Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 SDK downloads lag Android

The 300,000-download figure touted by Microsoft may not mean all that much

Microsoft is touting the fact that it's had about 300,000 downloads of its development tools for the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 mobile OS, which is expected to hit store shelves in the form of mobile devices in October.

That's an impressive number -- until you compare it to the SDK downloads for the Android SDK over a comparable period. About three months after its November 2007 release, the original Android SDK had about 750,000 downloads.

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Of course, the number of SDK downloads doesn't necessarily correlate with the number of apps that actually become available. In its first three months after its March 2008 release, Apple's original iPhone SDK had 250,000 downloads -- about the same as Windows Phone 7 has had so far.

Yet the number of iPhone apps today far exceeds that of Android apps: 225,000 with 5 billion downloads at the Apple App Store total versus 100,000 with 1 billion downloads at the Android Market. (Of course, both platforms have clearly caught on with developers and users, so being in second place is no slight for Android.)

Conversely, although there have long been multiple SDKs for Research in Motion's BlackBerry, that device has only about 9,500 apps available in the BlackBerry App World store.

The final version of the Windows Phone 7 SDK will be available on Sept. 16, so developers using the current beta version will have a few weeks to rework their apps before the Microsoft app store begins accepting Windows Phone 7 apps in early October, according to Microsoft. So we should know in early 2011 whether Windows Phone 7 is a hit with users, developers, or both.

This story, "Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 SDK downloads lag Android," was originally published at Get the first word on important tech news with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog.