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Windows Phone Hits 100,000 Apps

At the Windows Phone Summit today, Microsoft declared that the Windows Phone Marketplace has reached 100,000 apps. The number has been floating around the ether unofficially for a few weeks now, but the official confirmation is worth noting.

While 100,000 Windows Phone apps pales in comparison to the estimates of 650,000 apps in Apple's App Store and 500,000 apps in Google Play, it's a huge milestone for Microsoft.

It's only been a little over a year since Microsoft was claiming 10,000 apps. An order of magnitude improvement is a testament to Microsoft's willingness to keep investing and investing despite repeated disappointments in quarterly sales and market share figures.

With 100,000 apps, Microsoft hits the nice round number that many observers have suggested will make app count comparisons less important for the platform. I'm not sure anyone outside of the Windows Phone team would want the "100,000 apps and counting" coffee mug that Microsoft just made available, but let's forgive Microsoft some justified exuberance. The platform really has arrived.

One outside measurement indicates that the ball Microsoft got rolling with apps is gaining its own momentum. Flurry, an app advertising and measurement platform, this week blogged about new project starts using its Flurry Analytics tool. With more than 70,000 companies using the tool for 190,000 applications, the company has a wide lens on the industry.

Apple dominates project starts, and Android is a strong second, but Microsoft is emerging from the noise level. Peter Farago, vice president of marketing for Flurry, blogged that Windows Phone project starts went from 1 percent last year to about 6 percent in June. BlackBerry project starts, for comparison, have stayed around 1 percent for the duration.

In fact, Farago suggested Microsoft is actually beginning to threaten Google for developer attention. "If we look at just Android and Microsoft in the month of June, for every Windows Phone new project started, 4 have been started for Android," Farago noted.

Flurry's data shows that industrywide project starts are up about 50 percent, with growth rates varying wildly by platform. "Specifically, growth rates per platform for year-over-year growth are: iOS 66%, Android 82%, Windows Phone 521%, BlackBerry 13%," Farago wrote (emphasis mine). "It's clear that Microsoft still knows how to attract third party developer support."

The Windows Phone Marketplace's 100,000 apps won't be orphaned when Windows Phone 8 comes out either. At the summit today, Microsoft executives said that all the apps written for Windows Phone 7.x will run on the Windows Phone 8 devices that come out next fall.

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Posted by Scott Bekker on June 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM