back to article Someone please rid me of this turbulent Windows 10 Store

Microsoft has invested huge effort into building the Universal Windows Platform, but it is failing at the last hurdle - getting applications to users, according to frustrated Austrian developer Nikolaus Gebhardt. What is the problem? According to Gebhardt's blog: Since Windows 10 arrived, the sales of all of my apps, which …

  1. N2


    Not really a Microsoft thing is it?

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: Search

      I guess search is not a Microsoft thing, and they've obviously made a hash of this which seems really odd to me.

      Microsoft's real strength used to be developers, and the support they gave them. This has given rise to the huge number of really good Windows programmes over the years, easy install and easy to use. (with the obvious caveats regarding DLL hell and awful DotNet versions etc).

      If Microsoft are not giving developers the support they did, then I wonder what they're for now?

      1. Stoneshop

        Re: Search

        and they've obviously made a hash of this which seems really odd to me.

        AIUI making a hash of the search terms is kind of the way a search can be done over a number of (similarly hashed) tags.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Search

      Ever since Google came along, I've used their search engine to search for content on Microsoft's site. It didn't matter what Microsoft called their engine; Bing et al. were broke on arrival. And that hasn't changed at all in the last twenty years or so.

      1. Jon 37

        Re: Search

        Yep. My experience of searching Microsoft's MSDN website a few years ago was that given a choice between using the search box right there on the MSDN page; or typing in the address bar, typing a search with plus the keyword, and clicking search; the Google approach was much faster(!) and gave better results - what I wanted would usually be first or second. Quite how Microsoft managed to make search that slow I don't know - it was taking about 20-30 seconds compared to Google's 1-2 seconds.

        1. Unicornpiss

          Re: Search

          I agree. When I need to find anything on a Microsoft site, Google is the way to do so. If I use the built in search, I typically get 13,000 results, none of which have any relevance to what I'm looking for.

        2. JLV

          Re: Search

          I fondly remember using Bing searching for "The Guild season 5" right after they left youtube for a Bing Video exclusive gig. For season 5. Big deal for MS (tho extra $$$ killed the show's creativity imho).

          No luck. S1 E5. S3 E5. Anything with 5 in title... I don't know if Bing search even had many S5 episodes listed in its search. Though you could see The Guild episodes, just not in any order and mostly earlier ones.

          Google sorted it all out (like it had for preceding seasons) and found links for all of S 5 episodes, on Bing, pronto so I could binge :)

          Joke icon is for Bing searches, btw. Not my post ;)

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. fishman

        Re: Search

        I figured out the Bing stands for "Bing Is Not Good."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Search

          Almost right, it's actually "Bing Is Not Google."

      4. N2

        Re: Search


        Search with bing usually returns acres of useless guff wheras Google just returns what you need

    3. Mikel

      Re: Search

      If they knew how to do search they would have their own Internet search engine. They copy everything else Google does.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Search

        It's really not difficult these days to set up your own fulltext search engine... there's Solr/ElasticSearch/Lucene in Java land, Xapian in C++, maybe a few others. But apparently it's pretty impossible if you insist on working in Microsoft-land.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Search

        "If they knew how to do search they would have their own Internet search engine."



  2. Charles Manning

    What went wrong?

    Well it's damn easy to see.

    Microsoft got into this game in 2000. Well before Apple (2007) or Google (2008ish). Then they screwed around until 2010 or so. Putting in effort after the horse has bolted/dam has burst/metaphor of your choice/ does not work well.

    Occasionally waking up, make wild and uncoordinated moves and statements, then collapse in a pile again is not a strategy. It is what homeless drunks do.

    There were a few people who bought into the bullshit that Microsoft was late to the party and would start flashing rhinestones. Many thought it looked worth going Microsoft when they grabbed Nokia and looked like they were getting serious. Those people now realised they were wrong - it was just another wine-spilling lurch.

    It is probably too late for anyone to take MS seriously any more. To get taken seriously they would have to make a long haul commitment and persist for long enough to win back any customer confidence that had, then work even harder to gain more customers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What went wrong?

