been able to adapt from web development to building Windows 8 apps, which can be created using open web technologies Sch as HTML. This opens up a market to "monetise HTML web content in a store".

NV Interactive built the official New Zealand Cricket app for Windows 8. On the strength of that project, it was commissioned to produce ESPN Cricinfo (a similar Cricket-tracking application for the US sports network), then ESPN FC (a football-tracking app). These applications were demonstrated to media at the official Windows 8 launch in Auckland on October 26.

Keith Patton, CEO of Marker Metro, said the company was currently inundated with requests for Windows 8 apps, and had grown from one to ten employees over the last year.

Patton is the creator of successful Windows Phone 7 game AlphaJax, which was sold to Microsoft Game Studios. Patton used the profits from that sale to create Marker Metro, which is the world's only agency solely dedicated to building Windows 8 apps.

Marker Metro is behind Trade Me Toolbox and the New Zealand Herald app for Windows 8.

Ambient Design, creator of digital paint studio ArtRage, today announced an upcoming Windows 8 version of the popular application. The existing product is currently being distributed on Sony VAIO PCs in the US, and Ambient design is looking to expand that license to other OEMs and markets.

Fingertapps (Unlimited Realities) is behind the Family Calendar virtual pin board software distributed on new Sony and Asus PCs worldwide.

Harley Ogier attended the event as a guest of Microsoft.

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Harley Ogier

Harley Ogier

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