More Perspective

Marco Arment offers some astute insight on Windows 8 attracting developers:

It’s safe to assume that Windows 8 for PC-like hardware will have a large installed base. If the ARM-class Surface sells well, Windows RT will succeed, too.

But will Windows 8 app development be very profitable? A large installed base alone doesn’t guarantee that. How easy will payment be for customers? How many Windows 8 PCs and tablets will have payment accounts already configured, ready to buy apps with almost no effort, from many countries? Because that, more than anything else, is why paid apps can exist reasonably profitably on iOS and why they usually suffer by comparison on Android and BlackBerry.

The even bigger problem, I think, will be the lack of dogfooding: most developers of the kind of apps Windows 8 needs don’t use Windows.

When I wrote about Microsoft’s Surface event, I neglected to mention the role of developers in Windows 8’s success. That I’m linking to Marco’s post now is not only an act of atonement, but also of recognizance insofar that he’s made some very good points. Moreover, Marco’s points not only apply to Windows 8, but also Windows Phone 8, where Microsoft’s already burned bridges with WP7 customers. It’s going to be an uphill battle for Redmond, to say the least.

See also: the post Marco referenced about developers and platforms. More good stuff.