Windows Phone users can now find a wider array of apps in Microsoft's online phone store.
A new Microsoft blog post touting the growth of the Windows Phone store in 2012 revealed the latest facts and figures. Over the past year, Microsoft has published more than 75,000 new apps and games (which more than doubled the total number). And more than 300,000 app updates were added.
The average Windows Phone user has downloaded around 54 apps, according to Microsoft. Live Apps in particular have drummed up a lot of interest. Based on customer feedback, 85 percent of Windows Phone 8 users said they'd pick a Live App over one without that feature. Live Apps display the latest news, weather, e-mails, appointments, and other information as it arrives.
Microsoft also noted that it certifies every Windows Phone app to guard against malware and viruses. And this past year, the company added PayPal and Alipay to its payment options. The number of consumer markets for the Windows Phone store also expanded this year, reaching 191 from just 35 at the start of 2012.
Of course, the Windows Phone store is still a small fry compared with Apple's App Store and Google Play.
Microsoft's collection of 150,000 apps trails the more than 700,000 apps in the App Store and close to the same number on Google Play.
But undeterred, Microsoft continues to pour money and resources into its app store to attract both customers and developers.
"We literally set a new foundation this year with the deployment of all-new infrastructure - new client platform, new developer toolset, new Dev Center, new catalog infrastructure, and all-new global service," the company said in its blog. "I know transitions can be frustrating, but it is now complete and customers and developers are already beginning to reap the benefits with a better app and store experience, faster performance, and more robust tools."