200,000+ apps and why it doesn’t matter


Now that the WP7 tech preview has survived the first round of reviews by the media, the next round, other than fixing the issues raised, will consist of attracting as many developers as possible on board. The IOS4 platform boasts a 200,000+ app advantage and Android is second with 70,000 apps, making it a daunting task to catch up, or even just get close. These figures get bandied around  as an omen for the impending failure of WP7, that has consequently led some developers to go as far as turning down Microsoft’s outreach efforts, and, or even money, to develop for the platform-a foolhardy decision on their part.

So why doesn’t it matter? I dug deeper into Gizmodo’s latest article; A detailed state of the apps report to find the answer.

14 out of 20 apps in Apple’s all time paid list were games with the next remaining 4 out of 6 labeled as entertainment.

WP7 will unleash the power of XBox live, which plays host to a thriving gaming developer community, and features thousands of games already available online. Microsoft has also promised a plethora of first party games through their Game studio division in addition to working with Xbox games publishers to port or develop new games for the OS. It becomes pretty clear that when it comes to the most profitable apps(games), WP7 will be competitive, and dare I say, leader in quality and selection. The Zune software covers the entertainment and multimedia part.

The average price for a game is $1.36, and the average selling price for apps especially games constantly falling.

Microsoft foresaw this problem coming, so they set a price range barrier of 89 cents, and limited free apps to five per developer (Additional free apps cost 19.99 per app). The process helps to weed out cheap knock-offs and expose mostly quality apps.

90% of the developers do not make a sustainable return on investment.

The number is outstanding, considering that elsewhere in the report, it states that developers had made more than $3 billion in revenues (not profit.) We live in a capitalist society, where one of the  key motivations is to make money, some, if not most of the 90%, will soon wizen up and look for greener pastures that the WP7 platform offers.

The power of Expression Blend and Visual Studio(not in the Gizmodo article)

Microsoft has noted that developers/users downloaded over 100,000 copies of the WP7 beta SDK! Couple that with the ease of development using the tools, filling up the marketplace with apps will not be a problem. They definitely  will fall short of the 200,000 figure but the quality and variety will more than compensate for this.

The rest of WP7 OS already consolidates the other commonly used apps like email, social networking, music, photos and videos, office, search e.t.c through the hubs and live tiles, giving the new WP7 users the best “it just works” experience out of any other platform.

Please note: If you want to argue about copy and paste or multitasking, read this article first.