Microsoft: Windows Phone Store now has over 200,000 apps

In June 2012, Microsoft announced that the Windows Phone Store had reached the 100,000 app mark. This weekend, Microsoft casually mentioned in a new blog post that the number of apps in the store had now exceeded the 200,000 milestone.

The blog post added that the Windows Store for Windows 8 apps is now seeing 12 million app transactions per day; this includes in-app micro-transactions. This comes a few weeks after the company announced it saw 1.7 million daily app downloads from the Windows Store in October. Microsoft also hints that they will be doing more to help developers. The blog states, "In the new calendar year we’ll introduce creative new approaches to help you reach users in your app developing. Stay tuned."

Microsoft says that developers who are working on Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 apps that they want to be published by Christmas, should submit them for approval by sometime today. Apps that are targeted for posting by New Year's Day should be submitted for publishing by Friday, December 20th. The blog also offers some helpful hints to developers to make their apps stand out, such as supporting the new wide Live Tile and updating the app at least once every 30 days.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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I don't find the app situation as bad as I did 6 months ago. People get caught up in the numbers, forgetting that the majority of apps on ALL apps stores are complete junk.

Numbers are irrelevant when 199,000+ are useless...

Rather than have a new article every other week counting Modern Apps, why not produce something of use to your target audience, such as: "Neowin's Top 100 Modern Apps"?

I would personally find that useful, given i've had Windows 8 installed over a year and have a grand total of 8 apps installed, none of which I can honestly say I use. It would be nice to see articles showcasing the good, not counting numbers

The number of Apps are irrelevant, although it is good to see a healthy number.

It takes a bit more growth in the US market share to get developers thinking about WP. There is also a mental disconnect between the actual number of users and perceived dominance of the iPhone.

WP did well in 2013, moving from the <1% to 4-5% in the US, which is a fairly big climb. Their market share numbers are close to what Apple enjoys in the PC market.


However, regarding App development, it almost like having an iPhone App is more important than actually meeting customer needs, maybe even a status symbol or just a complete disconnect that is not based on market share.

Just this past week I encountered two media companies releasing their iPhone App. With both companies their customer base is close to 70% Android, 15% iPhone, and 10% WP.

Both companies seemed to be shocked that their customers were asking for Android and WP versions of the App. One company wouldn't even commit to an Android App, with a 'maybe' later this year. (I'm not an Android proponent, but this just seems insane, as it is a very simplistic App for connecting to customers with no DRM or licensing issues, and getting it in the hands of more customers would create direct revenue.)

I have tried to make sense of this, and every angle comes back lacking logic. They even knew their market share prior to starting development. The oddity is one company has also started a Windows 8.1 App, yet have no plans for WP8 App. (Which could be built off the same code base for what they are doing.)

A common reason that happens is you have developers in the company that only know one platform and don't want to be bothered learning anything else. The developers have the ear of the management and give then irrational advice based on their brand prejudice.

Mr. Hand said,
A common reason that happens is you have developers in the company that only know one platform and don't want to be bothered learning anything else. The developers have the ear of the management and give then irrational advice based on their brand prejudice.

Resources are limited. It doesn't make sense to contribute 80%/20% of your time split between iOS and WP8 when 99% of your revenue stream would come from iOS regardless. And despite Android's large market share, iOS is still the most profitable mobile platform to develop for. That's why dev teams target it first.

That would only hold true if your revenue is from selling an app (usually games) but the most useful apps are in support of another revenue streams and are free. If you give even 5% of you customers the finger on support, you risk that 5% of your revenue. Even for a smaller company, that's millions of dollars a year at risk for not supporting a platform. Usually you're only talking tens of thousand in labor resource to develop it unless it's unusually complex.

AWilliams87 said,

Resources are limited. It doesn't make sense to contribute 80%/20% of your time split between iOS and WP8 when 99% of your revenue stream would come from iOS regardless. And despite Android's large market share, iOS is still the most profitable mobile platform to develop for. That's why dev teams target it first.

I agree that iOS can be more profitable, based on the type of App. There are several also several App types where WP is several time more profitable than iOS as well.

However, I wasn't talking about PAID or Advertising based Apps or any type of return based on the demographic that has iPhones. I was specifically talking about companion Apps to offer features, content, and visibility of events for their customers.

This is where iOS is more profitable becomes irrelevant. It is more important to get the product into as many of your customer's hands as possible, which they are NOT doing by promoting an iOS App for 15-20% of their customers, leaving their bigger marketshare untouched.

