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CES: Windows Phone Marketplace Hits 50K Apps

One of Microsoft's big talking points at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is that the Windows Phone Marketplace has hit 50,000 apps.

To cite one example of this meme, Microsoft spokesman Frank X. Shaw blogged Monday night, "Windows Phone has more than 50,000 published apps and games in Marketplace -- with an average of 300 more added each day."

It's a minor data point, and a small number compared to Apple's count, but it's moving in the right direction. For reference, Microsoft is just under 10 percent of the number of available apps in the iOS App Store, which Apple put at more than 500,000 in October.
By comparison, Microsoft in March was at 10,000 apps, which was less than 3 percent of Apple's total apps at the time of about 350,000.

A point that Microsoft often makes is that it's important to have the right apps rather than a high overall number of apps. The app-to-crap ratio is definitely worth keeping an eye on, although I find that sometimes more is more.

When it comes to productivity and business requirements, Windows Phone generally has all the capabilities I really need, between the phone's base features such as Office and apps in the store. In many cases, the implementation is better on the Windows Phone than on the iPhone. On the other hand, when it comes to hobbies, I find I'm forced to use my wife's iPhone because Windows Phone versions of the apps just aren't there yet. For my nature and outdoor interests, for example, Apple's store has great stuff and the Windows Phone has very little so far.

The fact that Microsoft continues to push, however, is a great sign. Even as the company is making signature apps (other than Office) available for iPhone and Android, there's still a full-court press to get more apps into the Windows Phone Marketplace. This effort and momentum is even  more impressive given the huge disincentive that small developers have to spend their limited resources on Windows Phone when iPhone and Android have much, much bigger addressable markets.

What about you? Are you finding the apps you need in the Windows Phone Marketplace, or do you have to use other platforms to make your smartphone do what you want to do? Leave a comment below or e-mail me at [email protected].

More from CES 2012:

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 10, 2012


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