Forget Windows Phone and Windows Mobile for a minute. They are dead anyway. Microsoft has also been pushing Windows 10 apps for use on your PC, but not a lot of people are downloading and installing them. Windows 10 PC apps downloads statistics tell us that most people do not care for Windows PC apps.
From Windows 8 through Windows 10, PC applications have not gained traction, and that is no surprise, to be honest. As a result, brands are shutting down their Windows 10 apps. The Bank Of America Windows 10 app is the latest casualty.
The Problem With Windows 10 PC Apps
The problem is that apps are mobile. Because of the small screen of mobile phones, dedicated apps make sense and allow for greater usability. That is not the case on a PC.
For most users and purposes, PC is the web browser. Think about it: how many non-browser tasks does the average PC user carry out on their desktops and laptops? Almost everyone who is in the consumer bracket of users fires up their web browser immediately after booting up their PCs.
Twitter on PC is web. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, all web. And with Google Docs and Drive available via your web browser, even Microsoft Office software isn’t so important any more. You can do without installing them.
Oh, and email is definitely Web-based too on PC. Microsoft and others tried hard to push adoption of their email clients but they still have never come close to the uptake of email on web. Gmail won the email war partly because it works much better in the Web browser than its competitors do.
Windows 10 PC apps: The Exceptions
As with most things in life, there are exceptions to the general trend with Windows 10 PC apps.
The only apps and software worth developing for PC are entreprise, mission-critical and niche productivity/creativity software. That covers only a minute section of PC users. It is a valuable market too, but it will not drum up the numbers that mobile apps have.
So, PhotoShop is viable on PC, as CorelDraw has been. But even that may change. Whoever thought it would be possible to design catchy graphics on a web browser until Canva showed up? In the future, even CorelDraw and PhotoShop may have to get on the Web.
Web Apps For PCs
Repeat after me: Apps is for mobile. Web apps for PC.
The PC is essentially a web thing, so brands and developers will do well to go in that direction. That is why Google is on to a good thing with Chrome OS. Chrome OS is an operating system designed by Google that uses Chrome web browser as its user interface.
When I am on my PC, I do not want to leave my browser, and that goes for most PC users. Which is why WhatsApp is a brilliant idea, and Opera integrating WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger into their Web browser is superb and convenient. You do not even have to leave the tab I am in to respond to messages.
If you want to target PC users, build web apps instead; not Windows 10 PC apps. Web apps are right where PC users spend most of their time – the web browser.
Bank Of America and many other services already have websites that work well on a myriad of modern web browsers on their PC, and their users definitely prefer to use those. You can take that to the bank.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.