If there's one crucial factor in helping Windows Phone 7 succeed, it is the availability of applications from the Marketplace for Windows Phone. According to what's already available in the Marketplace, Windows Phone 7 is off to a good start.
The Marketplace was in test mode for the last week and was very sparsely populated. It officially launched October 21 with free and for-a-fee applications that span the gamut. Most apps fall in the Free to $4.99 price zone. Many are priced at $0.99.
Why are apps so important? Windows Phone 7 is a new platform and lacks several key native features. The availability of applications helps make up for some of those missing features.
The Marketplace is broken down into key segments, such as games, entertainment, music, photos, news, sports, health, finance, social, productivity, tools, and so on.
Here's a sampling of some the brand-name applications that are available for Microsoft's new smartphone operating system from each of the major categories. Keep in mind, this is only a partial list. There are many, many more applications available in each category. By the time Windows Phone 7 devices are available in the U.S., there will surely be hundreds more apps available.
Xbox 360 Games: Bejeweld, Flight Control, Frogger, Monopoly, Star Wars: Battle for Hoth, Tetris, The Sims 3, UNO, Sudoku, TicTacToe, and Reversi.
Entertainment: Drum Machine, Star Wars: Lightsaber Unleashed, Police Scanner, Flashlight, PocketPiano, Netflix, IMDb, Flixster, U-verse Mobile Ouija, AT&T Radio, and Fandango.
Music & Video: YouTube, Guitar Tuner, Songster, Slacker, Shazam, iheartradio, Last.fm, Lyrics, Local Concerts, and Break.com.
Photo: Photo Cropper, Image Studio, Doodle, Flickr, Photobucket, Bing Pictures, Touchnote, Picture Caption, and Pictures Lab.
Lifestyle: Craigslist, Bar Buddy, Tip Calculator(s), Cheapster, Open Table, eBay, Shopping List, What I ate, U.S. Yellow Pages, and HSN Shop.
News & Weather: SimpleRSS, Flux, BBC News Mobile, Feed Reader, WeatherPro, The Weather Channel, Congress411, Mega Millions, Huffington Post, and Microsoft's Weather application.
Sports: SkiersApp, Golf Tracks, Tennis Life, FanLiga, and Euroleague PRO.
Health & Fitness: GPS Trainer, Calorie Counter, Sunblock, Nutrition, SmartRunner, My Workout, Stopwatch, Step Counter, and AAA Vital Info.
Finance: AP Easy Mortgage Calculator, Loan Compare, Expense Tracker, Loan Shark, Stocks, MSN Money Stocks, and Converty.
Travel: World Clock, View2Road, Language Dictionaries, Where's My Car, Currency Converter, Travelocity, TripMate, Yelp, GasBuddy, London Cycle, Tube Companion, Where, and CheckMyTip Mobile.
Navigation: Commuter, Speedometer, Tracker, AT&T Navigator, Yellow Pages, MapSnap, and OneBusAway.
Social: Google Voice, Panic Button, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, Foursquare, Seesmic, Facebook, Who's Near Me, ThinkMobile Info, Tupply, Save the Planet, and The Smoking Code.
Productivity: Sound Recorder, Post Its, Mental Paper, Goal Tracker, Tasks, To-Do Lists, Password Padlock, eDiary, Adobe Reader, Flash Cards, MoonPhaser, and Tasks Anywhere. Tools: Comcast Bandwidth, Handyscan, Speed Dial, Clinometer, Metronome, Unit Converter, Alarm Clock, Ruler, World Clock, Level, Stromboxx, Lotto, DogClicker, and Virtual Remote.
Business: HVAC Buddy, OnTrack, Bank Finder, and Franchise & Business.
Books & Reference: Wikipedia, Dictionaries, Thesaurus, Sign Language, States, Atlas, Bible, The Presidents, and Waterstone's.