      It is probably too late for anyone to take MS seriously any more.

      Corporate IT buyers are starting to like Windows phones. And luckily for Microsoft, corporate users rarely have a say, other than a few PHBs who can be individually bought off with an iPhone.

      1. asdf

        Re: What went wrong?

        >Corporate IT buyers are starting to like Windows phones.

        Some serious margins to be found there. Nothing I like putting paid apps on like my work phone. Sarcasm off.

      2. largefile

        Re: What went wrong?

        Investors sure seem to be doing well with MSFT. The 100 million Win 10 users don't have lots of complaints. It appears as though The Register has something going on, they can attract every MS Hater in the universe. Microsoft pays The Reg to do this to keep you all here playing with yourselves.

        1. Lorin Thwaits

          Re: What went wrong?

          Perhaps Windows 10 users don't complain, but instead just defect back to Windows 7. Or make plans to transition to OSX or perhaps Linux.

          Plenty of people I know who gave Windows 10 a shot and then went back to the safe haven of Windows 7, vowing to never get mixed up in that mess of an ecosystem.

          1. Dr Abner Mality

            Re: What went wrong?

            Users who went to Win10 straight from XP (i.e., yours truly) must contend with a nightmarish scenario with 10's incomprehensible navigation and site organization. And worse still, are the automatic upgrades that wipe user preferences and skim user data -- you have to drill down deep to identify and turn off inflection points hiding as applications. If it has the MS logo, I guess it's not spyware, it's an app. (Why let the bad guys get personal information for free when you can charge them for it?) I'm waiting for an XP-like skin or shell that returns identifiable structure to my desktop computing experience. Ideally, it would also have a privacy filter built in.

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: What went wrong?

              I'm waiting for an XP-like skin or shell

              Not being a W10, 8.1 or 8 user, I don't know how close this is to what you want, but Classic Shell might be worth a look. I use it on my W7 machine at work (the one I'm allowed to fiddle with). No need at home as there isn't a copy of Windows in the house.


            2. asdf

              Re: What went wrong?

              Probably get downvoted but other than that flat web 3.0 look I actually found Win 10 to be decent. Of course I only boot into for a few steam games as an OS built from the ground up to be spyware is not fit for everyday use especially on the desktop where there is choice.

            3. Tannin

              Re: What went wrong?

              " I'm waiting for an XP-like skin or shell that returns identifiable structure to my desktop computing experience."

              Hello? Earth calling lost astonaut? Hello? Classic Shell has been out for years, and well-known since Windows 8 was new. What are you waiting for? The boxed version on DVD?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What went wrong?

        > Corporate IT buyers are starting to like Windows phones

        Not in this corporate.. we started offering choice of Android, iOS or Windows phone. The uptake of WP was a rounding-error away from zero..

        1. asdf

          Re: What went wrong?

          You forgot the part where you don't offer the choice. That's where Microsoft prospers.

    2. tekHedd

      Wondering where the time went...

      I'm calling it Microsoft's mid-life crisis. They waited too long and now feel the icy stare of the grim reaper, so are trying really hard to act like a young, virile company. I'm not sure which part of their product line is analagous to a Corvette, but I'm darn sure the Win10 ad popups are as attractive as the middle aged man hitting on high school girls...

      1. 404

        Re: Wondering where the time went...

        Minecraft. Microsoft bought Minecraft - there is your Corvette.

        And not a single Pocketmine update since then - running on dev builds here...

      2. a_yank_lurker

        Re: Wondering where the time went...

        lecherous old fart is more like it.

      3. Charles Manning

        Re: Wondering where the time went...

        Well they have been yelling: "get of my goddamn lawn for a long time"....

        and the Skype logo does look a bit like a Viagra pill....

        Yup, makes sense.

    3. a_yank_lurker

      Re: What went wrong?

      @ Charles Manning - Add that they were wedded to the Winbloat Ueber Alles strategy when the market shifted to smartphones and tablets. They do not seem to care that there two basic use cases with very specific devices used in each. Thus, their constant harping the users are salivating (not) to have Office on their phones and tablets.

