Happy New Year! I hope that you and your loved ones enjoyed the holidays.
At Microsoft we have a number of things to celebrate as we head into 2013. One of the main things to celebrate is that Windows 8 is off to a fantastic start, selling 60 million licenses to date, which is in line with what we saw with Windows 7. We also saw strong growth in the number of developers building for Windows 8. Since the opening of the Windows 8 Store the number of apps available has quadrupled and we recently passed the 100 million app download mark – just two months after general availability. If you haven’t yet signed up to develop ad-funded apps for Windows 8 you can do so here.
Independent third parties are also touting the opportunity available in Windows 8 including Distimo, a leading app analytics provider, who recently published a report entitled “Discover the Windows Store” (link to download). Distimo reports that consumers are deeply engaged with Windows 8, pinning an average of 19 tiles to their Windows 8 Start screen! In addition, the daily download volume among the top 300 most popular apps in the Windows Store is already three times higher than the volume among the top 300 most popular apps in the Apple Mac App Store. We’re excited to see this third party validation and the consumer excitement for Windows 8 and expect to share more in the coming weeks and months!
We must not forget: this Windows 8 momentum represents an unparalleled opportunity for app developers.
As we kick off 2013, it’s a good time to pause and reflect on an important factor that is driving this momentum for Windows 8 adoption: happy customers. Here at Microsoft Advertising, our goal is to provide ads that are accretive to the consumer’s experience. This means delivering ads that are relevant, trusted, safe and that invite users to engage with them.
With the consumer experience in mind, I wanted to share some best practices on integrating ad experiences within your Windows 8 apps:
- Make sure to design advertising into your app experience from the very beginning of development.
- Take advantage of the beautiful and innovative Windows 8 design elements (grids, panoramas). There are some great resources available at www.design.windows.com
- Ensure you support reallocation of your app’s real-estate for scenarios where the fill rate is < 100%. I’ve included two great links on MSDN to help you ensure a great consumer experience at all times, including the “no ad” scenario: Ad Control error handling: link and error code values from the Microsoft Advertising SDK: link.
- Select an ad provider that will provide safe, quality ad experiences
- Bolt advertising into open real-estate in your app
- Over-saturate your app with advertising – keep the user experience top-of-mind
- Distract users from their core task/goal
- Drain consumers battery life with a poor choice in ad providers
If you would like to see examples that illustrate the guidance above, check out my presentation, “Monetizing your Windows 8 App with Advertising” from last fall’s BUILD conference: link.
Thanks again for your partnership. I look forward to a fantastic 2013!