Where the data gets really interesting is if you examine the top engaging Metro apps. By engaging, we
mean - among the people who used a certain app, how often they do so on average (we only included
apps with a significant user base).
Across all form factors, these are the most engaging Metro apps:
Yahoo! Mail is an extremely engaging app showing that Yahoo! Mail users 1) love Yahoo! Mail and 2) get
along with the Metro interface.
At No2 and No3 come two Acer apps providing a social networking hub for the user, including access to
Facebook and Twitter. Those two apps seem to be very highly engaging. Microsoft Lync at No4 finished
the list of apps being used more than once a day on average.
Looking at this list it’s clear what types of apps dominate the engagement of users with the Metro
interface: email, social networking, communication and games. When analyzing the most engaging apps
across the different form factors, the same apps show up in the top 20-30, with small changes in places.
Yahoo! Mail Metro app
Seeing as Yahoo! Mail is the most engaging Metro app overall, we took a step further and
analyzed its use across different form factors. The results are very interesting. In all 4 form factors
(desktop, laptop, laptop with touch-screen, and tablet) Yahoo! Mail is the No1 most engaging
Metro app. What’s surprising is that its highest engagement is on desktops, and it gets lower the
more mobile the device is.
Yahoo! Mail uses per week
It’s especially interesting to note that Microsoft’s Mail app supports Yahoo! email as well,
but people who install the dedicated Yahoo! Mail app are so much more engaged with it,
and especially on desktops.
One explanation may be that Microsoft’s Mail app forces you to conform to the strict
guidelines of the Metro interface, which in many cases just makes no sense from a
user-experience perspective. The simplest example to explain this situation is the steps
needed to add a Yahoo! account to your Microsoft Mail app. When you open the Mail app,
you don’t have a visible way to add an account. On the bottom left there’s a message in the
spirit of “To add an account, go to Settings and click Accounts”. But there’s no “Settings”
anywhere to be found. If you “get” Windows 8, you know that you’re supposed to take your
mouse to the top-right corner, wait for semi-transparent “charms” to appear, then carefully
slide your mouse down (if you tilt it to the left the charms will disappear!), only then the
word “Settings” appears - you can click it and then find the desired “Accounts”. For an
average person, this is like crossing the desert. It’s worth noting that if you paid attention
while installing Windows 8, you would have seen an explanation for the generic way of how
to reach Settings from anywhere - but most people don’t install their own operating
system, and if they do, it’s common knowledge that people don’t read anything in front of
them - they just click Next Next... To make a long story short, an average chap opening
Microsoft’s Mail app will have no idea how to add his Yahoo! mail. So he’ll download the
Yahoo! Mail app instead and apparently enjoy it very much.
It’s difficult to draw a concrete conclusion here. There’s a consensus in the market that Windows
7 was a good, solid operating system, and it’s unclear why the change to Windows 8 was needed
for those who are happy with Windows 7. Microsoft had to do something to compete with iOS,
but we can’t explain why they also changed the experience for people who just wanted their
Windows as it is.
On the other hand, another consensus in the market is that if you don’t innovate, you die.
Microsoft had to innovate, and time will tell if their big bet was good or bad.
In the meanwhile, if you or your customers are into awesome new devices and have money to
spare, get a Yoga or Twist or a Duo or just a slick, thin and light ultrabook running Windows 8.
If you’re pragmatic about using the Windows operating system with a keyboard and mouse -
there’s no rush. Wait and see what “Windows Blue” has in store for us before you upgrade.
We took the 200 most popular Windows 8 OEM-branded PCs. This sample included 10,927 PCs,
representing the following vendors (in alphabetical order): Acer, Apple, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo,
We had data from the following form factors: desktops, laptops with no touch screen, laptops
with touch screen, tablets and convertibles. Since convertibles accounted for less than 1% of the
sample, we disregarded them in this analysis, leaving us with 10,848 Windows 8 devices.
We then verified that the sample contained enough representative data - we looked at the
average time we had data from each device - it was 27.4 days per device on average. Desktops
had the lowest average (26.8 days) and touch laptops had the highest average (34.3 days). This
number is significantly lower than our normal average across the entire user base, but it’s
understandable that popular models running Windows 8 are relatively new. Regardless, this
report is based on over a month of data from over 10k PCs.
Per form factor, we looked at the launch events of Metro apps aggregated across the app IDs. We
could then analyze, for each form factor, how many app launches it sees per day, how many
people launch Metro apps less than once a day on average, etc.
We could also look at the Metro apps being launched by most unique users per form factor, and
the average times each user launched every app.
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