Windows Phone Wednesday: Reliving 1982 with Pitfall! as the Marketplace passes 15,000 apps

For those readers in the 40 year old range, you might like the retro Atari 2600 game provided on Windows Phone 7 this week. Pitfall! was awesome when I was 13 and all those great sounds are now back on modern devices.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on

I picked up a BlackBerry PlayBook last week and the major issue with it at this time is the lack of quality applications. This has never been an issue with Windows Phone 7 though and the Marketplace continues to grow faster than any other on-device application store in the short history of application stores and is quite a success.

Two weeks ago there were 12,088 apps in the Marketplace at the time I wrote this post, based up on the count on the Marketplace Browser website, and this week we are up to a whopping 15,037. This increase of 2,949 apps in two weeks may have just set a record for Windows Phone 7. That is an average of 1,475 apps per week when we have generally been seeing 700 to maybe 900 per week.

We were all expecting to see Pitfall! land on Windows Phone 7 last week, but Microsoft held out and gave us Centipede and Harbor Master instead. I imagine they did not want to have two of their classic Game Room titles in a single week. The good news is that Pitfall! is now available in the Marketplace and if you were 13 like I was in 1982 then the sounds and look of this classic Atari 2600 game from Activision will take you right back to the good old days for $2.99. It doesn't have the flashiest graphics and requires you to maneuver a virtual joystick, but the sounds themselves are almost enough to make me purchase this app.

According to WPCentral.com, the Deal of the Week (DotW) this week is actually two apps on sale. You can pick up Earthworm Jim HD, an Xbox LIVE game, for $2.99, down from $4.99. Assassin's Creed - Altair's Chronicles HD is also reduced from $6.99 down to $4.99 this week.

There are an amazing number of apps out there for Windows Phone 7 and I am trying hard to use as many as I can. However, it really is the native apps in the OS that keep my SIM card in my HD7 most all of the time so I wanted to reiterate what my top 5 are and why I think that.

  1. Email: I have used a lot of smartphones over the years and I personally find the email client on Windows Phone 7 to be superior to anything else I have tried. I am able to triage email faster on this device than on any other. Granted it is not as functional for Gmail as on an Android device, but at least moving them to folders does add the proper labels. Email looks FANTASTIC on WP7 and after using the lame Nokia email client for years I cannot wait to see WP7 on Nokia hardware as they finally solved their lame email client problem.
  2. Music & Videos: You cannot beat the deal of the Zune Pass (consumers need to be educated on it) and with a WP7 device you have a totally rocking media player with an amazing collection of songs to choose from. You can stream or download music and as I have said many times the Zune Pass lets me discover music like no other ecosystem can.
  3. Internet Explorer Mobile: I find the web browser to offer an excellent browsing experience with fluid motion, pinch to zoom, multiple browser sessions, and more. I enjoy using the web browser on Windows Phone 7 and look forward to the update in WP 7.5.
  4. Calendar: I use the Calendar daily and love the way the date rolls by as you scroll up in the Agenda view and the way you can toggle between Agenda and the Day view is with a simple swipe. I can setup private appointments and the calendar meets all of my current needs.
  5. Bing: Bing is one of the most beautiful apps on Windows Phone 7 and I like pressing the search button at least once a day to check out the Bing background image. I like the way it searches very fast and then presents results with local, news, and web pages ready to be slid right into. I found results to be accurate and also like the voice integration.

I also use Office Mobile quite a bit for OneNote, Messaging for text messaging with my family, Marketplace for buying apps, and much more. All of these are very well integrated and provide you with an exciting lineup right out of the box.

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