Windows 8 App Downloads Increasing + Over 5,000 Apps Available

Windows 8 will be unleashed on the general public tomorrow and I thought it would be a good time to review some of the numbers I have been tracking over the last month.

Downloads of Windows 8 Apps have been steadily increasing over the last month.  Below is screenshot from the App Summary page for my Windows 8 app.  The blue line is my app, while the orange line is average for the top 5 apps in that subcategory.  Considering the large gap between the 2, I think it is safe to assume that my app is NOT in the top 5 in the subcategory.

The spike in the last couple of days is fairly dramatic and I am a little surprised by that.  I would have expected that kind of spike on the days following the official release as opposed to the days leading up to the release.  

Finally, the all important App count.  There have been some stories floating around that the Window 8 Store is a ghost town and that there are no apps available.  I think these might be exaggerating the situation a little.  As of this morning, in the US store there are over 5000 apps available for download. 

Obviously a far cry from the hundreds of thousands available in other app stores, but we are seeing solid growth in this number. Less than a month ago, that number was 2000. That means the store more than doubled in less than a month. If the growth continues, it won’t be long before the Widows 8 Store is filled with all the apps you need (and a whole lot you don’t need).

Listing Desktop Apps in the Windows 8 Store

So it looks like Microsoft will be allowing publishers to list their desktop apps in the Windows 8 Store.  As per the developer agreement:

b. Desktop App Submission. You may submit an app description for one or more desktop apps to the Windows Store. Notwithstanding anything else in this agreement, you understand that Microsoft will not offer any desktop apps through the Store and only Windows Store apps are made available through the Windows Store. Microsoft may, but is not required to, list the desktop app in the Windows Store together with a link you provide, to a website where users can acquire the app. You are solely responsible and agree to maintain that website and provide an updated link to Microsoft if the url changes. Desktop apps are any apps built using APIs other than the APIs for Windows Store apps that run on Windows 8.

As the agreement states, Microsoft will not distribute desktop apps through the store, but they will provide a link to a website where users can download your desktop app.  If nothing else, it is a great way to advertise your app.  Hopefully this doesn’t cause any confusion with consumers.  Will end users understand why some apps install automatically while others just send you to a website?

Executing NUnit Tests using the Visual Studio 2012 Test Runner

At a recent Visual Studio 2012 event at the Calgary .NET User Group, I was told that I could run my NUnit tests directly in the Visual Studio 2012 without any special plugins.  Naturally, I was very excited and I immediately tried running my NUnit tests. I was somewhat disappointed to see that the Test Runner did not discover any of my NUnit tests. 

Apparently, you do still need to install an extension that supports NUnit.  Microsoft has completely re-written the Test Runner in Visual Studio 2012 and opened it up for anyone to write Test Adapters for any unit test framework (not just MSTest).  Once the correct test adapters are installed, everything works great.  Luckily, there are a good number of adapters already written.

Here are some Test Adapters that you might find useful:

Overall, I still prefer the unit test runner in ReSharper, but this is a great new feature for those who might not have a ReSharper license.

Over 2000 Windows 8 Store Apps

With still a month left until Windows 8 is made commercially available, I was surprised to hear yesterday that there are already 16 million devices running Windows 8 (via @TommyLee).  I was also surprised to see that in Canada, there are already over 2000 apps available in the Windows Store.  This might not sound like much, but it is double the number of apps available less than a month ago.  These look like good signs for the Windows 8 ecosystem.  I am hoping to see the number of apps continue to grow quickly between now and official launch (and beyond).