Everyone is talking about Microsoft’s new Windows Phone milestone. It’s a big one: The company announced it published a whopping 75,000 new apps for its mobile operating system. Not bad at all actually.
It sounds like Microsoft has the manpower to handle a large influx of developer submissions.
While most people starting talking those cool features windows 8 phone brings in, in my opinion, there’s a big problem awaiting for Microsoft to solve.
It doesn’t matter how big an operating system’s app library is. In fact, that never mattered. App selection isn’t about the number of apps available, it’s about having the apps people want to use. And Microsoft still can’t promise that its Windows Phone users will get the latest and greatest apps with the best features first.
Take a look at the Windows Phone Marketplace today. There’s no Pandora, no Dropbox and no Instagram. Even the Facebook app isn’t made by Facebook. So it’s missing a lot of the latest features Android and iPhone users enjoy. Then there are apps like Twitter that feel like they haven’t been updated in eons, while their Android and iOS counterparts get all the glory.
Now look at the hot new apps that launched this year: Clear. Snapchat. Brewster. Fantastical. All of those apps launched on iPhone first. Some created Android versions shortly after. None are found on Windows Phone.
I speak to quite a few app developers and almost all of them tell me the same story. They prefer to make apps for iPhone and Android first because that’s where the users are. They don’t have anything against Windows Phone, but it’s not worth the time and money investment to develop for a platform that has next to no market share.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Windows Phone. I think it’s a great operating system with massive potential. But it’s going to be difficult to convince people to switch to a new platform if they know they’re not going to get the best apps.