Last year, Microsoft introduced their newest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8. Leading up to the platform’s release, Microsoft performed a complete overhaul of its development tools, including a new developer kit, the Dev Center, and catalog infrastructure.
It appears that their hard work has paid off. According to a post on Microsoft’s Windows Phone Developer Blog, over 75,000 apps and games were added to the Windows Phone store, doubling the size of its catalog. The post also highlights that over 300,000 app updates were applied in 2012 and the possibility for customer feedback has been made available.
Todd Brix, Microsoft’s Senior Director of the Windows Phone Apps Team, writes, “We literally set a new foundation this year with the deployment of all-new infrastructure…I know transitions can be frustrating, but it is now complete and customers and developers are already beginning to reap the benefits with a better app and store experience, faster performance and more robust tools.”
The announcement also places a great amount of focus on getting the attention of developers. In the last year, they have seen an increase in “developer revenue month over month, up 40% in the 30 days since the SDK release.” In support of developer revenue, Windows Phone now offers in-app purchasing in addition to advertising and paid apps. The inclusion of in-app purchasing could give Microsoft the boost in developer interest it needs to gain market share. Gartner released a report in September predicting that in-app purchases will drive 41 percent of total app revenue by 2016.
Other improvements include PayPal payments, improved Bing-powered searching, an increase in Live Apps, and an expanded Windows Phone market that includes 191 different regions, an increase of 90 percent.
Although they still have a long way to go before they reach the 700,000 apps available through Google Play and the Apple App Store, Microsoft’s dramatic increase has placed them in a position of greater app diversity and could therefore attract more downloads and developer interest.