GDC 13: Microsoft's big Windows 8 development push

GDC 13: Microsoft's big Windows 8 development push
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

March 29th 2013 at 12:00AM

New developers, games and big stats OS

Microsoft revealed a plethora of impressive statistics today for Windows 8 as it makes a big push to bring more games and developres to the platform at GDC.

Speaking to Develop, Windows director of communications Christopher Flores said the computing giant has attracted a wave of developers to Windows 8, including PopCap, Glu, GameHouse and Disney, and revealed new and upcoming games such as Bejeweled Live, Samurai vs. Zombies and Temple Run Brave.

Flores also touted some impressive sale and installs stats that it hopes will attract yet more studios to develop for its platform.

He stated that 60 million Windows 8 licenses had been sold during the first two months of launch, matching the "record-setting" sales in a similar time period for Windows 7.

He added that to date, 670 million Windows 7 licenses had also been sold, and stressed that all of these users could upgrade the OS to Windows 8.

The Windows Store meanwhile has accrued more than 100 million app downloads in its first two months, with the number of apps quadrupling since its launch. In fact, Flores said the store had seen double digit growth in the number of visiting users week over week since its October launch, with 95 per cent of the apps available having been downloaded.

And according to Steam's recent hardware and software survey, almost ten per cent of the digital distribution platform’s userbase are said to be running Windows 8, and is currently the fastest growing OS on the service.

Flores added that there were now more than 1,800 certified systems for Windows 8 and Windows RT.

As for revenue share on the Windows Store and what benefits successful developers can receive on the platform, it was reiterated that should an app pass $25,000 in sales, developers can then start receiving an 80 per cent share of all subsequent sales, instead of the usual 70/30 split.

The announcement of sale and usage stats for Windows 8 as well as new developers supporting the platform comes as Microsoft also revealed a number of development tools coming to Windows Phone 8.

Development platforms Unity and Marmalade have both opened beta testing for the platform, while a new version of 2D open source and cross-platform game engine Cocos2d-x has also been released for Windows Phone 8 aligned with the Cocos2d-x v2.1 API.

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