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Some Metrics on Windows Phone 7 Developer Momentum

Count me among the skeptics on the recent IDC forecast that puts Windows Phone's market share in second place in 2015 behind Google Android. The market research firm basically transferred Nokia's Symbian market share now to Microsoft later. I know IDC's job is to quantify the unquantifiable (and I think it does it as responsibly as possible), but the smartphone market is moving way, way too fast and too unpredictably for anyone to make worthwhile forecasts even three months out, let alone for 2015.

A Microsoft blog post this week emphasized the only kinds of numbers that are worth much right now: current data. In a post called "A Year Later -- The Windows Phone 7 Numbers That Matter," Brandon Watson put the focus on developers. That's the right place to concentrate efforts for now, and developers have been Microsoft's main focus in many of the company's successful efforts in the past.

The top line number is the overall apps available for Windows Phone 7. Watson says Microsoft is up to 11,500 -- that's 1,500 above the count of 10,000 that Microsoft provided two weeks earlier, and 2,500 better than the unofficial count the Business Insider blog provided at the beginning of March. Microsoft has a long way to go to reach the 350,000 apps that Business Insider listed for the Apple iPhone and the 250,000 for Google's Android, but the momentum is strong.

Of course, as commenters noted in my last post on this topic, the crap-to-killer app ratio in the Apple and Google stores can be pretty high. Watson attempted to address this question in his blog by focusing on a few other numbers. He noted that 7,500 of the Microsoft apps are paid apps and that 44 percent of those offer a trial version.

Redmond also appears to be rallying its substantial developer army behind the Windows Phone flag, according to some other numbers from Watson. He said there have been 1.5 million downloads of the Windows Phone Developer Tools and that there are 36,000 developers who have paid to join Microsoft's AppHub community of Windows Phone developers.

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 31, 2011 at 11:58 AM


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