Windows 8 Almost Catches iOS, Android in Enterprise Apps

Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform has made some remarkable strides in mobile-app development.

What was not long ago a market almost completely dominated by applications for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android devices is all of a sudden a three-horse race.

That’s according to Computing, whose new survey found that 46 percent of enterprises are or are planning to develop apps for iOS, while 40 percent say they will do so for Android. Windows 8, surprisingly, is only a shade behind, at 39 percent. It shows the growing popularity of the platform for mobility.

Businesses seem to be moving on from Windows 7, with just 15 percent saying they will develop apps for the 2009 version of Microsoft’s flagship operating software. Only 6 percent are developing Linux apps and even fewer – 5 percent – are beholden to BlackBerry. The opportunity for all of these platforms remains ripe – nearly one-third of respondents weren’t yet sure which OS they’ll choose for app development.

Windows saw gains in Computing’s survey when compared to last year, obviously, but so did iOS. Android lost a bit of traction.

“Device fragmentation remains a top concern when it comes to Android, but the landscape is changing largely due to Google’s efforts to address the enterprise segment,” noted Raúl Castañón, senior analyst with 451 Research. “Microsoft is also beginning to show results from its enterprise strategy; this, in effect, redefines the market with three, and not two key players. Despite the fact BlackBerry continues to lose ground, the company is still holding on to a sizeable share of the market and is turning the boat around. The next 12 months will be key for BlackBerry to remain a relevant player and for Microsoft to continue increasing its market share.”

A recent 451 Research survey found that while the app-development race is tightening up, those companies buying smartphones this year are leaning heavily toward the iPhone; Apple iOS remains the top choice at 71 percent.

Follow senior online managing editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter.

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