The Windows Phone marketplace is still a small ecosystem with just around 40,000 apps available for download. Around 3000 new apps are being added on a daily basis with more than 1650 of them being free. While this may sound like a small number, the fact that rivals like Apple and Google have had close to 3 years of headstart over Microsoft is an indication that Microsoft may be catching up faster than one may have thought. In the United States, Windows Phone 7 devices already make up close to 5% of all smartphones. Do remember that this does not include the older Windows Mobile 6.5 version devices.
So, what are the most popular apps among this fledgling population of users. First up, the top 10 free apps on the Windows Phone marketplace
2. Adobe Reader
4. Free Music Downloader (by Fast Code)
5. Bubble Shoot (by Words Mobile)
6. Penguin (by Mike Newman)
7. Xbox LIVE Extras
9. Physi Bricks (by Stiq Joy LLC)
10. Funny Jump (by AE Mobile)
So what are the apps that are being purchased the most? Here are the top 10
1. $2.99 Angry Birds
2. $2.99 Burn the Rope
3. $2.99 Gravity Guy
4. $2.99 Implode!
5. $2.99 COLLAPSE
6. $2.99 Fruit Ninja
7. $4.99 Need for Speed Undercover
8. $4.99 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 4 Episode 1
9. $2.99 Fight Game Rivals
10 $4.99 PvZ
Just as you would know, Microsoft is all set to announce the new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system in just an hour or two from now. Like with any other smartphone platform, all eyes are now on the application marketplace for Windows Phone to see how this would work vis-a-vis the iTunes App Store and Android Market.
Folks at Engadget have got hold of a few interesting pieces of information that will give users an idea about how the Windows Phone App Marketplace will work. First and foremost, Microsoft has already updated their Zune desktop software to version 4.7 today. The new version is capable of setting up new Windows Phone 7 handsets (the earliest ones are expected to come ten days from now in Europe). Users will need a Windows Live-ID to sign into the Zune software and apparently, only 86 apps are available on the marketplace at present. 2000 apps are expected to be up and running before the official launch happens. Out of these 86 apps, 22 are free and others cost between $0.99 and $6.99.
Basically, the Windows Phone app marketplace is pretty similar to an App Store except for one crucial difference. Microsoft appears to be offering an incentive to users who have their friends and family owning Windows Phone handsets as well. This is with the help of their App-Sharing feature. Essentially, users may use the same Windows-Live ID on as many as 5 different Windows phones to download the app on all these different handsets. What this means is users can pool in money from their friends who are on Windows Phone to share expensive applications and be able to download these apps to their individual handsets. This is definitely an intelligent strategy to not only help proliferate the adoption of the platform, but also encourage app developers to price their apps higher since their applications could now be shared by several users.