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Applications on Windows Phone 7

Apple and Android already had many thousands of applications when the Windows App Marketplace was launched. Now, Microsoft is getting a number of things right to compete effectively, but is that good enough?

Windows launched its App Marketplace at a time when Android’s App Market already had nearly 100,000 apps and Apple’s App Store wasn’t too far behind. The last time that Microsoft developed an operating system for mobiles, Windows Mobile, it bombed in the market — nobody wanted it.
Now, when apps are a significant part of the mobile OS game, Microsoft is making a number of sound moves to outdo expectations and its competitors.
Multitasking on Windows Phone 7
Multi tasking, or using multiple apps simultaneously, has always been a problem on the iPhone, a disadvantage that was fully used by other handset makers. Windows, though, seems to multitask in almost the same manner as the iPhone does. So, it seems, the music player Zune ( windows music player) and the web browser can work simultaneously in the background, but third party applications face the same problem as they do on the iPhone.
However, what Microsoft does better than Apple is to use a non intrusive push notification system. Called Microsoft Notification Service, it brings up notifications in a small tray on the top of the screen and doesn’t disturb the user.
Whereas in iPhone a user gets a pop up message whenever there is a new notification which distracts the user.
Windows Phone 7 platform
Most of Windows’ apps are written using Silverlight, which is somewhat similar to Adobe’s Flash. It is easy to use and can be used to create complex interactive tools as well.
Microsoft moreover allows developer tools to be downloaded free of cost, including Microsoft Expression Blend and Visual Studio.
Engineers can also use PC emulator which supports touchscreen inputs, although it doesn’t work 100 per cent like a phone would. Apple, meanwhile, doesn’t support app developers much.
Also, Microsoft has mandated strict restrictions for manufacturers using Windows Phone 7 OS. There is a list of specs that smartphones need to have if they want to use Microsoft’s platform.
While this means that manufacturers find it hard to differentiate their devices from the scores of other Windows Phone 7 mobiles in the market, it also means that apps tested on a few smartphones that use Windows Phone 7 are likely to work on most devices running this operating system.
Contrary to this is Google, which allows a lot of freedom to devices using Android. This means that Android is a really popular platform among manufacturers but apps created based on some Android devices don’t work on others.
Despite these advantages however, Microsoft still seems to be fighting a losing battle because it has relatively few apps.
Nevertheless, Microsoft could still make up by offering select, relevant apps. Although a user’s first impression might depend on the number of apps a platform offers, the long term performance of a company depends more on quality of apps rather than quantity. For, if there are numerous apps in the same app store, it sometimes even becomes difficult to find the ones that are relevant.
That being said, there must nevertheless be enough apps to satisfy users’ various demands, and we will just have to wait and see what Microsoft does.

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