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Windows Store Adding Apps at a Good Clip

When Microsoft launched Windows 8 on Oct. 25, former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky discouraged reporters from counting apps.

"Some might rush to start to count apps or look for their favorite apps to arrive in the store," Sinofsky said. In trying to explain why that shouldn't be the focus, Sinofsky, who quit Microsoft a few weeks later, said, "We see today as a grand opening, and a very solid one. On the screen behind me, you can see some of the thousands of new apps that are available today around the world. Developers everywhere are adding hundreds of new apps every day and that rate of addition is increasing as well."

While there has been anonymously sourced reporting that CEO Steve Ballmer's unhappiness with the app count at launch may have contributed to Sinofsky's surprising departure, Sinofsky's prediction about Windows Store growth is largely coming true.

Like many journalists, I viewed Sinofsky's admonishment not to count apps not as a deterrent but as a red cape waved in front of a bull. Early reviewers of Windows 8 or the Microsoft Surface RT noted that there were between 3,000 and 5,000 apps in the Store. When I got a chance to do a count of my own with a Windows 8 system on Nov. 7, I found about 7,000. A recount a little over a month later on Dec. 9 I found more than 18,000 for a 155 percent growth rate. It's nowhere near Apple's 275,000 iPad apps, but it's an impressive improvement rate. If Microsoft can keep developers coming in at that clip as the months roll by, the Windows Store should have a pretty serious app count by mid-2013.

Windows Store App Growth by Category:

DEC. 9, 2012
News & Weather 308 1159 276
Books & Reference 479 1655 246
Business 126 428 240
Food & Dining 184 523 184
Entertainment 869 2465 184
Lifestyle 273 762 179
Music & Videos 211 588 179
Education 950 2551 169
Health & Fitness 229 568 148
Security 55 136 147
Tools 697 1708 145
Social 158 379 140
Sports 210 483 130
Finance 93 213 129
Travel 291 658 126
Shopping 62 128 106
Games 1209 2438 102
Government 33 65 97
Photo 197 377 91
Productivity 462 841 82
Total 7096 18125 155

Ed.'s Note: Due to a typo, the percentage increase in productivity apps from November to December was misstated in an earlier version of the table. The correct figure for the increase is 82 percent.

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 13, 2012