Microsoft's mobile platform attracting developers but still lags significantly behind Apple and Google.
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Slideshow: Microsoft's Windows 7 Phone Revealed
Microsoft said the number of applications available for its Windows Phone 7 OS now number more than 9,000—a sign that the mobile platform may be slowly gaining traction with developers.
"There are many ways to measure the vitality of a marketplace and I'm pleased to report that we're seeing strong results across several fronts," said Todd Brix, senior director for Windows Marketplace, in a blog post Tuesday.
Brix noted that Windows Phone 7 also now counts more than 32,000 developers who are delivering about 100 new apps per day to the company's online marketplace.
"The Windows Phone Developer Tools have now been downloaded more than one million times, and we recently announced an update to let developers take advantage of OS updates such as the addition of copy and paste functionality," said Brix.
Windows Phone 7 does not currently support copy-paste between apps, but Microsoft has said it soon plans to release an update that will add such tools and more. The company needs to continue to build out Windows Phone 7's functions if it's to make a dent in the smartphone market.
Microsoft's share of U.S. smartphone platforms slipped 1.7%, to 8%, during the three months ended Jan. 31, according data released this week by market watcher comScore. Over the same period, Google Android's share increased 7.7%, to 31.2%, while Apple's iPhone held steady—increasing .1% to 24.7%. Apple's App Store offers more than 300,000 Apps, while Google claims 30,000 apps for Android.
Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 devices from HTC, Samsung, LG, and Dell on Nov. 8 with carrier partners AT&T and T-Mobile, while Sprint announced its first Windows Phone 7 device, the HTC Arrive, last month.
Also in February, Microsoft struck a deal with Nokia under which the Finnish company agreed to use Windows Phone 7 as the default OS throughout its smartphone lineup going forward. That could boost Microsoft's share of the global mobile market, where Nokia remains the leader in terms of units shipped despite a falloff in recent quarters.
The companies have conceded, however, that their deal is preliminary and consumers may not see any Windows Phone 7-powered Nokia phones in stores until 2012.
Microsoft shares were off .39%, to $25.81, in afternoon trading Wednesday.