Microsoft designed Windows 10 to pull users into Windows Store, and it might be working

Windows 10 users are downloading more apps than Windows 8 users did, and that's exactly what the Store needs to attract better apps.

Windows 10 users may finally be giving the Windows Store the love it needs to survive—largely due to smart plotting by Microsoft to make it happen.

Microsoft announced in a blog post Thursday evening that Windows 10 users are downloading apps at a vigorous rate. “The average Windows 10 customer is downloading six times more apps than the average customer on Windows 8,” said Microsoft’s Todd Brix, who authored the post.

This is hardly a grassroots movement, though. Microsoft has designed Windows 10 to drive users to the Windows Store. If it is indeed working, then that’s hopeful news for the future of the lackluster app store.

Why this matters: A critical mass of Windows 10 users, downloading lots of apps, is exactly what Microsoft needs to solve its chicken-and-egg problem with Windows Store. The Windows Store needs better apps, and it won’t get better apps until it gets more users. Windows 10’s design apparently addresses the user need. Now we wait to see whether app developers will follow the crowd.

How Windows 10 lures users to Windows Store

Microsoft’s Brix stated clearly that Windows 10 lay at the heart of Microsoft’s campaign to promote the Windows Store. “We have taken steps to change the way people discover and experience apps in Windows 10,” he explained. Brix added that the user-hooking techniques are broadly deployed, incorporating “features both inside and outside of the Store that are fast becoming part of people’s daily lives.”

Brix went on to describe how Microsoft designed Windows 10 to drive those users to the Store. “For example, Cortana provides app recommendations based on the customer’s personal interests. In addition, the Start menu, Microsoft Edge and the Notification Center will also suggest apps that customers might enjoy.”

(Of course, if you’ve adjusted your Windows 10 privacy settings to fend off the attentions of these services, you might not get any app suggestions.)

Now all those users need are more and better apps. Microsoft’s working on that, too: The blog post describes a host of new features designed to make it easier for users to find and buy apps on the store, and for developers to port existing apps to the Windows 10 platform.

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Melissa Riofrio

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