It’s no wonder it didn’t happen sooner given that the desktop app economy is about 10x larger than any other native development platform. Estimated to be around $100 billion industry, the desktop software market was ripe for a solution that seemed to be so prevalent on other platforms with far less reach. Something that could help drive free-to-paid conversions, increase user satisfaction, interaction and help give developers insights on how users behave, and more importantly what can be done to increase profits. This is the reason MarkedUp decided to launch out of Santa Monica’s MuckerLab by supporting Windows first. You can find the text of their announcement here.
Yes, the company does have plans to provide their analytics to other mobile and desktop platforms, but according to MarkedUp CEO Aaron Stannard, a former Microsoft Developer Evangelist, there was, “…a huge vacuum in the marketplace for premium apps that monetize directly through sales.” Stannard goes on, “When I worked at Microsoft, I had a chance to work closely with dozens of app developers who were porting popular iOS and Android titles to Windows Phone and Windows Desktop – absolutely none of them had found a viable analytics solution much less a solution that provided them the analytics and information they need to sustainably monetize their apps on ANY platform”
Author Michael Carney, in an article for Pando Daily argues that while many view desktop software as a thing of the past, “the reality is that there is likely a convergence of platforms taking place where a single operating system, and thus a single version of each piece of software, will soon operate across a wide variety of devices form factors from smartphones, to tablets, to PCs.” And he believes, along with many others, that Windows 8 will lead this convergence. Even Apple is making progress by integrating many OSX and iOS capabilities.
Currently MarkedUp is in a public beta release, and the first 500 developers to register for the service will receive a free 2-year license with unlimited use. Normally the service would include the first 1,000,000 data points for free and then users charged $99 per additional million data points. But for now, and at least through the end of Q1 2013, the service is completely free. Before launching their public beta, the company was working internally with Microsoft BizSpark and Generation App program developers.
While the success of MarkedUp, for now, will depend on the number of people developing apps for Windows 8, some of the claims from Microsoft have been encouraging. According to Windows Phone manager, Joe Belfiore 46 of the top 50 apps in iTunes and on Google Play are also available for Windows Phone. Microsoft is also actively courting developers by citing numbers related to possible market size. During the keynote of Microsoft’s Build Conference, CEO Steve Ballmer highlighted the opportunities by citing that there are around 670 million Windows 7 PC’s with the potential to run Windows 8. And within the first 3 days of release around 4 million actual upgrades were made.
Ballmer went on, “”Our industry is rebuilding itself around new devices and services,” Ballmer noted before he called on developers to rise to the occasion. This new universe represents an opportunity for app developers to make one app for all PC forms. “It’s an unprecedented market. Hundreds of millions of users are dying to buy your application.”
Developers can install MarkedUp’s software developer kit (SDK) directly into their apps, and then connect it with user activities like sign ups, time spent, screens viewed, bug tracking and more. Once launched in the Windows Store, MarkedUp works nicely in the background collecting valuable data points to be analyzed later for further customizations and app refinements later. Data begins to appear in developer’s dashboard about an hour after developers launch their app.
Again, the first 500 to sign up get 2 years free regardless of how much volume you do, and up through Q1 2013 it’s free for everyone. So if you’re a application developer looking at the opportunities Windows development might offer, hurry over to MarkedUp to register your account, get the SDK, and read more about how they can help you make your apps better and more profitable on the Windows Store.
Article first published as MarkedUp Launches Analytics for Windows 8 Phone, Desktop Apps on Technorati.