Microsoft’s Windows Store is heading in the right direction with a welcome redesign and the release of a Facebook app (finally). However, Windows 8.1 still trails the iPad and Android by a mile it comes to the selection of tablet apps. We went digging into the iTunes App Store and Google Play, which are both hovering around 1 million strong, to find out the exact state of the Microsoft app universe. Sadly, we found that 75 of the most popular apps around aren’t available for Windows.
Sure, Windows Store has Netflix and Twitter, but you won’t find Instagram, Pandora or Candy Crush Saga. There are also no Google apps, such as YouTube. While both iTunes and Google Play have apps that are unique to them, the vast majority of the most popular apps are not exclusive to either platform.
Despite having the Xbox brand in its corner, Windows 8.1 is missing a lot of games iPad and Android tablet owners are enjoying. These include Angry Birds Star Wars II, Minecraft, Pet Rescue Saga, Plague and Subway Surfers. You also won’t find Snapchat.
To tabulate these results we eliminated Apple’s proprietary apps that appear in the top list. Then we tallied the top 10 paid, top 10 free and top 10 highest grossing apps for Android and iPad. We then looked across both stores, as well as the Windows Store.
With Windows 8.1, Microsoft has rolled out some great Bing apps of its own, including the Food & Drink app and much improved Xbox Music and Xbox Video. We also like Movie Moments (which made our Top 10 Windows 8.1 apps list) and the enhanced Fresh Paint. But if third-party apps play a major role in your tablet or hybrid buying decision, the Windows Store might not cut it.