Study suggests majority of Windows 8 users ignore Metro apps

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Data collected by software-maker Soluto reveals that a majority of Windows 8 users mostly ignore Metro apps -- those self-contained, Modern UI-sporting, one-touch install applications found both in the Windows Store and come bundled with the OS. The Israeli-founded firm claims users open on average less than two apps per day, suggesting one of Windows 8's biggest features may not be for everyone. PCWorld takes a detailed look at the numbers and the actual report can be found on Soluto's website.

Soluto discovered about 60 percent of PC desktop and laptop users are actually opening Metro apps less than once per day. More surprisingly though, touch-enabled laptops and tablets don't improve that number by much: just over 44 percent of tablet owners forgo using apps just as often.

The company's data also indicates the overwhelming majority of Metro apps used in Windows 8 are Microsoft's -- mostly apps bundled with Windows 8 like Mail, Photos, Weather and Camera. IE10, interestingly, is missing from the results. Apps which have proven popular on other platforms (e.g. Netflix) are sparsely found on the list of top apps while others are simply missing; Facebook, for example, has yet to release an official Windows 8 app.

The informal study pools data from a mixed bag of nearly 11,000 Windows 8-based devices, but it should be mentioned that the results do not include Windows RT -- Microsoft's stripped-down, tablet-centric Windows 8 variant. This glaring omission rules out usage data from lower-end, touchscreen-only devices which would no doubt favor Metro apps; after all, traditional desktop apps don't run under RT. This fact coupled with IE10 Metro's absence from the results should give pause before taking the results too seriously. However, Saluto still manages to paint a believably bleak picture of Windows 8's app ecosystem.

Despite Soluto's omissions though, only about 200,000 devices out there are running Windows RT. This number makes Windows RT a relatively insignificant anomaly anyway, in the shadow of an enormous industry which ships 350+ million PCs and 250 million tablets annually.

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