Windows phones have been slowly gaining popularity, courtesy of their latest handsets and the user interface itself. Many critics have appreciated the bold nature of the OS. Even though the core operating system is garnering positive reviews, for the Windows Phone to succeed there is a necessity of quality of apps. Though reaching a milestone of 50000 apps is surely an achievement; many argue that a thousand quality apps are better than fifty thousand useless ones.
The Windows Phone OS is touted as one of the most powerful platforms around, eking out flawless performance from middling hardware. The reduced dependency on apps is one of the OS’s highlights. This is clearly evident given that Microsoft has added features directly on the phone rather than using an app for the same. Microsoft is making an attempt at attracting quality app developers, but there is an indication that Microsoft lacks the control and standards for the same. Critics have questioned Microsoft’s flawed mobile strategy with a few voicing their opinion on the absence of a comparable number of apps on the platform as opposed to Android and iOS.
There was an immediate response to the above statements, with Windows claiming that the WP platform had reached the 50k milestone faster than either iOS or Android. However, the platform still doesn’t have any trademark ‘cool’ applications which are usually associated with one platform or the other. The entry of Windows into the phone market reminded many of the original iPhone when it was released, with less than a 1000 apps to brag about and a new ecosystem that took time to gain traction. In the case of Windows Phone, however, there is the presence of two well established competing platforms making it difficult for the platform to gain a foothold in the market.
Microsoft has made an attempt to control “bulk app publishing”, which prevents developers from releasing cloned apps, but it doesn’t appear to have helped. There are many apps on the WP Market which infringe copyright laws, thus promoting the sale of illegal apps on a legitimate platform. For example, searching for CNN on the Market brings up around 70 results, none of which are legitimate. The introduction of Windows Phone Mango has helped in promoting motivation among developers to design better apps. In fact, the large spike in the number of apps that was observed in November was the direct result increased developer interest following the Mango release. It’s clear that Microsoft needs to focus on getting developers to make more relevant and meaningful apps for the WP ecosystem. The emphasis needs to be on apps which tie in well with the Windows Phone platform rather than just aping apps on other platforms.