What is it with these Microsoft groups feeling the need to publicly defend their numbers all of a sudden? The Windows Phone team tonight followed the Internet Explorer crew in insisting that even though one of its key metrics might look modest on the surface, the stats are actually much stronger than they might seem.

In this case, the subject is the number of apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace. In a post tonight on the anniversary of the unveiling of the company’s mobile app development tools, Microsoft’s Brandon Watson has a lot to say about the 11,500 apps counted by the company — along with some thinly veiled jabs at the company’s competitors.

What is an app? It’s a question that really begs some scrutinizing. For us, from the beginning, we have always been focused on quality over quantity. We recognize the importance of getting great apps on our platform and not artificially inflating the number of actual apps available to customer by listing “wallpapers” as a category, or perhaps allowing competitor’s apps to run on the platform to increase “tonnage.” We also don’t believe in the practice of counting “lite” apps as unique quality content. In reality they only exist because developers can’t have a Trial API and must therefore do extra work. Finally, we don’t double and triple count apps which are submitted in multiple languages. …

We’ve been very focused on the quality of the apps in the Marketplace since we first announced the platform one year ago, and we’ve done this by doing what we do best for developers; giving them great tools, tons of sample code and unparalleled support through our incredible Developer & Platform Evangelism team. As a result, we’ve got apps; thousands of them. In fact our ecosystem generated 10,000 apps faster than anyone else, without padding the stats.

Padding or not, Google’s Android Market has more than 150,000 apps, and Apple claims more than 350,000 iOS apps, for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Of course, each of those platforms had a pretty big head start over Windows Phone.

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  • Quinn S

    Focusing on quality over quantity? It’s what a also-ran player has to say when asked why WinPho has so few applications. The Windows story was never about quality over quantity and, looking into the future, will MSFT still be saying this if it matches the massive number of apps available on its competitors’ platforms?

  • http://profiles.google.com/hivebrain Michael Schneider

    They are glossing over the fact that regardless of the number of apps in their store, they aren’t selling very many overall. I have apps on Windows Phone 7 that launched with the opening of their app store, and are ranked fairly well on their store, but the number of dollars they actually generate is sad. I would love to see Microsoft’s app store become a huge success, but they should really hold off on bragging about it until they actually build a market.

  • zato

    “However, Microsoft has said its app numbers aren’t padded like its competitors’ numbers are.”
    Microsoft. Always the propaganda machine, 24/7/365. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LBQ326XG7X7AKGWBRWHSA2BME4 al

    Seriously the only phone app platform doing worse than the Windows App Store is the BlackBerry App World. At least Microsoft has created a better developer platform than the disaster that RIM has. To compare the Windows App Store to the Android Market or the Apple App Store is a joke. This is just Microsoft’s PR shills doing what they do. 

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