Microsoft wants "quality not quantity" for mobile apps
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 1 Apr 2011 at 14:34
The Windows Phone 7 platform now has 11,500 apps available, Microsoft has said.
While that's a long way from catching up to Android's 200,000 at the end of last year, let alone Apple's 350,000, Microsoft insists it's not a numbers game.
Windows Phone director Brandon Watson said Microsoft wasn't worried about trailing rivals in numbers of apps, as Windows Phone 7 was focused on "quality over quantity", and therefore doesn't count "lite" apps or versions in different languages.
We recognise the importance of getting great apps on our platform
"We recognise the importance of getting great apps on our platform and not artificially inflating the number of actual apps available to customer by listing 'wallpapers' as a category, or perhaps allowing competitors' apps to run on the platform to increase 'tonnage'," he said in a post on the Windows blog.
That latter comment takes a dig in RIM's direction, as the BlackBerry maker recently unveiled plans to let customers run Android apps on its PlayBook tablet.
Microsoft also claimed its platform "generated 10,000 apps faster than anyone else, without padding the stats."
Microsoft said its Windows Phone 7 developer tools had been downloaded 1.5 million times, but 36,000 were actually paid-up members of its development community and had made 11,500 apps so far.
While one reader was quick to do the maths and point out that means only 2.4% of those who downloaded the tools seemed to be using them, Watson replied that Microsoft staffers were "optimists" and preferred to see the missing developers as future content creators, not ones that had snubbed the platform.
Other comments noted Microsoft still hasn't released sales data. Watson said the number of handsets sold wasn't important, but the revenue for developers was.
Of the 11,500 apps available for the Microsoft platform, 7,500 are paid-for apps, and 1,100 are making money via advertising. Users are buying an average of 12 apps a month.
Because of that - and despite not having sold as many handsets as rivals - Microsoft said developers make more on its platform than others.
"You might think that the primary driver [of revenue] is the number of handsets in market," Watson said. "Based on the conversations we are having with some of our developers, many are telling us that they are seeing more revenue on our platform than competing platforms, despite the fact that we cannot yet match the sheer number of handsets being sold."
The blog post echoes an earlier message from Microsoft regarding Internet Explorer 9 downloads, with the company saying it wasn't fair to compare browser success yet.
Wah! Wah! It's not fair!
"It's not fair to compare us that way unless we come out on top!"
Funny how Microsoft has been saying for years that "Windows PCs are better than Macs because Windows has more software..."
Clearly quality only counts when you don't have any quantity.
By SwissMac on 1 Apr 2011
I could have guessed.....
....who would be first to comment on this story. in fact I did!
Relax now SwissMac, don't get yourself all stressed, nobody is criticising or questioning uncle Steve!
By everton2004 on 1 Apr 2011
The headline was guaranteed to draw a comment from the troll.
"Windows PCs are better than Macs because Windows has more software..."
And when did Microsoft actually say that?
By chapelgarth on 1 Apr 2011
Quality is good...
But you also need at least one app in each area...
I have both an iPhone and a WP7 phone and there are certain apps which are missing on the WP7 at the moment, but on the other hand, sifting through the dross on the Apple App Store to find something useful is hard work nowadays...
By big_D on 2 Apr 2011
I feel your pain, I've an Android phone and hunting through our market for decent apps and games is a chore, it's full of so much crap I do wish Google would put some basic quality control in place.
What surprised me when using an iPad recently was how so many free apps on Android are chargeable in the App Store.
By Deano on 2 Apr 2011
As an interest what apps are missing @big_D?
By TimoGunt on 3 Apr 2011
Audible, Tweetdeck (I use the official Twitter app, but I use Tweetdeck on every other machine), Angry Birds, Barcoo (or a good barcode reader, I've tried a couple, but none have been able to read barcodes), LinkedIn.
On the other hand, I have a couple of great apps, which were rejected by Apple for the iPhone (such as the Walt Mosspuppet sound board, probably because Walt says "I want to touch Steve Jobs nipples" :-D ).
By big_D on 3 Apr 2011
As the Electronic Service Librarian and person to come to advice for apps and smartphone in the NHS South Central area - they are not any controls over apps and apps stores.
Look at copyright and IP rights – it up the owners to take enforcement action over breaches and any one can start up and say they an apps store – even Apple got apps they are a clear violation of any agreement with the copyright or IP owner – just talk to the people of BNF ~ no official or licensed app but you have a choice of 3 or 5 ~ you can buy one for 35 pound to 150 USD!
Also the way apps stores and apps are so not regulated and nothing enforced or checked correctly.
It makes my job a lot harder for example you could have the same app by the same company but due to the different apps store the app might be licensed to up to two/three some times four different companies then due to fact that the name of the apps has already been used or taken by some one else they have to do a name change on top as well.
So it a complete mess out there a can be a total ripe off with you bank details at risk as well
Electronic Services Librarian
Use a smartphone to find the evidence
By mprltd on 4 Apr 2011
No Apps = Stalled Motor
Palm with their WebOS had an excellent product but lack of apps. It failed to take off.
Android had masses of apps - it shot skywards.
Microsoft, if you cant back up your devices with apps then your fuse won't light.
Why purchase a £400+ device with few apps with a similar Android device with a squillion apps.
= no contest.
By Manuel on 4 Apr 2011
As part of my I.T. support role, I have recently compared iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 devices in real-world usage. It's probably accepted now that the end user's belief is "it's all about the apps", regardless of the platform. On WP7 the apps were generally either more crash-prone than their counterparts on other mobile OSes or simply not available at all.
Sure WP7 looks pretty, but if the Marketplace doesn't gain traction soon (and remember it has been around for QUITE a while, predating WP7) the OS is going to crash land. Only MS's marketing power can hope to keep the platform airborne.
Also, WP7 shows some odd design choices that while they look pretty are less intuitive than the ought to be. One example: within the mail client, it's much less obvious which emails have yet to be read. And there are numerous reports of missing or hard-to-find features (USB tethering, where the heck's the MAC address, etc.) all of which smack of a product that was brought to market prematurely. MS isn't the only company guilty of that of course, but it hasn't been terrbily convincing in the speed at which it has responded to these shortcomings.
I work for a reasonably large company with 4,500 users. My advice to the company is that none of the users take on a WP7 device.
By RobPomeroy on 14 Apr 2011
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