Microsoft's Apps Marketplace Soon to Top RIM's

Includes: BBRY, MSFT
by: Larry Dignan

There’s an interesting race going on between Microsoft Windows Phone 7’s app marketplace vs. Research in Motion’s App World. And despite a lack of devices in the field, Microsoft’s app marketplace is set to surpass RIM’s in app count.

The big question is whether this race matters.

After Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) detailed earlier this week that it had more than 9,000 apps for its marketplace, I checked with RIM (RIMM) for an official app count. Turns out that RIM has more than 20,000 apps in its App World store at last count.

I’m not one to get into app counts. Clearly Apple has the most apps in its App Store. Android is second. The reality is I don’t have the time, interest, energy or bandwidth to try thousands of apps. In reality, I may need 10.

That’s why the race for No. 3 in apps is worth noting for customers like me. Being No. 3 in apps is good enough for most of us. The Microsoft duel is also notable because the software giant and RIM are likely to skew to the enterprise side at some point.

Among the key data points:

  • RIM launched App World in April 2009. Roughly speaking App World has been adding more than 900 apps a month since launch to get to the 20,000 mark.
  • Microsoft launched its marketplace in November and reached 9,000 in short order. The company also claims to add 100 new apps a day. At that pace, Microsoft is landing 3,000 apps a month.
  • In 6 months at current growth rates, Microsoft should surpass RIM’s app count.

Simply put, Microsoft will have the app bragging rights on a superficial level. We’ll see whether that advantage amounts to much in market share vs. RIM.

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