Microsoft's Windows Phone Store has reached a new milestone with more than 300,000 apps on its virtual shelves.
The software giant revealed the new figure via its "Microsoft by the Numbers" page in which it also stated that hundreds of new apps are being added each day. Of course, it's not just the number but the quality of apps that counts. But as WPCentral points out, most leading apps are now available through Microsoft's mobile OS store, while more "obscure apps" are popping up as well.
Apps are one of the keys to the success of a mobile platform. Many Windows Phone Lumia handsets have received kudos for their innovative and user-friendly features. But if the necessary apps aren't available, consumers will simply move on to a different platform. Of course, the number of apps can win only so many customers for Windows Phone in a land dominated by Apple and Android. Windows Phone has nestled into third place in the mobile market behind the two top dogs, but its market share is only around 3 percent, according to most reports.
In June, Apple said that its App Store had amassed 1.2 million apps.
Still, the growth in Windows Phone apps is impressive. The store held 100,000 apps in June 2012, according to The Next Web. The number ramped up to 150,000 in December of 2012, followed by 200,000 in December 2013. The 300,000 mark was reached in June 2014, which means the store added 100,000 apps in around six months.
"We have more than 300,000 Windows Phone apps today and the Windows Phone Store continues to grow," a Microsoft spokesperson told TNW. "In the past year alone the Windows and Windows Phone app catalog has grown 94 percent, while the number of active developers has grown by 50 percent."
And what could the future hold for the Windows Phone Store? In a tweet posted on Thursday, Microsoft PR spokeswoman Julie Morgan confirmed the 300,000 number and said she expects that universal Windows apps will help drive the number higher.
Microsoft's universal Windows apps initiative is part of an overall effort geared at streamlining Windows for all devices, from phones to tablets to PCs. As such, Microsoft will offer a unified developer platform in which developers can use much of the same core code to build apps for both Windows and Windows Phone. Microsoft also wants to combine its Windows Store and Windows Phone store. Once fully off the ground, both of those measures could dramatically increase the number of Windows and Windows Phone apps available to consumers.