One Of Windows 8’s Biggest Critics Says Microsoft’s OS is Getting Better

Google paid $5 billion out to Android app developers in the last year, it said at its annual developer’s conference. That may not be as much as Apple paid to iOS developers (some say around $8 billion). But it’s a pittance compared to what Microsoft developers collectively make. A few years ago, Microsoft studied it, saying its partners and developers made $580 billion in 2010 alone.

Upshot? When it comes to selling apps, there’s a lot of money at stake.

Enter SweetLabs, one of the most successful app distribution networks, a.k.a. app stores, that you probably never heard of. It helps PC users find Windows apps, and it recently expanded to Android as well.

SweetLabs is an unusual company. Six years ago, when everyone was rushing toward iOS, it bet on Windows. It gained some fame when it created a Start Menu for Windows 8 called Pokki, partnering with Lenovo and other PC makers to add Pokki to their PCs.

That was a big risk. Windows PCs known for coming pre-loaded with annoying apps people don’t want, called “bloatware.” Microsoft stores even offer a service called Signature that removes unwanted apps from Windows machines.

So SweetLabs was aligning itself with that yucky trend.

And it paid off. As of 2014, SweetLabs has installed 750 million apps, currently at installing a rate of about 1 million a day, co-founder and CMO, Chester Ng, recently told Business Insider.

It’s doing for Windows device makers what Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and, most recently, Twitter are doing for themselves, giving them app stores where they can get a cut of the profits. It’s customers include Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, HP. App developers can also pay to have their app included.

And it recently expanded into the Android market with a new service it calls App Install Platform.

Read more: BusinessInsider