    4. agatum

      Re: What went wrong?

      It is probably too late for anyone to take MS seriously any more.

      Indeed, especially after slurp excretes comment like:

      "we do not control or guarantee the way an app is found within the store."

      In other words, 'we don't know what the fuck our systems does or how it works'. Pretty hard to take them seriously.

    5. N2

      Re: What went wrong?

      Occasionally waking up, make wild and uncoordinated moves and statements, then collapse in a pile again is not a strategy. It is what homeless drunks do.

      Thats a very apt description of Microsofts strategy over the last 20 years, are you on the board then?

  3. Dwarf

    Folklore ?..

    I remember reading many years ago that Windows 95 used to have a "Find" button, whereas Windows 2000 just had a "Search" button.

    The former implying that you will get what you want - much like "I'll find my keys" and the latter being "I'm searching for my keys"

    Perhaps we've move into HAL, er. Sorry, Cortana space where it knows where your keys are but still won't tell you, even if you ask nicely.

    1. ma1010

      Re: Folklore ?..

      I'm sorry, Dave, I can't help you find your keys. Well, I could, but frankly, I can't be arsed.

      Yes, I know your credit balance is now zero, but I needed to renew your SAAS license for me and your other fine MS software, as well as get the hardware upgrade installed. Now be a good little human and bugger off. Or else.

    2. joed

      Re: Folklore ?..

      I can't recall Find button (and using it). Most Windows users click instead of type (unless there's no other way to accomplish the task) and this used to be selling point of the system. W7 search worked good enough. 8 - was a regression and someone at MS came up with an idea of separate app/file/etc searches with unique but impossible to figure out keyboard shortcuts. Store search has always been a joke (works as good as searching through SharePoint;). Not that I cared - no plans to login with MS account and I'd eradicate Store app from any of my systems if I could. Don't need MS to middle-man programs I used.

      1. Gavin King

        Re: Folklore ?..

        A quick search for images of the start menu from different versions of Windows seems to show that (going backwards in time) XP, 2000, and ME had "Search" while 98 and 95 seem to have had "Find".

        I wonder what brought on that change?

  4. oldtaku Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Official guidance

    Seems pretty clear here. We don't care about your apps, go away.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Official guidance

      "Seems pretty clear here. We don't care about your apps, go away."

      I agree, and I say...let Rome burn. The recently-installed Pragmatist in me says that people choose not to learn lessons until it is too late; allowing the complete and utter failure of human constructs seems to be the only way that {modern} individuals choose to learn and gain understanding of anything.

      Let - no, help - Microsoft fail. Forget their App Store, stop writing to it and stop shopping in it. Only then will it be something that you really want.

      1. SecretSonOfHG

        Re: Official guidance

        <<Let - no, help - Microsoft fail. Forget their App Store, stop writing to it and stop shopping in it. Only then will it be something that you really want.>>

        Agree 100% with everything up to the last sentence. We humans have an annoying tendency to either ignore the lessons learned in past mistakes or just repeat the same mistakes over and over. So be aware that the Windows Store replacement could be very well more of the same under a different disguise. Or even worse.

  5. Pomgolian

    Re: What went wrong?

    >Occasionally waking up, make wild and uncoordinated moves and statements, then collapse in a pile >again is not a strategy. It is what homeless drunks do.

    I'll drink to that.

  6. Mikel

    So sad

    Anybody else notice AMD is up 15% today? What's up with that?

    1. Richard Plinston

      Re: So sad

      > Anybody else notice AMD is up 15% today? What's up with that?

      Maybe it was because Microsoft said that new Intel CPUs wouldn't run Windows XP, 7 or 8.x*.

      * actually they probably will, but just won't use the new features of the new CPUs.

      1. bobgameon

        Re: So sad

        It applies to both AMD and Intel as well as Qualcomm. Any future processors from them will not "support" windows prior to 10.

  7. Andy Non Silver badge

    I gave up writing applications for Windows since Windows 8.

