Microsoft Offers Universal App Store for PC and Mobile

Windows App Store

Apple may have revolutionized the world of apps, but Microsoft is the first to offer an App Store that consolidates desktop, tablet, and mobile apps in one place. It helps that Windows computers can use touchscreen apps, so it's possible and practical to write apps that work across the Microsoft product line. By comparison, Apple's desktops and laptops do not use touchscreens and there are no short term plans to do so. The result is that Apple has a split personality, with Mac OS apps and a Mac App Store separate from iOS apps and the iOS App Store.

Making matters worse is that to shop for iOS apps, users must contend with iTunes. The same program that manages music, movies, podcasts, backups, etc., is also pulling double duty as an App Store, but not for Mac apps. Now that Apple also has the Apple Watch, which will soon be able to run native apps, that means Apple will have apps for iPhone, iPads, iPods, and Apple Watches, all available on one App Store, and another App Store for Apple desktops and laptops.

Even Google has similar problems. Android has numerous App Stores, such as Google Play, but also separate stores run by Amazon and Samsung. And that is just for phones, tablets, and wearables. Google also offers Chrome apps and extensions for desktops and laptops, completely separate from Android.

Apple has done little to bring its Macs into the mobile era. You can't even get a SIM card for a Macbook to operate via a cellular connection. Instead, Apple appears poised to introduce an iPad Pro that pushes its mobile line into the arena of Macs. Years ago, Steve Jobs called this the "Post PC" era, yet it looks like Microsoft may be positioning their PCs to play better in the MobileFirst world of touchscreen apps better than competitors.

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Author Details

Todd Bernhard's picture

Author Details

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.