I wish I could say the bleeding stopped there. It hasn't. In the 12 days since the Windows Store hit 40,000 apps, only 1648 new additions have popped up in its Metro-ed halls, by MetroStore Scanner's count. The per-day submission rate has crept even lower, to just 137 apps. At that pace, it will take another 424 days before the Windows Store hits the 100,000 app mark that one enthusiastic Microsoft executive expected to hit in just three months.
And that's global apps, mind you. The number of new apps that have been trickling into the U.S. version of the Windows Store is far less than 137 per day. I haven't been keeping an exact count, but I do check out the News Releases section of the Windows Store every morning while I sip my morning cup o' Joe. (Dorky, I know, but it's my job.) Even though the section only shows the 100 latest Windows Store additions, it takes several days for new apps to meander their way off the list.
Something needs to change
Quality apps are killer apps, but the rapid deceleration of new overall app submissions is an ominous trend for a platform that's failing to gain any tablet traction whatsoever. In November, the NPD research group reported that tablets comprised less than a single percent of all Windows device sales during the operating system's opening month. Just last week, IDC said the tablet picture stayed just as bleak throughout the entire quarter.
"There is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the long haul," IDC's Ryan Reith said in the research firm's press release. "However, devices based upon its new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company's Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best."
Microsoft has killed its darlings (and annoyed dedicated desktop users) in the company's quest for a slice of the burgeoning mobile pie. Billions have been spent to blanket the world in flashy ads. The Start button itself--the very icon of Windows as we know it!--was sacrificed upon the touchscreen altar. And still everyday users avoid Windows tablets like the plague. Who can blame them? Interface gripes aside, there simply aren't many worthwhile Windows 8 apps available, and hope for software salvation is dwindling as the number of new app submissions declines day-in and day-out.