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Windows Phone takes another small stumble forward

Published Aug 11th, 2014 11:45AM EDT
Windows Phone App Gap

Microsoft quietly announced  that it now has over 300,000 apps in its Windows Phone Store, with hundreds more added every day. While that certainly seems like a lot, and might make switching to a Windows Phone a bit easier, it has a long way to go to catch up to Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

By contrast, both Apple and Google have over 1 million apps apiece, with Apple having more than 500,000 apps dedicated just for the iPad, where apps have to be tweaked a bit to look better on a larger screen.

Some of the top apps on Windows include the ones you know, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Amazon, eBay, Groupon, Instagram, Facebook and others, but there are quite a few that are missing.

For instance, there’s no official YouTube app (Microsoft built one of its own), and no Snapchat (though there is something called Windows Phone snap). Even the Instagram app is called Instagram Beta, and looks slightly different compared to the Instagram apps seen on iOS and Android. Popular games such as Simpsons Tapped Out, Candy Crush and even Farmville aren’t on Windows Phone yet either.

Despite these shortcomings, that doesn’t mean Microsoft isn’t trying. According to Microsoft, there have been over 4 billion downloads for Windows Phone, with over 2 billion of them coming from apps and games. By comparison, Apple recently topped 75 billion downloads, and announced that July was its best month ever, having a record-setting revenue, as well as a record number of customers making transactions during the month.

Microsoft has certainly made inroads trying to get its Windows Phone Store to be competitive with Apple and Google’s stores, but it’s going to take a whole lot more work from Microsoft and its developers if it ever wants to be competitive with the teams at Apple and Google.