It has taken a little while, but Microsoft has finally released its Marketplace for Windows 6.1 and 6.0 devices.
This means that owners of those devices have access to over the air application download, bringing them into line with Windows Mobile 6.5 handsets.
The range of applications is still woefully small, though. When announcing Marketplace for Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 Microsoft seemed rather proud to be able to offer over 800 applications – more than three times the number available at launch.
Microsoft might be new to the over the air apps game, but it is by no means new to the smartphone applications sector, and having just 800 apps in its marketplace is woeful.
On 4 November Apple announced that its App Store was hosting 100,000 applications and that more than two billion downloads had been made onto devices. Statistics at Androlib.com suggest as many as 16,000 applications are available for Android based devices (nearly two thirds of them free).
We all know that more is not necessarily better. Just because there are thousands more apps on other platforms, does not mean that all those apps are good, let alone great. But there are enough good and great ones to make the app stores key drivers for the device.
If Microsoft is really interested in pushing Windows Mobile at the consumer sector as well as the business user it needs to buck its ideas up on the apps front. There are thousands of Windows Mobile compatible apps out there, they just aren’t all in the Marketplace yet. Microsoft needs to make getting them there a priority.