A slide released by Channel 9 indicates that Microsoft’s SmartGlass Xbox companion application has collected more than 17 million downloads since its launch in 2012 across four platforms: Windows 8, Windows Phone, Android, and iOS.
There’s a recurring Daily Show segment that asks a simple question: Is that a lot? It applies in this context: Is 17 million downloads of SmartGlass an impressive tally? No.
There are nearly 50 million Xbox Live subscribers, implying that SmartGlass has failed to reach even 50% penetration among the audience that it was built for. Is that too high a standard? No, given that SmartGlass is strongly cross-platform, providing every Xbox user access to its technology.
We cannot correlate downloads to users, of course. That’s to say that the 17 million figure cannot be used to imply 34% market share for the application among Xbox Live subscribers. However, given that there cannot be more than one active user per download – on a per-account basis, for comparison, of course – we can state that SmartGlass cannot have any morethan 34% market share.
This in an application tuned for a specific audience that runs on each of the three key mobile platforms.
What we can surmise from this is that Microsoft’s efforts to extend the Xbox experience to other screens than the television are not explosive. That said, the company does have more planned. As reported by Neowin: “One change [coming to SmartGlass] is that each Xbox One console can handle up to 16 simultaneous SmartGlass app connections, versus just four connections for the Xbox 360.” That could make its use more social, and thus perhaps more popular.