    I still sell some of my (now somewhat dated) Windows applications from my website (they work on XP through to 10) but I have no incentive or interest in creating updated versions of those apps specific for Windows 10 and submitting them to the MS app store. I'm now concentrating exclusively on writing applications for Linux. I'm too disillusioned with Microsoft on too many levels to give two hoots about their app store or latest operating system.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      And that is the true beginning of the end for MS.

      What a sad decline from "developers! developers! developers!".

    2. Dr Abner Mality

      Re: I gave up writing applications for Windows since Windows 8.

      I just posted my own mini-rant about how hideous Win10 is for XP diehards like myself, then saw your comment. If market responsiveness is any indicator, Microsoft seems to be in a corporate version of a persistent vegetative state. Since XP did everything I wanted, up to a point, and Vista was such an abortion some folks show PTSD at its mere mention today, I saw no compelling need to upgrade beyond XP SP3. Then clients' file compatibility needs overruled my OS preferences. I effin' hate Win10. I can't help but think that some 3rd-party body has introduced or is working on a shell or skin that emulates XP's navigation and operational ease. Your post makes think you may have considered doing so or perhaps know of one already in existence. If either is true, feel free to contact me via Gmail at jdfregs with "Bill Gates still eats his boogers " as the subject. Thx.

  8. asdf

    real world example

    Bought an Xbox One (got pissed PS3 would beep and reboot itself after an hour and wasn't rewarding Sony for out of warranty hardware failure). Remember an Xbox 360 game Battlestations pacific I enjoyed playing in the past. Granted it may well not work on the One (360 emulation is still hit or miss) but simply showing no results found when I search Battlestations (Eidos made two of them) is rather ridiculous. In fact its pretty amazing just how few 360 and even Xbox One games you can get to show up with search. Their Xbox One store is worse today than the PS3 store was three years ago. Didn't Microsoft spend billions a year on Bing R&D? Then again most divisions in Microsoft greatest competition is another division in Microsoft (the ultimate silo corporation). Nothing Microsoft likes sniping more than its own foot.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: real world example

      You would not believe how much VBA code and Microsoft Access forms those interns wrote to make Bing what it is today! Enterprise software has its price.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: real world example

      You bought an Xbox one???? Lol.. I really feel sorry for you.

      1. asdf

        Re: real world example

        Actually happy with it other than the limited wireless range on the controller. The exclusives are more up my alley and best of all Xbox live makes it trivial to eternally mute all the retards that exist solely as targets for my L85A2. The search thing is annoying but I mostly just buy maybe 2 or 3 big name first person shooters (and play endlessly online) a year and those you can't miss.

  9. Robert Moore

    A common thread in these reports is Microsoft, and their continuing inability to do search (Or anything else) right.

  10. Richard Plinston

    Just like OS/2

    Developers probably dropped any thoughts of rewriting their stuff to UWP when Microsoft announced that they will run their Android and iOS versions on Windows.

    1. dogged

      Re: Just like OS/2

      No they won't.

      They'll provide tools to recompile iOS and Android source to Windows binaries. That's not the same thing at all.

  11. Vince

    Well yes, Windows 10 really does suck. In every way.

    I'm not upgrading my desktops or laptops anytime soon.

    I've made a serious error getting a Lumia 950xl because the hardware's fine, but the software absolutely smacks and I am looking to send it back as not fit for purpose.

    I also wondered why I was having so much trouble finding apps (especially since it all works fine in Windows Phone 8.1 on my older Lumia).

    Another Microsoft own goal. All the potential, but the worst execution imaginable.

  12. Terry 6 Silver badge

    I have to agree

    I love my Winphone, and don't often look for "apps".

    But when I do I can't find the ones that I want, even when I know the precise name. And I do find myself wading through a long list of shit. Fake "apps", aggregation "apps" that just point you to other fake "apps" or knock-offs that repackage the real thing in an advertising layer.

    The reviews and are mostly made of shill entries, pretty obvious when a nasty bit of ad-feeding crap is repeatedly called a10/10 "wonderful app" etc.

