Over the last few months, there’s no doubt that Windows 10 has been our biggest topic. We’ve written about Windows 10 MDM, thin clients, how it competes with Chromebooks in education, Windows Cloud rumors, news that the Creators Edition will have a “Windows Store-only” checkbox, device running on Qualcomm processors, and Continuum on phones.
All of these concepts rely—either to a significant degree or entirely—on apps from the Windows Store. And as we all know, the issue with the Windows Store is the app gap when compared to other app stores. This would seem to doom these efforts, no?
Here’s the thing—I don’t believe this is actually a huge issue. Mostly, because when we’re talking large screen/multi-monitor, keyboard, and mouse devices, so many of our needs can be taken care of by web apps. With a phone, you install a native app from an app store for every random service and reason, but you don’t do this for your laptop or desktop. Instead, you use web apps (which by the way can also replace many of our previous apps, too). So the fact that the selection in the Windows Store is so poor? I don’t think that dooms the future of Windows. Otherwise, the Chromebook wouldn’t exist, right?
That’s pretty much the core of my argument, but that doesn’t make for much of an article, so I’ll add a few more of my thoughts: Overall, I think in the future, no single angle is going to be the sole savior, and Windows will advance on various fronts.
I have no worries about Win32 desktop apps going away, because prosumers and the enterprise will always have a need for them. Some will be local; over time more will be delivered remotely (possibly with app transformation stuff like PowWow), and a few will even get into the Windows Store via the Windows Bridge for desktop apps.
When it comes to Universal Windows Platform apps, we can naturally rely on Office and the core bundled apps from Microsoft. Other apps—both tablet-oriented and desktop oriented—will come along, though slowly. If Microsoft does really make a stronger move like Windows Cloud or disabling desktop apps by default, I’m sure someday we’ll even see things like Chrome in the Windows Store.
(Also important, in the meantime, companies will hopefully be embracing MDM and other new aspects of Windows security and management.)
Lastly, no matter where the applications come from, despite occasional waves of fear (like when Windows 8 came out), it’s not like we’re going to wake up one day to find that all the mice and keyboards have disappeared.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be flippant—there are many important questions to ask about the future of Windows apps of all types, the adware that Microsoft is putting in Windows 10, and how the landscape will shift—and we’ll continue to have those conversations. But overall, I have no worries about the future of Windows or devices with large screens/multiple monitors, keyboards, and mice. Like I said, no single angle is going to be Windows’ sole savior, but also no single angle will make it disappear, either.