Okay, Microsoft has a long way to go, but the company still has reason to celebrate. The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace now stocks over 5,000 apps (according to Marketplace Browser), and it’s apparently ramping up faster than any other app store at this stage in its young life. BlackBerry App World passed 10,000 apps in September, so the fact that WP7 already has half as much in its stable is an accomplishment.
On the other hand, Androlib is reporting that the Android Marketplace has busted through the 200,000 app mark, closing the gap with Apple’s iOS (over 300,000). What these numbers don’t tell you, of course, is the quality of apps available. We’ve enjoyed using many of the early WP7 apps, which in general have looked more polished than their Android counterparts. And fair or not, Microsoft has done a good job of incentivizing developers with wads of cash. What the Marketplace still lacks are big names like Pandora, Angry Birds, and Kindle.
Can Microsoft keep up this pace, and how many apps are good enough in the eyes of smart phone buyers? We’ll have to wait and see.