    The mechanism for reporting " concerns" to Microsoft was broken/useless until very recently, because it wasn't actually mobile friendly so that it wasn't usable. And even if you tried, it usually crashed.

    And Microsoft didn't give a toss. All they wanted were numbers of "apps". No matter jhow shit.

  13. buzzki11

    Windows has an App store?

    Lately, it seems, Microsoft is king of the 80% rule. 80% of their stuff works. And that 80% has 80% of the features of functions it should have or are needed. MS has an App store. But the 20% that is missing is a functioning search feature, and actual apps that anyone would want to purchase. MS has "Enterprise" solutions in Office 365. The missing 20% is they keep calling it "Enterprise" but do not provide working solutions for Mac users, still do not have a working OneDrive solution, etc. If they could whittle that 20% down to 15-10% it would be a much better world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      80% * 80% = 64%

      Kinda explains why what they seem to be doing is only a little more than half-arsed. I think you cracked it.

      1. PC Paul

        Re: 80% * 80% = 64%

        64% ought to be enough for anyone.

  14. Jeff Lewis

    The Windows store is a mess. Try *finding* it. That's hard enough. Then try finding something. Also brutal. Then try getting onto your device.. if you're on the web, forget it.

    Weirdly this is one thing Google got dead on right. I can go to Google Play on any browser, log in as me, find something interesting and say "Install" and which device it's going to and that's it and a few minutes later - there it is on that device.

    1. largefile

      You just click on the Windows Store icon in the task bar. Not too difficult. Or click on Cortana and say the magic words. "Windows Store"

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        > You just click on the Windows Store icon in the task bar.

        At which point it terminates with an undefined error. On both my Linx 10 tablet and my test Windows 10 box..

        1. largefile

          Well..have to say I've performed 5 or 6 Win 10 upgrades or full clean installs and I've never seen this behavior, nor have I seen anyone else reporting it elsewhere. Maybe you need to turn on the internet before you click?

  15. cambsukguy

    I don't get it

    I don't use many apps and don't search often but I just had a go to see if Win 10 on this PC can find apps.

    I don't know if it fails to find an app when it doesn't because I can't be sure it should be there.

    However, I typed:

    1. Minecraft, found as I typed.

    2. Excel, found as I typed.

    3. Dictionary, found as I typed.

    4. iPlayer, nothing. Is there an iPlayer UWP app? I just use the website.

    5. eBay, found as I typed.

    6. Amazon, found as I typed.

    7. Netflix, found as I typed.

    I went to the apps list, went to Food & Dining and selected some app I have never heard of and searched for it. It seems strange but that was one way of knowing the app should be found. It was, bestcooks FYI.

    Someone tell me an app that is in the store that I can type and not find. Then give me the web page which lists it on the web based version of the store so I can see it is there.

    I believe you (sort of) but I just want to see it for myself, I am like that, untrusting.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it

      Interestingly, when I search for apps in the big store I can find them. It's only the mobile store that gives me grief.

      BUT, it's on the mobile that I want and need these little apps. And I don't see why anyone else is different. If we want software on our PCs we can get it from anywhere. Proper stuff. Often free, like Libre Office,, photofiltre, good old Irfanview, iSpy etc.

      I might get the "apps" that I use on my phone to put on the PC as well, but that's pretty much it unless they can come up with something special, and affordable.

      But why would anyone choose an "app" for a full sized computer in the first instance?

      1. RoboticRabbit

        Re: I don't get it

        Because Cloud cloud cloudy cloud?

    2. ppawel

      Re: I don't get it

      How about you read the article and the developer's forum post which is linked:

  16. Vince Lewis 1

    windows store is horible

    After hearing the new tomb raider game is to be released via windows store, I gave it a look.

    Bloody hideous.

    No filter on price, genre and so on. No way to filter out the millions of crappy tablet games.

    They need a proper managed store.

    1. Timmy B

      Re: windows store is horible

      I have filters for price, genre, rating, etc. Though this is on Win8.1 on a PC. I'll have to look at the phone one to remember but I had no problems downloading all the apps I wanted when I last looked.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not surprised. Bing search is completely useless at finding anything and on Windows 10 I regularly have issues with the start menu search not finding applications despite typing the exact name.