I'm sure it just a cluster of errors behind the decisions, but it is far too common that businesses are making these types of errors and assuming the world is iPhone based, when it is not.


Mobius Enigma said,

I agree that iOS can be more profitable, based on the type of App. There are several also several App types where WP is several time more profitable than iOS as well.

However, I wasn't talking about PAID or Advertising based Apps or any type of return based on the demographic that has iPhones. I was specifically talking about companion Apps to offer features, content, and visibility of events for their customers.

This is where iOS is more profitable becomes irrelevant. It is more important to get the product into as many of your customer's hands as possible, which they are NOT doing by promoting an iOS App for 15-20% of their customers, leaving their bigger marketshare untouched.

I'm sure it just a cluster of errors behind the decisions, but it is far too common that businesses are making these types of errors and assuming the world is iPhone based, when it is not.



WP market share is around 3%. I'm sure the decision to not develop for it isn't a mistake.

And what type of app is "several times more profitable" on WP than iOS lol?

Mr. Hand said,
That would only hold true if your revenue is from selling an app (usually games) but the most useful apps are in support of another revenue streams and are free.

In no case is Android more profitable to develop for than iOS, on average. Whether we're talking about ad-based revenue, micropayments, or buying apps flat out before purchase.

Not a Windows Phone owner, so I'll ask others: Is the phone's app store as unsearchable as the Windows app store (as in, overly broad categories, then scroll to death)?

Figure 8 Dash said,
Windows Phone has a much better website to look for apps.

I'm seeing the same general categories, then for each app, an icon, a title, a star rating, number of ratings, price...and still much scrolling. How is this "much better"?

Seems very similiar to play.google.com to me. Click on a category and then click on sub categories. Definitely better than browsing from the phone. To each his own, I guess.

Figure 8 Dash said,
Seems very similiar to play.google.com to me. Click on a category and then click on sub categories. Definitely better than browsing from the phone. To each his own, I guess.

Random thoughts:

The community at large can do a better job of assigning tags and such than Google, Apple or Microsoft could ever hope. Why the **** can't anyone display a freakin' simple catalog that will let you search by any number of these tags, and sort by *any* criteria like author, release date, rating, price, etc?

All three of them deal with big data (well, maybe Apple less so)--why can't they leverage their expertise to allow users to sift through this and present data in ways that make sense to the user? Seems like they've all defined one view, and that's the only way you can browse it. It's not like--in this case--200,000 records can even be considered "large". Yet they can't figure out a way to make this presentable.

I could very well be wrong here. But I doubt I'm the only one who finds these impossible to search.

[Edit]
While they're at it: Expose the permissions the apps are gonna request *before* the user downloads anything. Let me check/uncheck to show/hide those apps that ask for those permissions. That'll bring visibility to the nosy ones, and will make it *much* easier for end users to decide what's even worth looking at.

Edited by _dandy_, Dec 16 2013, 9:20pm :

It doesn't seem that long ago that the android marketplace had this amount. Hopefully MS can keep it up, the phones will be more appealing if there's a greater chance that the users favourite apps are available.

Well for me , all apps that I care for are there and some 3rd party alternatives are indeed much better than the official ones , even on iOS/Android!
However what I really miss is Hangout from google. Really miss the video hangouts on my phone indeed. But I guess as WP is rising , it'll eventually make sense for Google to invest time and developers on the platform. Number may never matter , but these are sure enough to lure customers

cristian.dan said,
Skype is way better than Hangout, give it a try

Hangout in far better imo. On Skype, you can't even group video chat without paying money.

Edited by AWilliams87, Dec 16 2013, 7:50pm :

I reckon WP has a long way to go before Google start to support them, 15% global share at least which is going to take another year to reach. Expect Hangouts, next Christmas.

TheShark said,
I reckon WP has a long way to go before Google start to support them, 15% global share at least which is going to take another year to reach. Expect Hangouts, next Christmas.
Look up iPhone's global share...

It is fine for normal person 2 person chat but for group chats , that too via browser is amazing... Skype will take time to evolve into something like that.. Skype is like yahoo messenger now Very few people use it , but was a really nice solution to IMs back then.

bogas04 said,
It is fine for normal person 2 person chat but for group chats , that too via browser is amazing... Skype will take time to evolve into something like that.. Skype is like yahoo messenger now Very few people use it , but was a really nice solution to IMs back then.
It's kind of funny you say that when it's usage is documented and gargantuan.

