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Analysts question Microsoft’s Windows 8 app strategy

CDN CURATED: Lack of apps for Windows 8 at launch could slow momentum

As the clock ticks town to the launch of Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) new Windows 8 operating system, analysts are questioning the software giant’s strategy to court application developers and ensure a sufficient quantity of apps are available for the new platform, reports Network World’s Gregg Keizer:

The late push — and the relatively small number of apps now in the Windows Store — made one analyst question Microsoft’s strategy.

“Microsoft has put a big burden on Windows 8 and Windows RT,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, referring to the tablet-oriented spinoff. “They have to have a large number of high-quality apps…. I’ve said 5,000 is a reasonable number…to be successful at launch. They don’t need 100,000, but they need a decent number.”

(Click here to read “Microsoft’s long-term Windows 8 app strategy may backfire, say analysts”)

Microsoft has a lot riding on the success of Windows 8, which for the first time attempts to merge desktop and mobile device operating systems on one platform. Microsoft sees touch as the way of the future, and while it’s less important for PC users a robust app store will be critical to attracting customers to Windows 8-based tablets and smartphones.

Vendors are poised to have a number of tablet and smartphones running Windows 8 available at launch but Microsoft has a long hill to climb, lagging far behind Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS and even Research in Motion’s BlackBerry when it comes to mobile OS market share. They’ve been gaining ground since the launch of Windows Phone 7, but a weak app store at launch for Windows 8 could hurt that hard-earned momentum.