    1. Queasy Rider

      I gave up on 'Search' ages ago. I now use the program 'Search Everything'. It takes a little while to index all your drives, but after that it is instantaneous.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        I second that

        I have a NAS at home, and I used to pester every time I had to open a folder on it until I removed Windows Search and started using Everything Search.

        Now my NAS is as fast as a local disk.

        Not only does Windows Search take ages to find anything, but it also prevents basic file directory reading to proceed efficiently.

        No matter, I will be moving to Linux. Win 7 is my last Microsoft OS.

  18. Winkypop Silver badge

    Ding ding!

    Good morning...

    I want to buy some cheese....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old dog, new tricks?

    If I need a program/app/utility for my windows PC, I'll just google what I'm looking for and then download it from the manufacturer's website, it's never occurred to me to use the Windows Store.

    I use the Google/Apple app store, no problem but using Windows store doesn't seem natural.

    Now get off my lawn

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Old dog, new tricks?

      I agree. Last week I searched the Store for an "app" I wanted for my phone. Not there. Plenty of other crap in the results, but not the one I searched for.. As far as the store search was concerned it might not have existed. I knew it did. So I Google searched it, which took me to the link that opened the Store at the right place for that "app".


  20. Unicornpiss

    Perhaps the problem is...

    When Steve Jobs left Apple (and our world), Apple drifted around rudderless for the most part, and it's arguable their quality in both hardware and software has suffered since then. A lot of things shipped that I'm sure Mr. Jobs would not have let slide.

    When Bill Gates left Microsoft (and Ballmer left too), it's arguable that MS quality (perhaps an oxymoron these days) has slipped considerably too, and the company lost any hope of clear vision.

    In both cases, you have an IT and tech-savvy founder, very driven and fully invested in the company for personal reasons. Now both companies have much-removed leaders that don't seem to have much of a grasp on how things actually work, or what is desirable for the consumer. Apple hasn't totally lost their vision, but close. One has to wonder if the bigwigs at MS actually use MS products day to day or just have an administrative assistant send all their emails, etc. It's hard to imagine a president at MS using Win 10 or Office, experiencing the frustration that all of us do, and going "Well, we have a deadline, let's ship it anyway, eh? We'll fix it later" But I guess it happens.

    It's sad that the Open Source community can write better and more stable software for the most part than Microsoft can to run on their own operating systems.

    1. Wade Burchette

      Re: Perhaps the problem is...

      SatNad reminds me of a person who has book knowledge but absolutely no understanding of how the world really works. Combine that with Microsoft's fetish for copying other people's ideas and you have Win10.

  21. MrTuK

    Who cares anyway its just "Data slurping Win 10 anyway "

    I am still shocked any people are using Win 10 at all with all of its Data slurping.

    I can't imagine anybody being happy giving all their email contacts to MS and being able to cross reference all contacts like Facebook, Twitter etc etc etc.

    Crazy world.

    NSA/GCHQ dream world !

  22. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    "Managing an app store is hard"

    No, managing an app store cheaply is hard.

    Having a competent person install, test and review apps for key-word appropriateness is only going to cost a modest amount per app and ought to be covered by the (20% I guess?) overheads MS charge to sell via the store (and from all other Windows-related profits).

    Or is "profits at all costs" the motto here?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 naming

    Is there any truth in the rumour that Windows 10 is to be renamed Windows Panorama.? The reasoning behind this being that the new OS is like Windows Vista but optimised for 16:9 format displays.

  24. Colin Bain

    No surprise

    So when did I stop trying to search MS sites for help?.....after three failures and my wife finding the answers on Google. Embarrassing! Yep I am a slow learner, but I have learned. So at least I am slightly better than MS. MS besides being shorthand for Microsoft is also the acronym for Multiple Sclerosis, the terminal disease affecting the nerves controlling muscles which do the work of life. Coincidence?

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