First-party business apps are one of the next big innovations worth keeping an eye on

Brad Stephenson

As Microsoft prepares to launch their Windows Store for Business app store, the company’s Global Head of Digital Campaign, Binu Vaman, has written an interesting LinkedIn blog post about the importance of private business apps and their growing relevance in the evolving work space.
He discusses popular third-party apps such as Microsoft’s Word but claims that “the ability to quickly develop and deploy customized apps for particular lines of business is what can really give one outfit a competitive edge over another” and that first-party company apps are in many ways more efficient. “As business people well know, there are some great third-party apps out there, but organizations will often see the biggest boost to productivity and agility by developing their own applications for particular lines of business,” he says. “The trick here is to create the most compelling and useful apps by thinking about how the capabilities of smartphones and tablets can transform the way people work for the better.”
One big challenge faced by companies when it comes to creating first-party business apps is the variety of devices used by employees. With a combination of Apple, Android, and Windows devices in use by workers, it can seem rather futile to create an app that only a fraction of the workforce will integrate into their business practice. Vaman admits this is an issue and praises Windows 10, “which runs not only on standard PCs but also across Microsoft Lumia smartphones and Windows tablets” and has the “ability to write an application once that can be deployed across not only smartphones and tablets, but laptops and desktops too – automatically optimizing how information is displayed, and taking advantage of specific devices’ capabilities, without having to develop a separate app for each.”
Naturally, as a Microsoft employee Vaman is a bit biased towards which devices companies should use but there is no denying the appeal of developing an app for Windows 10, especially with the operating system’s existing prominence in the workplace and a growing number of organizations providing their employees with Windows devices such as the Surface Pro.
The Windows Store for Business app store is currently accepting applications for individuals and companies, though a proper public launch has yet to be officially announced. Do you see a future in first-party business apps or do you think third-party products are sufficient enough? Share your thoughts with the WinBeta community in the comments section below.