Say what you will about the power of the ecosystem, but one of Microsoft
's biggest hurdles to overcome in the mobile arena isn't quality hardware nor software. Nokia makes killer phones, and most of the AAA-level apps in the Windows Phone store are of high quality (just look at Evernote, for example). But there's a reason that the iPad and iPhone have exploded, and a lot of that has to do with a unified app buying experience. Now, Microsoft is reportedly looking to pull off something similar.
For years now, the company has been leaning towards a more Windows-centric world. In other words, tying the raw DNA of Windows into each of its business sectors. Xbox, Windows, Windows RT and Windows Phone are all in the same family, but hardly unified. That could be changing. The tale has Microsoft planning a single app store for both Windows and Windows Phone, and we're assuming that Windows RT will either be bundled in as well eventually, or axed if it continues to lose support in the marketplace.
Reportedly, the unified store will launch in Spring 2014 alongside the next refresh (point update) of Windows. This could potentially make it easier and more attractive for developers. Microsoft may be able to rope devs in on the Windows side, make it easy for ports to occur into the WP8 universe, and bam -- now the Windows Phone app store "problem
" becomes less of one. We'll be keeping an eye out for more, but it sure sounds like a wise plan from the outside looking in.