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blog_windows8Microsoft’s Windows Store, the app market for Windows 8 computers and Windows RT devices, now offers more than 50,000 apps, according to an unofficial tally maintained by the MetroStore Scanner app directory.

A strong app market is important for Microsoft as the company tries to convince consumers to upgrade to Windows 8 and Windows RT machines, including the company’s own Surface Pro and Surface RT tablets.

Having the right apps for each user is ultimately matters more than any app count. Microsoft recently brought Twitter into the fold but is still missing an official Facebook app for Windows 8, as an example.

Microsoft had been experiencing a declining rate of Windows Store app submissions until this month, according to MetroStore Scanner stats. The company recently began a new promotion that offers developers $100 cash for each app published in the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store between March 8 and June 30, up to $2,000 total.

How does the Windows Store stack up against the competition?

The way Microsoft segments the computer market, with tablets and PCs as a unified platform, makes comparisons tough. For example, Apple’s Mac App Store has just 14,000 apps, according to — but that doesn’t include iPad apps, which Apple sells in the App Store alongside iPhone apps.

AppShopper counts more than 375,000 iPad apps.

TechCrunch noted Windows Store milestone earlier today, and we spotted it via Tech Radar.

Previously: Microsoft defends Windows RT, says strategy ‘just gets stronger over time’

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