Netflix fans will soon have a new medium through which to stream movies and TV shows.
Netflix has released to the Windows Store its Windows 8 app, which was reportedly built from scratch to make the most of Windows 8 design and video player features, and is supposedly easy on a computer's CPU and battery because it uses Windows 8 graphics acceleration capabilities.
Anyone running the pre-release version of Windows 8 can download it now--everyone else will have to wait until the arrival of Windows 8 for desktops, notebooks, tablets, and hybrid devices on October 26.
Great for Tablets
While you'll be able to use the Netflix app on computers with keyboards, it's optimized for touchscreen devices, such as the Microsoft Surface tablet.
Microsoft has yet to announce pricing or availability for the ARM-based Surface and the x86-based Surface Pro tablets that were announced in June. The company is expected to release the ARM-based device around the same time as Windows 8, and indications are that Surface may ship on October 26, with the Surface Pro following in early 2013.
Amping the App Store
Even though people have long lamented the dearth of apps in the Windows Store, a Microsoft executive recently made the grandiose proclamation that the company will be aggressively pursuing more than 100,000 apps in the first three months after launching Windows 8. In comparison, Apple and Android have 700,000 and 675,000 apps in their stores.
"In order to reach our goal, a conservative estimate of 400 million units in marketplace by July 1, we know we have to have a healthy ecosystem of apps," Keith Lorizio, Microsoft's vice president of U.S. sales and marketing, in an interview with Beet.TV. "We're putting millions of dollars against that effort and working with publishers to get their apps live as soon as possible."
As for the Netflix app in particular, no doubt it will be popular with Windows 8 users--tens of millions of people have downloaded the Apple and Android versions in iTunes and Google Play. The app is free but to use it you need a Netflix membership, which is free of charge for the first month for new members, and costs $7.99 monthly after that.