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The Windows App store is inching ever closer to relevance with the landmark availability of over 40 000 applications for its line of smartphones.
Earlier this year, the Windows App store celebrated its first anniversary and surpassed 35 000 apps. According to Microsoft, 165 items per day are being added to the store. Almost 85% of the apps are non-gaming, with the remaining 15% of them games. Paid apps make up 23% of the store, while 68% are free.
The exact number of Windows apps currently sits at 40 200. Based on the continuous rate of growth, the Windows App Marketplace will reach 50 000 apps by the middle of January 2012.
So how does the Windows Marketplace measure up to Apple and Android’s efforts?
According to the number on the international Apple app store, the Cupertino giant has surpassed 651 000 apps. Of these, the most popular are gaming titles, followed by books and entertainment.
Android fares nearly as well. Earlier reports place the Android store at 370 000 paid and free applications, with over seven billion downloads and counting.
Apps for nothing and your cheques for free
Microsoft is highly protective when it comes to its update systems, despite (or because of) its current success in the consumer software marketplace. In its upcoming OS Windows 8, which makes use of a touch-friendly, mobile-phone like app environment, Microsoft has said that it will not support third-party app updating. In a commentary on the blog post, Farzana Rahman, group program manager for Windows Update said, “The wide variety of delivery mechanisms, installation tools, and overall approaches to updates across the full breadth of applications makes it impossible to push all updates through update mechanism.”
Rahman further backs the company’s decision – which is rather infuriating to some – by saying, “As frustrating as this might be, it is also an important part of the ecosystem that we cannot just revisit for the installed base of software.”
Based on its refusal to support third party apps, Microsoft appears to be limiting its own success in this arena, but only time will tell if its steadfast refusal to welcome non-Microsoft apps to the update party will damage the Windows Marketplace.