Windows Phone 7 didn't get off to a blazing start, at least by modern smartphone standards. Our basis for comparison is the iPhone, the device that redefined what a smartphone was. That sells millions within days of each new iteration and there are over 300,000 books and apps in the App Store. That doesn't mean though that Windows Phone is off to a bad start.We still don't have actual sales figures to consumers yet for Windows Phone, but we know that 1.5 million were sold to carriers and resellers. Today, the Marketplace crossed the 5,000 app level after crossing 4,000 less than two weeks ago according to a report by IDC
. At 5,000, that puts Windows Phone's app catalog on par with that of WebOS, which is 18 months old. RIM has around 15,000 apps in its catalog for the Blackberry platform. Many expect Windows Phone's count to surpass RIM this year in app count, which would put it in third place, albeit a distant third, behind Android (currently at 100,000 apps) and iOS.
That same IDC report claims in 2011, Windows Phone will get an additional boost of energy once CDMA devices come to market. While not a big deal around the world, CDMA based phones are a big part of the North American market. The number one carrier in the US is Verizon, and they have no Windows Phone offerings yet.
No one is predicting that Microsoft's all new platform will take over the market. Far from it in fact. However, there is good reason to think they will survive as the market weeds out some of the weaker platforms. Consumer acceptance and developer support are just two of those reasons. The other biggie is enterprise acceptance. Microsoft will have to prove itself here as the new year develops.