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Windows Developers Get New Tool for Desktop App Analytics

Microsoft this week announced a new analytics tool that lets Windows developers view details about desktop application performance and reach.

In addition to performance data, the new Windows Desktop Application Program provides information about an application's popularity with users -- detailing how many customers were reached, for example -- along with regular analytics concerning crashes and failures. The tool basically does for desktop applications what many analytics tools, such as Flurry Analytics, have long done for mobile apps.

"Until today, developers had difficulty accessing these analytics without cobbling together multiple tools," Microsoft said in a Jan. 23 post. "With the new Windows Desktop Program, developers now have a convenient, one-stop portal to view their desktop application analytics or access the data via an API. Statistics and charts quickly show how the applications are doing."

Specifically, the company said the program lets developers:

  • View a summary of all failure types, sorted by number of hits
  • Drill down into each failure and download stack traces and CAB files to debug the issue faster
  • Compare the health status and adoption of a newly released version of your application to previous releases
  • View health data in aggregate or by region, allowing you to isolate issues that are specific to a region
  • Compare performance and adoption of your desktop applications across Windows versions, such as the latest Windows 10 or Windows Insider releases

After signing up for the program, developers register the desktop applications they've created and shipped in the portal's dashboard, and Microsoft uses code signing to establish a developer's or company's identity and retrieve the analytics data from those published apps.

Along with the announcement post, more information and developer guidance is available in the Windows Desktop Application Program MSDN article.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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