It looks like Microsoft’s strategy of buying developers is starting to pay off already; unofficial stats counters show the official Windows Phone Marketplace is up to 5,000 apps, which at least competes with, if not surpasses Palm’s webOS Catalog. To be fair in the comparison, Microsoft was able to churn out a lot more phones across a lot more carriers in a much smaller amount of time than Palm, and the real advantages that HP has to offer webOS phones have yet to be seen.
The next leader is the BlackBerry App World, which clocks in at 15,000 apps at last tally. It will probably take a little while longer for Microsoft to catch up there, especially once the PlayBook launches and reignites some developer interest in BlackBerry. Of course, the real elephants in the kitchen are Android and iPhone, but it’s a little unfair to compare the Windows phone development ecosystem to either of those at this stage.
Good on Microsoft for making such speedy progress on app volume, in any case. If you picked up a Windows phone over the holidays, be sure to check out our top picks for apps since launch.