The Windows Phone Marketplace now has 50,000 published applications and games, a milestone that indicates the Microsoft mobile operating system is gaining some traction with third-party developers.
But the number of applications that run with Windows Phone is still only one-tenth the number of applications and games available for Apple's iOS-based iPhone and iPad – Apple's online App Store currently has more than 500,000 applications. The number of applications for devices that use Google's Android mobile OS, another Windows Phone competitor, also exceeds 500,000.
The All About Windows Phone site reported earlier this week that the Windows Phone Marketplace had passed the 50,000 mark for submitted applications and games – specifically 50,126 content items as of Tuesday. The applications come from 13,002 different publishers, the site reported.
More importantly, the Windows Phone Marketplace has recently gained momentum with more than 17,000 of those applications added in the last 90 days and more than 8,000 added in just the last month, according to the site.
During the last four weeks an average of 265 new content items were added each day, up from 165 items per day at the time the Marketplace reached the 40,000 mark on November 16.
Microsoft debuted Windows Phone 7 in October, 2010, but it has struggled to gain traction in the market. For the three months ending in October Microsoft held only a 5.4 percent share of the U.S. smartphone platform market, according to industry researcher Comscore, down from 5.7 percent in the three-month period ending in July.
That contrasts with Google Android's 46.3 percent market share and Apple's 28.1 percent share.
In July Microsoft released Windows Phone 7.5 or "Mango," a major upgrade for Windows Phone that offers application multi-tasking, support for Internet Explorer 9, and a "conversation view" for managing long e-mail strings.
While the total number of applications published for Windows Phone has exceeded 50,000, All About Windows Phone said some 6,000 are no longer available because they were removed or discontinued by Microsoft or the software's publisher. And some applications are available only in specific markets. The site said 42,655 applications are currently available in the U.S.