Nov 26,2020

ISV Opportunity – Reach your customers with a Universal Windows Platform app

In the previous ISV opportunity blog post, I talked specifically about brining odd style Win32 legacy apps into the Windows Store, the timing was great as we had just launch the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. This time I want to go to the start of the conversation and cover why develop an app to go into the Windows Store at all.

Business and consumers are using a number of devices. Research I have seen and conversations I have had with small business shows me that people use a combination of tablets, phones and PCs. As one would expect, there is a time and place for each device and therefore it makes sense for anyone providing an app to make it available across all the form factors their customers use. You might think this is obvious but in a world centred around apps on mobile device, we sometimes need reminding.

400 million devices

Windows 10 is present on over 400 million devices across 192 countries, part of the 1.5 billion devices running Microsoft Windows of some form. With such high deployment numbers, many of your customers will be running Windows, in addition to iOS and Android, how are you taking this into account?

You may have already created a website so customer can access your service? This is a great catch all and if it’s not something you have in place then I would highly recommend to you do. By not providing simple website access to your service, you are excluding the 1.5 billion people using PCs every day, including your customers. So, should I stop with website access and not bother with any apps on any platform? Of course not.

You will have also developed an iOS and Android app for convenience. Although customers could use the website app we discussed above, we know it’s a better experience of the service to come to the customer rather than assuming the customer will type in the web address, you should use this same logic to create a Universal Windows Platform app.

There are a number of ways to do this. I mentioned in the last blog post how you can turn existing old Windows (Win32) apps into a new Universal Windows Platform app, but there are other options available which I plan to discuss over the blog series. For now, start thinking about developing a website interface for your app if you don’t have one and if you do, get ready to create a Universal Windows Platform app based on it.

Why a universal Windows Platform app?

Apart from customer convenience, there are other reasons why you might want to create a Universal Windows Platform app in the Windows Store.

  1. Easy and simple to send out updates to your app to all devices with it installed. No more downloading the update from our website.
  2. Telemetry on who is using your service and app. What types of devices? Where are they accessing it from?
  3. Easy and simple way for business/consumers to find and install your application.
  4. Great starting point to add code to later that is specific to each device.

Think about what apps you currently have and on what platforms? You may have just created an iOS and Android app, have you excluded the customers that want to access your service from a PC? If you have created a website for the service, is it discoverable by new customers using a PC as much as it is via the iOS and Android Store. On their phone, your brand appears as an icon or tile, remind them to log into the service daily, why would you not do the same for PC?

Get that website access in place and then keep reading this blog series to find out what you can do next to get it into the Windows Store, reaching over 400 million devices.