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MS touts 11.5k WP7 apps, trashes Android, iOS, PlayBook

updated 09:20 am EDT, Thu March 31, 2011

Microsoft attacks Android and PlayBook in app wars

Microsoft marked the one-year anniversary of Windows Phone 7 development details with an attack on Android, iOS, and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook. The company's Brandon Watson said WP7 had reached 11,500 active apps by focusing on "quality over quantity" where other rivals had been padding. Google's willingness to accept almost anything as an Android app, Apple's ban on trial apps, and RIM's decision to emulate Android apps on the PlayBook were all hiding the number of meaningful apps, Microsoft's Brandon Watson said.

"We recognize 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 competitor's apps to run on the platform to increase 'tonnage,'" he said, referencing RIM co-chief Jim Balsillie's own reference to Android apps. "We also don't believe in the practice of counting 'lite' apps as unique quality content. In reality they only exist because developers can't have a Trial API and must therefore do extra work. Finally, we don't double and triple count apps which are submitted in multiple languages."

Watson admitted that it would be hard to avoid a certain amount of flooding from individual e-book apps, but was adamant it had an inherent ability to get high-quality apps. He added that developers were seeing more revenue from WP7 than from "competing platforms" despite considerably fewer phones shipping. It mattered to be in a store where it was easy to get noticed, he said. Although Android and iOS are likely more profitable for developers themselves, both have been criticized for struggling to let users discover the sheer number of new apps.

In a criticism of Apple, he noted that most Windows Phone Marketplace apps took an average of 1.8 days to get approved. Apple has usually touted the vast majority of apps getting approved within two weeks and has notably taken months for some apps with no explanation, especially for apps from Google that it saw as competition. Microsoft has been helped by the considerably lower number of apps it needs approve, where Apple needs to approve thousands each day.

Watson teased the upcoming MIX11 developer event on April 12 and hinted that it would primarily focus on Mango, the major update for late 2011. It brings multitasking, the IE9 web rendering engine, and basic integration with the Xbox 360's Kinect controller.

Microsoft's claims carry some weight but are also somewhat defensive. While its concentration of apps includes more complex titles, Android has over 120,000 apps while iOS claims over 350,000. The size virtually ensures more quality apps along with those the company dismissed as insignificant.

by MacNN Staff



  1. freddymac

    Joined: Dec 1969



    WOW. In it's first year. WOW. What the h*** is wrong with these people?

  1. tundaman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Where's my tail?

    So does it means that to M$ the "we have much more apps" argument was valid in Winblows/MacOS comparison, but is not valid anymore when comes to comparing mobile OS???


  1. Parky

    Joined: Dec 1969



    1. Of course your Apps get approved quicker, hardly any are being submitted, the reviewers must be sta there twiddling their thumbs!

    2. So making more money for developers = charging customers more.

    3. If there had been loads of Apps they would have been shouting about the numbers - quality, what a joke!

  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    tipcalc, very important application

    I have always thought having an application to calculate tips was one of those high quality, must have, very important, absolutely essential applications I just had to have.

    No offense to the programmers but if this is an example of Microsoft's high quality list I must be missing something. This is a simple calculator doing one calculation using two numbers. It shouldn't have taken more than 10 minutes to write.

    Of course, I'm not going to bother looking through their list since I'll never purchase anything from Microsoft as long as I have an option.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple not having "trial" apps

    How is that better than having "lite" apps? At least with Lite, they a) never expire and b) provide you with the 60 second instant gratification hit of wanting something new...

  1. erics

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who dat?

    Ive yet to see one of these phones in public.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ya pay people to develop apps for ya.

    and suddenly, after spouting how many programs there are for windows as compared to apple it don't matter no more? "quality" is the new measuring stick?

  1. freddymac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hey erics

    I seen one, the day I bought my iPone 4. Someone was returning their winblows7 phone at the AT&T store. Girl at the store said it happens a lot.

  1. jfgilbert

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It depends on your point of view

    If you stand on your head, close one eye, and look at it through a dark cloth, you can see that Windows Phone 7 is actually competitive.

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969



    A weather app, a tip calculator, a speedometer and a Tetris rip-off are considered high quality apps?! (See phone image above)


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