Windows Phone Has 100,000 Apps Now. Is That Impressive or Embarrassing?

Windows Phone just passed the 100,000 app milestone. Which sounds like a lot, until you think about it and then it sounds like a very small amount indeed. So which is it?

Well, iOS has almost 600,000, while the Google Play store has 500,000. Windows Phone took 20 months to get to 100,000, while iOS took 16 months, and Android took 24. So just about even growth-wise, right? Well, maybe. There are significantly more users and developers at this point than when the iPhone and Android were cutting their teeth, so maybe a steeper buildup should be expected.

WP fares worse when you look at quality: just 12 percent of apps have more than five US ratings. That number isn't awful awful, but it underlines the fact that there are very few quality apps, and Microsoft's had to resort to bribing bigtime apps to have third parties develop WP versions. Which of course backfires, because the apps usually turn out to be unreliable and abandoned.

Regardless of the speed of arrival, all Windows Phone apps need to get better. And their performance—or perceived performance—is just as much a product of WP itself being an inhospitable platform for third party developers as it is about a pure lack of developing might. Here's hoping the jump to WP8 and the new Windows 8 kernel will solve some of that. [All About Windows Phone]