AWilliams87 said,

Hangout in far better imo. On Skype, you can't even group video chat without paying money.

Well, at least, Skype don't have crappy apps for iOS (2 star rating on the store for hangouts) and NO support for windows phone 8 / win 8 and blackberry

cristian.dan said,
Well, at least, Skype don't have crappy apps for iOS (2 star rating on the store for hangouts) and NO support for windows phone 8 / win 8 and blackberry
I still prefer skype for every day use. However, you have to love hangouts to finally give Skype some competition.

It's really impressive the speed the WP Store is growing compared to the other phone OSs when they originally started up.

But just as techbeck said above, app counts don't actually mean anything. Google and Apple gloat about their app numbers as well, and the majority of the apps are just useless apps. It's better to have less apps of higher quality and use than thousands of fart apps.

True, but when other apps have already been written and just need ported and apps are now taking over then WP should have a faster growth rate. All good though.

Who cares as long as the store has quality/popuar apps....numbers dont matter much no matter what platform you have. Would rather a store have 100 apps with all of them being good, than 100 with most of them junk.

techbeck said,
Who cares as long as the store has quality/popuar apps....numbers dont matter much no matter what platform you have.

Indeed. I have a Lumia 620 and while I really like the phone and WP8 as an OS the apps are all so poor. I am glad I have given WP a try but I will return to iOS I think (had a year of Android with the Nexus 4 and it was alright but a lot of very buggy apps would make the experience frustrating at times).

techbeck said,
Who cares as long as the store has quality/popuar apps....numbers dont matter much no matter what platform you have. Would rather a store have 100 apps with all of them being good, than 100 with most of them junk.

Numbers help in drawing in more developers who make the quality apps you're talking about. Showing that the stores are very active with these transaction and download numbers do just that.

George P said,

Numbers help in drawing in more developers who make the quality apps you're talking about. Showing that the stores are very active with these transaction and download numbers do just that.

True, helps for Devs but not really important for the user itself.

InTheSwiss said,

Indeed. I have a Lumia 620 and while I really like the phone and WP8 as an OS the apps are all so poor. I am glad I have given WP a try but I will return to iOS I think (had a year of Android with the Nexus 4 and it was alright but a lot of very buggy apps would make the experience frustrating at times).


I agree. I kept reading from people like Paul thurrott that there are many great alternatives to major apps in WP. It's a lie. It's also frustrating to read or see about a new great app coming out, but you can't get it.

techbeck said,
Who cares as long as the store has quality/popuar apps....numbers dont matter much no matter what platform you have. Would rather a store have 100 apps with all of them being good, than 100 with most of them junk.

I agree but if competition uses the number of apps in their store against WP then it matters. The number will increase significantly when Windows & Windows Phone share the same API next year.

techbeck said,
Who cares as long as the store has quality/popuar apps....numbers dont matter much no matter what platform you have. Would rather a store have 100 apps with all of them being good, than 100 with most of them junk.

WP Store might not have as many apps as android has but android has much more junk apps that drain your battery, cause crashes, slow down your OS and .... yes big developer make apps for android and WP still lacks many apps but this will be resolved soon.
On the other hand WP has many good and useful core apps that android doesn't have.
People Hub for instance gather all your social update from all your accounts (Facebook, twitter, Linkedin ...) and delivers it in a single nice interface. just because people don't know it doesn't mean its not there. even missing apps like instagram, vine or youtube, there are third party apps that are equally good.

Edited by trojan_market, Dec 16 2013, 7:51pm :

AWilliams87 said,

I agree. I kept reading from people like Paul thurrott that there are many great alternatives to major apps in WP. It's a lie. It's also frustrating to read or see about a new great app coming out, but you can't get it.


Um, its not a lie.

I see people bash the WP store and have to scratch my head.

I get it if you hate ALL the apps on WP and prefer one of the other stores, but how can you make some sweeping statement that does not in fact apply to other people.

Please don't forget that your opinion is not the same as everyone's opinion.

For instance, I've found many useful apps on WP. I've also found some very nice 3rd party alternatives to apps I would like to see officially supported.

So clearly, we have simply had different experiences. Yours is as valid as mine, but neither negates the other.

techbeck said,

True, helps for Devs but not really important for the user itself.

It's a chain reaction man, if more developers come aboard, more apps (and quality apps) will be available for us.