Windows Store App Numbers and Observations

Now that Microsoft is releasing numbers on Windows Sales and Store downloads, I thought the Tribe would be interested in seeing numbers from a Windows Store developer. I am just a single developer. I think I spent at least 75 hours building, designing and testing these apps, but I really did not keep track of time. I used HTML5/WinJS to develop the apps. I do have a strong background in web programming and design, so that made HTML5/WinJS a natural choice.

I currently have 3 apps in the store. The purpose of the apps are to use Bing and Yelp together to solve common problems like where to meet, where to have a drink, etc. They all follow the same business model. They are free to download and use with ads. You can optionally select an in-app purchase to remove ads. This purchase costs $1.50. I do not advertise other than word of mouth.

App Release Date Total Downloads Paid Upgrades
Meet me in the Middle 11/2 401 $3.12 (3)
I could use a Beer 11/30 367 $1.04 (1)
Where can I eat? 12/18 816 $1.04 (1)

I use the Microsoft ad platform to serve ads. Here are the ad results as of this morning.

Dates Impressions Revenue eCPM
10/1/2012 - 1/9/2013 25,771 $7.58 $0.29

Overall, I have made $12.78, but I have not actually received any money because the threshold to get paid is higher than that.

Positives:

- The HTML5/WinJS model is really great for building and deploying native apps. I have dabbled in XAML and Android development and found both to be much more challenging, especially when it comes to achieving unique layouts.

- The HTML5/WinJS apps are indistinguishable from XAML/C# apps.

- Visual Studio is fantastic and really makes coding in it a joy.

Negatives:

- The certification process has been a pain and really inconsistent. I recently had to update an API key. I made the update to all 3 apps which consisted of changing a single string, and 2 out of the 3 did not pass certification.

- I do not think any of my apps have been featured on the store home page. I stopped checking b/c it seemed like the majority were big name apps.

- The announcement that Windows Phone 8 would not support WinJS was a huge disappointment. It made porting my applications to WP8 very difficult.

Overall, I have enjoyed the experience of developing apps for Windows 8, despite not seeing much of a financial return. It is nice to have a platform that you can use HTML5 to develop for. I think that if you want to build an app, it is a good place to learn the fundamentals, but for me the ROI hasn't been that good.