Windows Phone 7 hits 5,000 app milestone

By David Goldman, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Windows Phone 7 hit the 5,000-application mark in its app store on Wednesday, as Microsoft announced it has shipped 1.5 million devices to retailers since the phone went on sale two month ago.

But software giant also hasn't yet said how many sales to end users it has made. That's not usually a good sign.

Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) sold 1.7 million iPhone 4s in June in the first three days the phone was available, and has sold 31 million phones so far this year. Google says it is currently activating 300,000 Android phones each day.

Still, analysts are impressed by what Microsoft has been able to do, considering that it was at a standstill in the mobile space just a few months ago.

"No one expected Windows Phone 7 to take the market by a storm, and ... 5,000 apps [plus] 10 devices in 30 countries is by no means a trivial achievement," said Al Hilwa, analyst at IDC. "If Microsoft executes on its mobile strategy, it will have a seat at the small table of the top two or three mobile application platform players in the next five years."

Though the iPhone App Store has 300,000 apps and the Android Marketplace now sports 200,000 apps, 5,000 apps in just two months is a nice start for Microsoft. That's already as many apps as Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ, Fortune 500) 18-month old Palm WebOS platform has, and a third of the 15,000 apps on the BlackBerry App World.

Hilwa expects Windows Phone 7's app count to surpass Research In Motion's (RIMM) Blackberry by the middle of 2011.

Almost all of the most-downloaded apps on the iPhone App Store and the Android Marketplace are also available on Windows Phone 7 -- but there are a few glaring omissions. Wanna play Angry Birds? You can't yet on a Windows Phone.

On the flip side,Netflix (NFLX) is notably available on Windows Phone 7 but not on Android. According to the streaming video company: "The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android."

Microsoft's biggest advantage is its platform's familiarity. Windows Phone 7 apps are written in .NET, the same software framework for programs for Windows. .NET is incredibly popular, with hundreds of thousands of developers writing to it.

Developers say that converting Android or iPhone applications to Windows Phone 7 has been a cinch.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,077.21 -21.24 -0.12%
Nasdaq 4,591.43 11.16 0.24%
S&P 500 2,002.91 -0.46 -0.02%
Treasuries 2.41 0.06 2.73%
Data as of 10:21am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 103.31 0.81 0.79%
Bank of America Corp... 16.10 0.02 0.09%
Facebook Inc 75.60 0.78 1.04%
Staples Inc 12.32 0.64 5.44%
General Electric Co 25.89 -0.09 -0.34%
Data as of 10:06am ET

Sections

Online flower peddler is buying fruit gift basket retailers for $142.5 million. More

Gas prices are falling to nearly $3 a gallon in some parts of South Carolina, and that will soon be common in much of the country. More

Microsoft is expected to begin showing off Windows 9's features later this month. Here are the expected changes you should be thrilled about. More

The Coolest Cooler is the most successful Kickstarter campaign in the site's history, raising $13.3 million from over 62,000 backers. More

A scam where fraudsters impersonate IRS agents has now stolen $5 million from taxpayers, and this woman - who lost her entire life savings -- is just one of its victims. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.