In a blog post today, Todd Brix, Microsoft's General Manager of its Windows Apps and Store Team, stated:
"We began the year with a commitment to create opportunities for developers with Windows Store. We made good progress by both attracting over 30% more active users and by exceeding a 110% year-over-year increase in app downloads and gross sales. In addition the ecosystem has grown, with an 80% increase in registered developers and 60% increase in app selection year-over-year."
Brix also outlined five topics that Microsoft says it will concentrate on in 2015 as it prepares for the launch of Windows 10, which will have a unified storefront for both Windows and Windows Phone apps. One area is expanding the use of carrier billing for buying Windows apps, which Microsoft recently launched for China, India and Brazil. Another area of improvement will be to offer more app monitiaztion methods. Brix wrote, "We are increasing our focus on in-app advertising to help improve fill rates and grow developer revenue."
Microsoft will continue to improve the Windows app discovery experience, with Brix stating that it has already made changes to the Windows Store user interface to help in that effort, including a new Deals Hub and more promotion for Windows apps. Microsoft is also committed to improving its Windows App Studio tools so that more people can make apps. Finally, Brix says Microsoft will improve the developer publishing experience for Windows, saying, "We have much more work to do to simplify and unify the experience and you can expect the evolution to continue over the coming months."