Why Robert Scoble is right about Windows but wrong about Allmyapps

December 16th, 2010 by thibauld Leave a reply »

Last week, I had the pleasure to pitch Allmyapps to Robert Scoble at LeWeb’10. To be honest, I really thought it was going to be an easy pitch for the following reasons:

  1. Robert is known to be very enthusiastic about startups
  2. I know how to pitch my company pretty well
  3. Allmyapps has almost always had very positive reviews

So, in theory at least, everything should have gone smoothly… but it didn’t… AT ALL!

I only had the time to say the following 8 words: “Allmyapps is the 1st Application Store for Windows”. As soon as I had pronounced the word “Windows”, Robert stopped me abruptly and says “Windows? I don’t care!”. Wow! Needless to say I’ve been completely caught by surprise with this one!

I first thought that he got me wrong (my french accent probably) so I tried again… with the same result. I tried again and again but no matter how I presented it and which angle I was using, Robert would not show a single sign of empathy towards Allmyapps. Except maybe at the end, when I exposed the fact that Allmyapps was not only about desktop apps but also web apps… only at this point, after 5 tough minutes of intensive pitching, I could finally feel that there was good in Robert *Darth* Scoble :)

More specifically, here are my answers to each one of your points:

“I’ve sat next to dozens of people running Windows. In the past year I have yet to find one that’s loaded anything new in the past six months. Compare that to someone who has a new Android or iPhone or a new iPad. Those folks load dozens of apps and are proud of them.”

While I totally agree with you on today’s situation (windows users not loading new apps), the real question is: “Why is that?” It is not because they are Windows users but because without a real application store, they just cannot do it. Application stores provide 2 key advantages:

  1. On the user side, it provides user with a great integrated user experience which makes discovering and managing apps easy and fun.
  2. From a developer’s point of view, it makes application distribution much more effective, which in turn dramatically lowers the marketing costs required to acquire users.

The combination of these 2 factors creates a market for simple and cheap apps widely distributed. As of today, this market does not exist on Windows because the distribution mechanism does not exist. This is why we created Allmyapps. Allmyapps makes it dead simple for Windows users to discover and manage apps (be they desktop apps or web apps).

We’ve only launched last week and from what we’ve seen so far, I can already tell you that Windows users do love apps too!

Heck, the little PR they got in Lifehacker, shows how little reaction they got from the marketplace

Let me get the facts straight on this:

  1. The context: This unsollicited article was published on November 4th 2009, 1 week after we released the very 1st Windows version of Allmyapps. At that time, Allmyapps was composed of 2 “trackrecord less” co-founders with less than 15k$ in the bank.
  2. The result: This article alone brought us more than 35000 UV in a single day and has been the source of hundreds of other blog posts all over the world. And 1 week after the publication of this article, we got contacted by Intel (US) for a specific project they had and Intel became Allmyapps first customer.

I wish we had little reaction from the marketplace more often :)
The truth is Windows users are the overwhelming silent majority!

Read CrunchBase about AllMyApps and you can see they got a million euros in funding, which is pretty awesome. Investors are still going after the Windows market because it’s so big.

The market is not big, it is huge! Installed base amounts 1.2 billion Windows PC worldwide and 93% of new consumer PCs are running Windows 7. With all the hype around Web and Smartphones, people tend to forget about the Windows platform and the tremendous room for innovation and the related huge business opportunities it offers… right now!

But I just couldn’t pull myself to really care about it. Neither can the rest of the tech press. Compare, for instance, to the press that got written about the Google Chrome App Store.

I have to admit that it is a little bit harder for Allmyapps, a 1 year old french startup with 2 unknown co-founders, to get attention from the tech press worldwide than it is for Google… but we’re working hard on it :)

All in all, thank you Robert for taking the time to explain us more your reaction. Be sure that, as I love being challenged, I personally enjoyed our discussion at LeWeb a lot! To take a comparison, it was like a punch in the head: you get hit by surprise first and then you realize what just happened and think “ok, you wanna fight ? let’s fight !” :) So please do not apologize, on the contrary, this kind of interviews is what make the life of an entrepreneur so spicy and interesting!

I’ll be in San Francisco from January 9th to January 16th. If you are in SF at that time, I’d be more than glad to discuss this very interesting topic more in details with you and, who knows, if I convince you, I might finally be able to introduce you to Allmyapps ;)


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  1. James Hicks says:

    Great article. Tell you what – if you’re looking for a tech site that will listen to you and write an unbiased review, check us out on THE Tech Scoop (http://www.thetechscoop.net)

  2. Deuterome says:

    I was really wondering what will be AllMyApps move after I read Scoble’s post and this is a great one Thibauld !
    I don’t understand the “Google Chrome App Store” thing he talks about, I mean it’s so obvious… Good luck for the new version !

  3. Maurice says:

    Hmm well in the last month I have installed plenty of things on windows pc’s most recently some bleeding edge alpha Latent Semantic Clustering software from a university in Greece, Fortran 95 compiler to look at algorithmic stuff for work and thats not counting the CPAN packages I loaded when I knocked up a quick Perl tool to analyse google instant data

  4. Roxanne says:

    Terrific response.

  5. peignoir says:

    round 2 :) can t wait i ll be in sf too (might) can I bring the pop corn while watching?

  6. Marvin says:

    Windows is on the decline. Developers are falling out of love with windows. While .Net was a huge improvement over com etc it also has introduced unnecessary complexity that is the bane of agile development practices. Windows 7 is doing well simply because Microsoft announced the end of support for XP and Vista was a dog. No choice but to go to Windows 7. With cloud computing on the rise it makes more sense for datacenters to go with Linux of some sort. It may take awhile but remember DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) in the 80’s?

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