Windows Phone 7: There’s an App for Some of That
How many Windows Phone 7 apps will be available when the first devices running the OS ship? Microsoft refuses to say (“Thousands that people are developing right now” seems to be the closest it’s gotten to a hard number), but I’m told it will be plenty.
Or, as one exec told me, “enough.”
Obviously, that’s tough to quantify. That said, the list of apps announced today is a good start, even if it does seem pretty short. On the mobile A/V front, there are Netflix (NFLX), IMDB, Slacker, I Heart Radio and MusixMatch. T-Mobile users will get T-Mobile TV, while AT&T (T) users will get U-verse. For the moment, WP7’s big social media app will be Twitter, though I imagine there’s a Facebook app on the way. For e-commerce, there’s eBay (EBAY), Fandango and Travelocity. And finally, there’s a growing list of games (60+ at last count) that includes Monopoly, Need for Speed Undercover, Tetris, The Sims 3, Star Wars, Bejeweled, Assassin’s Creed, Fast & Furious 7, Guitar Hero 5 and Halo Waypoint.
Add to that Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing search engine and an Office Hub that provides mobile versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as SharePoint integration, and you’ve got the beginnings of a decent ecosystem. Remember, when Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes App Store first launched it had about 500 third-party applications. Today it boasts more than 250,000.
Which is not to say that the development of the WP7 app ecosystem will be as quick or tremendous. Clearly, there’s much ramping-up yet to be done. But there will be enough marquee apps available at launch that the device certainly won’t seem lacking, as some other mobile operating systems did when they debuted. Netflix, Twitter, eBay, a groaning board of games and a mobile office productivity suite is enough to get anyone started, particularly if they’ve only just decided to trade up from a feature phone to a smartphone.