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Windows Phone 7: Where’s the Software?



As I mentioned early yesterday, Zune software version 4.7 went live. The marketplace looks really thin, but I am not going to panic yet, the actual release isn’t here yet. Some software shown off today isn’t in the store, so I am going to assume it’s not really ready for public consumption yet.

As you can see there is very little in the store right now.

I know that Microsoft is going with the quality over quantity model here, but I still think Microsoft MUST have many major apps available at launch to make it easier for those considering making the switch to leave Android or iOS with their large app selections. People will argue, but it’s all about the apps. You can say that many popular apps can be accomplished in a “good” browser, but for many, that won’t cut it. Average consumers want their apps, whether they use them or not. If Microsoft has an impressive amount of core apps that a large part of the population use, then they’ll be ok while they bulk up their app store. I talked about what apps I need already here on GBM, but many of them are already slated for Windows Phone 7, which makes me quite happy.

The only major application announcement that came out yesterday was the one from EA Mobile. This is indeed an important developer to have developing for your platform too. I am very happy myself since 60% of my iPhone games are EA Mobile, and a couple are from Astraware and the others vary. Yesterday, EA Mobile announced the following games for release on Windows Phone 7:

  • “Need for Speed Undercover.” Power 20 of the world’s hottest high-performance cars through 24 undercover missions and eight challenging modes of thrilling action. Customize your vehicle and earn performance upgrades as you race head-to-head, earn achievements and track leaderboards.
  • “Tetris.” Play the best-selling blockbuster, all new for Windows Phone 7. Play up to 12 challenging variants and become a “Tetris” master, or enjoy the timeless fun of Marathon mode, loved by hundreds of millions worldwide. Challenge your Xbox LIVE friends to beat your top score in single-player Marathon mode, the variant that made the “Tetris” game a phenomenon.
  • “The Sims™ 3.” Savor hours of entertainment with this award-winning experience of the No. 1 best-selling PC franchise of all time. Choose from dozens of personality traits and make your Sims characters neurotic, funny or shy while drawing from a wide array of built-in theme sets to bring your Sims to life with any appearance, clothing, and accessories you choose. Complete goals, wishes and personal goals while unlocking achievements and scoring Gamerscore points.
  • “MONOPOLY.” Fans will enjoy classic “MONOPOLY” play in the 75-year tradition of the world’s favorite family game brand,* under license from Hasbro Inc. Take a ride on the Reading Railroad or buy Boardwalk as you collect achievements and climb the leaderboards. From Marvin Gardens and Water Works to Park Place, own and manage the famous holdings of the “MONOPOLY” game board, which comes to life with animated tokens and interactive features for Windows Phone 7.

This isn’t going to get Windows Phone 7 over the app hurdle, but it’s a good start from one developer.

Engadget also posted a pretty good list of applications that will be available. I assume that this list was comprised of apps they actually witness or heard name dropped today in NYC. Notice that there is no mention of Angry Bird?


  • ilomilo (Southend Interactive)


  • U-verse Mobile (AT&T)
  • Slacker
  • Netflix
  • T-Mobile TV
  • IMDb


  • eBay
  • Fandango


  • Twitter

What is in the Marketplace currently, the 4 EA Mobile games, and the handful that Engadget posted about doesn’t equal 2,000 though. I am being a tad critical here, but apps are important in my book. Notice there is no mention of a Facebook app? That is ok, even though they could leave Facebook out and I wouldn’t cry, Facebook is deeply embedded into the OS for lots of sharing and contact integration.



  1. Michael Anderson

    10/12/2010 at 1:14 pm

    I agree with you Chris – there were articles about the criticality of Apps for WiMo7 success, and I completely agree. I love my Android phone and new iPod Touch (and iPad), but that is due to the functionality they provide – and that is largely tied into apps.

    As for the “quality over quantity model here” argument – look at the games: Battle for Hoth? Mediocre iPhone port. Bejeweled *1*? Not even #2 that is on sale for $0.99 for the iPhone? That is less than a weak start …

    I am hoping that WiMo7 doesn’t suffer the same fate as WebOS – great OS with too little app support. On the upside at least Microsoft is in a position to ride things out for a while and give devs incentives to develop for the platform.

    I also agree with what Warner said about Android fragmentation – Microsoft seems to have learned from the earlier WiMo hardware issues and really tried to do better this time. Hopefully it will work for them!

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