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Windows Phone Marketplace hits 50,000-app mark

Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace hit another benchmark this week, topping 50,000 games and applications. The number comes ahead of what some observers were expecting.

Nearly a year and two months after its launch, Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace has hit a new milestone.

The collection of apps and games that run on Microsoft's Windows Phone devices now sits north of 50,000 applications, according to a count by the blog All About Windows Phone. More than a third of those were added in the past three months, and nearly 16 percent within the past 30 days, the site said.

In actuality, users have access to fewer than the 50,126 items on the store as of today, with about 6,000 apps having been removed from the store over time, cutting the total count in the U.S. to 42,655 apps.

App volume in the Windows Phone Marketplace between October 2010 and December 2011.
App volume in the Windows Phone Marketplace between October 2010 and December 2011. All About Windows Phone

The Windows Phone Marketplace's last big benchmark was 40,000 apps, a number Microsoft reached less than a month ago, followed by 45,000 on December 12. Both of those counts, which were logged by All About Windows Phone, set Microsoft to hit the magic 50,000 number by the first week in January, a benchmark today's total bests by a week.

In addition to the total, the new numbers show that the volume of apps and games added to the Windows Live Marketplace each day is increasing. At the 50,000 mark, Microsoft's publishing 265 new games and apps each day, up from the 165 a day total from mid-November.

As mentioned in previous coverage, Microsoft's app volume comes in considerably lower than that of its competitors, which had a multi-year head start on their platforms. Apple's App Store, for instance, tops 500,000 apps as of May, with a more recent and unofficial count from app tracker putting that total at 526,855. 150,000 of those apps were published inside a four month time period. As for Google, an overall app count from analytics firm Distimo pegged its volume at 380,297 applications in October.

Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 in Europe near the end of October last year, bringing it to North America in the second week of November. The platform is a reboot of the company's Windows Mobile platform and ties in with a number of its software and services including Microsoft Office and Xbox Live.