Microsoft boasts that its Windows Store now has 669,000 apps for phones, tablets and PCs, and hundreds more join the party each day.
The app ecosystem can make or break a platform, as it plays a tremendous role in users' choice to stick with one operating system or flee to another. Android and iOS have huge app ecosystems and are the top two mobile platforms. Others such as Windows Phone and BlackBerry, for instance, saw many users switch to Android or iOS because they wanted more apps available. Android offers 1.6 million apps, while Apple offers 1.5 million.
Microsoft promised a big change with its latest Windows 10 OS and its universal apps, pledging to significantly widen the app ecosystem and allow apps to run on phones, tablets and PCs alike.
The company has now updated its Microsoft by the Numbers site, revealing that it currently has 669,000 apps in the Windows Store and it's adding "hundreds more each day."
This marks an impressive 67 percent increase in the number of Windows Store apps since January 2014. It's worth pointing out, however, that the actual number of apps available for Windows Phone devices is less than 669,000, but that figure offers a glimpse of what users can expect to see in the Windows Store once Microsoft's platforms converge. With universal apps that work on phones, tablets and PCs, users can expect to see far more apps than before.
The news of more apps now available in the Windows Store comes amid intensifying rumors and increasing hype surrounding the new flagship smartphones from Microsoft. The company has so far focused on launching affordable handsets with low-end to mid-range specs this year, but Microsoft is expected to finally unleash two flagship smartphones soon.
The much-rumored Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL will reportedly come with top-notch specs and features to make them worthy of the flagship title, and an increase in the number of available apps makes sense. Having more apps in the Windows Store could be crucial for the success of the two new Lumia flagships, but Microsoft seems poised to make it happen. The company still has a long way to go to catch up with Android and iOS in terms of apps, but it's nonetheless making progress.