Yes, Windows is still behind Android and iOS in app development, but it has the potential to catch up. With a growing customer base and expanding framework Windows seems to have found a way to make it work. Let us examine, the Windows phenomenon in comparison to one of its major competitors today Android.
First things first. As a new app developer how easy is it to get into Windows app development? If you are used to the Windows environment, you do not need to break a sweat. All you have to do is download an SDK and Visual Studio and you are set to go. Android app development too, is pretty easy to get into. What sets them apart is if you are a Linux user, you can avail the same SDK and Eclipse for Android app development while for Windows you need to be a user of the Windows Vista or higher. Android app development, is extremely well documented for, and there a lot of forums for online help available. This is one area where Windows stands a far second.
Another issue probably on the mind of an app developer mind is cost. Windows can prove to be quite expensive. In addition to the cost of the Operating System, you have to pay an annual fees if you want to publish your apps. Android is cheaper where you have to make a single payment and you can publish apps as you please.
In terms of emulators, Windows stands ahead. Android emulators are slow and do not seem to have improved from their first version. Eclipse has quite a few bugs and in comparison, Visual Studio, is quick, smooth and efficient. Unlike like Android, Windows can be quite restrictive though. No live wallpapers, custom widgets, channels for multi tasking and freedom.
Being comparatively inexperienced as a mobile operating system, Windows does have a long way to go. Windows does not have even close to the market share that Android owns. But with Windows proving time and again that it has what it takes to make it big in app development and with app developers slowly migrating to Windows, they might just be the new stalwarts of the industry.