Microsoft: Windows Phone 7 a hit with developers

The platform's developer tools have been downloaded more than 1.5 million times, and the Marketplace boasts 11,500 apps

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform has caught on with developers in the year since the platform's development tools were first shown, a Microsoft executive stressed Thursday in a blog entry featuring a variety of numbers related to Microsoft's entrant in the highly competitive smartphone market.

Tools for the platform were shown at the Mix10 conference last March, said Brandon Watson, senior director of Windows Phone at Microsoft. Since then, the Windows Phone Developer Tools have been downloaded more than 1.5 million times and 36,000 people have become members of the Windows Phone developer community. There are nearly 11,500 applications and games available in the Windows Phone Marketplace, 7,500 or which are for-sale applications rather than freely available. Microsoft has been adding 1,200 registered developers per week and 1,100 applications are generating developer revenue via the Microsoft Advertising Ad Control.

[ Microsoft is one of many companies that could challenge the Apple iPad in the tablet space, a key iOS application developer said on Wednesday. | IDC predicts that Windows Phone 7 will top iOS by 2015. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights with InfoWorld's Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. | Follow Paul Krill on Twitter. ]

"Customers love our apps. Love them," Watson said. "Windows Phone customers download an average of 12 apps each month. Considering that the phone has only been widely available for around four months, that's very healthy demand." Sixty-two percent of applications are certified for the platform in their first attempt. Forty percent of registered developers have published an application or game, but 60 percent have not yet done so. "That's incredibly exciting when you consider the amount of creativity which is still forthcoming."

Not all comments attached to the blog were as optimistic as Watson. "One-and-a-half million downloads of WP7 toolkit. Thirty-six thousand registered developers, 11,500 apps. So, 2 percent of the developer base sustain and 32 percent of that 2 percent ship.That's kind of not good if I do my math right," one person said.

Another person lauded the platform. "My experience with developing for Windows Phone 7 has been nothing short of phenomenal. The tools, the documentation, the sample code, the community ... are all extremely well done. Have their been hiccups? Of course, but that is true of every platform."

Microsoft's numbers impressed analyst Al Hilwa, of IDC. "I am impressed with the growth rate and the quality of the Microsoft app portfolio, which is one of the key ingredients in the full ecosystem," Hilwa said." I would say that Microsoft is hitting the app milestones at a good clip, moving even faster than Android did in its day, though it is easier to bring apps to a second or third mobile platform than the first time around."

Microsoft looks to evolve the platform to enable more developers to build applications, said Watson. He cited the upcoming Mix11 conference in Las Vegas in two weeks as a milestone to watch for in terms of the phone platform.

Microsoft has been focused on the quality of applications in the Marketplace, offering tools, sample code and "unparalleled support," Watson said. "As a result, we've got apps; thousands of them. In fact our ecosystem generated 10,000 apps faster than anyone else, without padding the stats."

This article, "Microsoft: Windows Phone 7 a hit with developers," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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