You probably know I follow the new WP7 apps pretty closely to try to see what’s new and I’ve been noticing lately that there are fewer new apps being released than in the past. I wanted to check if it was real or in my mind so I went over to WP7applist and checked the stats. Sure enough, it looks like January is set to have less new apps than in December. Further more, it will have less app updates as well. Just look for yourself.

The inset picture above shows the apps by month and you can see with your eye that if you extrapolate for the next 6 days January will have less new apps and app updates than in December (it will be around 1800-1900 apps compared to 2250 for December). Below you can see the rate of growth isn’t on the uptick any longer and in the second image I took the rate of growth for December and overlaid in on the current total app figures so you can see the gap between the straight line growth and the actual growth. Add to this, this week was the first time that we saw only one Xbox Live game title added. In every other week we saw two new releases.


So what the heck? Well lots of developers wanted to get their apps in the Marketplace early so it makes some sense but that’s not the end of it. Clearly, if MS can’t show sales growth in hardware it’s hard to get software developers to jump on board. I mean, Android and iPhone are multiplying the sales of Windows Phones and for smaller developers if they only have the resources to do one app environment, unless they know XNA/Silverlight then going the Android/iOS route (since they are relatively easy to port between each other) make more sense from a monetary perspective. On top of that, Microsoft has yet to remove artificial barriers for developers. As of today, there’s still no API for cameras so developers cannot use the camera of your phone. They also have no access to the videos stored on your device. And if I hear the words ‘socket support’ from one more dev… Simply put, if you’re OS is already lagging, the last thing you want to do is limit access to things like the camera and video directory so no one can upload their photos to third party sites, edit images, create augmented reality apps…the list goes on and on.

I just hope that MS can get their shit together before the slow tide against them is too much to overcome…


  1. This is a fresh post but I assure you that eyes from Microsoft will be reading this, including your first sentence’s grammatical error of less instead of fewer (not to be outdone by our editor in chief), very soon.

    Keep the heat on them. Make them go down fighting.

  2. @David K: You missed one in the last sentence of the 1st paragraph “Further to that”. I think you meant “Furthermore”?

    I’m not sure why everyone wants tons of apps in the marketplace. So there are X thousands of apps…how does that affect me? I’m not going to use 99% of them and more junk there is (ex:fart apps) means more I have to filter through to find good apps that I want to use. I would much rather have 1,000 really outstanding apps that are constantly updated, than 500,000apps where 99% of them are utter crap. I think as long as updates keep flowing in, we are in good shape.

    ps. thanks for keeping all the graphs at a consistent scale. I hate it when people don’t understand how consistency is essential to making a useful graph/chart. Seen so many draw stupid conclusions from skewed graphs and it just makes me so frustrated.

  3. LOL, looks like I am out of the limelight for a while David! Mr. Webster has a field day with me. At least he isn’t editing them and highlighting them in red like some other people I know! LOL Give him a break, he is newly married and quit smoking all in the same day. :P

  4. I guess i wasn’t the only one that noticed we haven’t hit 7000 apps when I thought we should. But I’m not so sure that there is cause to worry yet. My guess is that many of the apps that were being worked on have hit the stores and there may be a small lull before we see it really kick into a new, much more aggressive pattern.

    All the articles about this platform continue to be positive except the rate at which Microsoft is issuing updates. But I don’t think waiting a few more weeks is going to hurt as long as what is put out is rock solid. Also if I were running things my target would be updates once a quarter, and yes we are already behind on that goal but not by much. However I think they need to become VERY aggressive adding features to get Windows Phone on parity with the two main rivals, iPhone and Android as quickly as possible.

  5. When you all use the word lull in reference to this you intention is to suggest that it is a temporary thing? Where’d it come from, this lull, out of nowhere? Total fluke or an anomaly?

    Let me present a crazy theory: Developers are catching on that WP7 was DOA or at best a slow motion flop and they’re not going to waste too much time hoping it will have a resurrection, rather go after the platforms with penetrations in excess of 1.5% and with growth that’s not decelerating.

    Were you a developer who knew every language and platform, would you not contribute to this lull by setting your sites on any other market, namely the Android market which by your accounts is starving for apps that don’t suck? It’s not, by the way, but for the sake of argument..

  6. Well, I know I was not as productive with all the holidays and personal time off over the last few weeks, so I’m willing to cut January some slack.

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