Roughly a year after first showcasing its Windows Phone 7 application platform developer tools at its MIX10 conference, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) reports that more than 1.5 million developers have downloaded the toolset, with registered membership in its premium AppHub developer community now topping 36,000, with 1,200 new developers signing on each week. In addition, the Windows Phone Marketplace storefront now boasts about 11,500 applications--approximately 7,500 are premium downloads, while 1,100 ad-funded apps leverage the Microsoft Advertising Ad Control solution. The average Windows Phone 7 device owner downloads a dozen apps each month.
While Windows Phone Marketplace lags far behind rivals like Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS App Store and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android Market in terms of application inventory, Windows Phone 7 director Brandon Watson contends the focus is on quality, not quantity. "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," Watson writes on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. "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 also champions the efficiency of the Windows Phone Marketplace certification program, stating that most submissions earn a pass or fail within 1.8 days. In addition, 62 percent of all submissions pass certification on their first attempt. Only 40 percent of registered WP7 developers have published apps or games, Watson adds: "That's incredibly exciting when you consider the amount of creativity which is still forthcoming."
- read this Windows Phone Developer Blog entry
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