Some Publishers Rushing to Microsoft’s Surface Tablet

Condé, Bonnier, New York Times all in Windows Store

On Thursday (Oct. 25), Microsoft officially launched two crucial, highly anticipated products: its first-ever computer, the 10.8-inch Surface tablet; and Windows 8, the new operating system on which the Surface will run. Although its Windows Store for apps is comparatively small—according to The Wall Street Journal, it’s expected to contain around 10,000 apps at the time of its launch, versus the several hundred thousand apps available in Apple’s and Google’s stores—top publishers have already begun taking advantage of the Surface’s buzzed-about launch.

Condé Nast already has 22 apps available for Windows 8 and plans to roll out even more in the first half of 2013. Currently, Condé is offering “sampler issues” of Condé’s 14 digital editions, as well as The Condé Nast Collection app, which lets users browse and buy prints from the the company's archives.

Condé also seems to be banking on paid special editions of its titles, and the Epicurious food app, all of which are free.

As far as actual revenue-creating content, Condé seems to be relying on a handful of $6.99 special issue magazine apps, including Lucky: The Ultimate Style Guide, Domino Best Rooms and the $2.99 Fashion Hazard arcade game. The free sampler apps will be updated with new content every month through February, but Windows 8 users won’t be able to access full digital versions of the titles until the Next Issue Media app—an “all you can read” magazine subscription platform in which Condé is an investor—rolls out sometime “in the coming months.”

Bonnier, meanwhile, is already offering full digital versions of its magazines for Windows 8. Sixteen Bonnier titles—including Saveur, Parenting and Field & Stream—are now available in the Windows Store, and the publisher will continue to roll out the rest of its magazines over the next six months.

Among the other top magazine publishers, Hearst is only making its titles available for Windows 8 via Barnes & Noble's Nook and Zinio apps; the company is not creating content for the Surface specifically. Time Inc. has yet to make any announcements regarding Windows 8.

The New York Times is getting in on the Surface launch by releasing an app that can be downloaded from the Windows Store starting Friday. The Times is also getting a channel within the Bing News app, which comes preinstalled on all Windows 8 devices. Subscribers will get full access to all Times content on both apps while nonsubscribers will be able to access the Top News section.