The potential ROI of developing Apps for Windows 8

Assuming Windows 8 is even moderately successful, it may make more sense for developers and advertisers to develop for Windows 8 than for Apple’s iOS. This was a point that was driven home to me by an executive during and after the BUILD conference last September. The writers on this site have been accused of bashing Microsoft and Windows 8 and I wanted to try and even things out a bit by acknowledging some of the potential positives of this Operating System. During the BUILD conference last September, Microsoft graciously invited some of us in the press to a private dinner where we were able to sit down with some third party executives who were excited about the potential of Windows 8. During the dinner, we had a chance to have a pretty in-depth discussion with Naveen Jain, the CEO of Sparkart (an Oakland California based application development company). I also got a chance to interview him later and you can see those interviews here. I asked him why he was excited about encouraging his clients to spend their development and advertising dollars on the Windows platform versus the more mature, robust and successful Apple IOS platform. His answer was interesting so I thought I would share that here with you guys and girls. It goes like this (I’m paraphrasing): If a company has $100,000 to spend on developing a website and mobile application that will drive customers to their brand, they want to get the most bang for their buck. Typically, that company sets a fixed budget number ($100,000 in this example) and won’t add to that number (important to remember). Today, it’s an easy choice – you build a mobile application for the iPhone and iOS that can be seen on iPhones and iPads. That’s the big player in the market. If Windows 8 is available however, there is now a more sophisticated discussion about the use of that $100,000. The amount in the budget probably won’t be enough to develop both for Windows and iOS so the question becomes, which platform would provide the bigger bang for my buck? Now, let’s assume that Windows 8 is mediocre and only sells 200 million copies (that’s mediocre – crazy). You are now faced with two choices

  1. Developing an application for a new Windows marketplace with less apps (less competition) and a huge audience.
  2. Developing an application for an established Apple marketplace with way more apps (more competition) and a smaller audience.
Ultimately, if you have a fixed budget and you can’t do both, it can be argued that it will make more sense to go with Windows 8. As I have said before, it’s not about sentiment, it’s about making money and reaching consumers. Apple as a brand is the gold standard in mobile applications today, there’s no question about that. It can however be argued that when Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 hit their stride, the potential number of Windows users may quickly dwarf the Apple market. Large businesses have the luxury of being able to play in both markets because money is not an issue. If you’re a small to mid-sized business, it’s hard to make the case that you will be able to ignore the Windows 8 opportunity. It’s all about reaching the most consumers with the budget that you have. A lot of things need to happen to make this scenario a reality but we can’t argue that this is the direction Microsoft is heading in. If Microsoft, OEM’s and development partners execute flawlessly, Windows 8 may prove to be a compelling proposition for companies in the future. That’s all from me. What do you guys and girls think? Use the comments below and let me know…]]>

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