Although the features, the UI, and the general experience matter a lot when it comes to choosing the “right” smartphone operating system, for many people the choice boils down to the number and quality of apps available for each OS. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 has recently surpassed RIM’s BlackBerry store when it comes to the total number of available apps, although the comparison with RIM’s Blackberry OS (with its major downfall over the past few years) is not something to make WP7 users particularly proud. Although the number of apps available for Windows Phone 7 recently went north of 70k, that’s no match for roughly the half of million apps available for both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

Although immensely popular apps (such as Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, etc) are also available for WP7, there are a lot of important apps that have not reached Microsoft’s mobile OS yet. Although the lack of apps used to be a problem for Android too, in its early years, it looks like the world’s most popular smartphone OS — Android — now accounts for a market share that most developers don’t afford to neglect.

A good example on the topic is Instagram’s recent decision to release the Android version of their popular image sharing app, but this can be seen as a prevalent trend lately, with some developers even going to extensive lengths to provide parity across Android and iOS.

Although it was expected that the Microsoft – Nokia partnership will result in a share boost for WP7, the results have been, up to this point, modest. To put it simply, in its current state, WP7 does not attract too many niche app developers. This is perfectly reflected in a recent IDC/Appcelerator survey, which showed that only 37% of app developers were interested to build software for Windows Phone 7, compared to the 89% interest in iOS and 79% interest in Android. As it turns out, this is an issue of which both Microsoft and Nokia seem to be completely aware, as the two companies have recently announced an investment in an $18 million development program at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland (Nokia’s home country).

In the other corner, Windows Phone 7 (.5?) fans prefer to emphasize the platform’s growth over its mere 16 months of existence, rather than the raw numbers. Granted, it took the Android Market (now Google Play) 24 months from its launch to reach a total of 80k apps, but the apparent disparity has a lot to do with the simple fact that there are many more mobile app developers out there at this point, than there were a couple of years ago.

What do you guys think? Will Windows Phone boost its market share over the next years? Are Android and iOS unbeatable? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

Mike Andrici
Growing up in my father's PC store, I was surrounded by and developed a passion for technology ever since I was in kindergarten. However, advancements made in the technology world continue to amaze me on a daily basis! I've been writing about the Android OS since back in October 2008, when Google and HTC launched the first Android smartphone ever, the T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream. Although I'm no company's fanboy, Android is the mobile OS I devoutly support.
  • Bruno Coelho

    Windows will overcome android for sure, google hasn’t been doing his homework.
    Microsoft when in october release windows 8, to tablets and phones, we will see a huge increase to windows developer population as well as consumers.
    In my opinion, either google step up in quality and investment towards developer and consumer products, or it will get passed by Microsoft and their partners.

    • 123

      I Agree

  • Superzar2000

    WP7 will easily surpass RIM by 2013, and iOS by 2014 – no doubt in my mind. It really is that good, and the potentiial with Windows 8 tablets (Dell-Nokia etc)/PC is only going to help. Android however will easily stay on top for the predictable future.

  • Cheyne

    Google seem to have lost focus, the Androd eco system is a bug ridden, malware infected, fragmented mess. Its driving more people way from Android to iPhone. Once WP7 gets more traction and people are aware I think people will move to WP too.

    • Wrong. Android is not bug ridden. It is slick and smooth. Malware infected? Nope. Studies show iOS has more malware attacks that Android. Fragmented mess? Nope fragmentation has all but gone awa. People moving from Android to iPhone again wrong. Studies have shown more people switch iPhone to Android than the other way around. You are just a fucking bitch ass moron.

  • Darryl DuCasse

    You forgot to talk about the ECONOMICS of building WP7 apps. 70K apps are way too many, considering WP7 has a tiny percentage of the market. Why so many apps already? Because Windows programmers are a dime a dozen.

    The apps business is not good for any platform actually. Too many programmers, minimal entry barriers and programmers are morons who like to give everything away for free.

    If you want to make money look elsewhere.

  • Saa044

    On my Htc Sensation the phone gets laggish after a while, and if I would look at the quality of the image it does not come close to my windows phone 7, for instance a pitch black image would just be that on a windows phone 7, pitch black, on the Htc Sensation it would have a bit of white in that same pitch black image.