Windows Phone Reaches 30,000 Apps, Opens Marketplace to Mango Submissions

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There are now 30,000 mobile applications available for Windows Phone, Microsoft’s newest mobile operating system. That’s a huge jump from the 11,500 apps Microsoft reported back in March, but still far short of industry leaders, iOS and Android. For comparison purposes, there are 425,000 iOS apps and over 250,000 on Android, at least according to the latest official reports. But 30K apps isn’t bad for an operating system that’s not even a year old yet, we’d argue.

All of the existing Windows Phone apps will work on Microsoft’s Windows Phone “Mango,” Microsoft says – the latest update to the mobile operating system due out sometime next month. No fragmentation here!

Mango is a major update which will introduce a number of new features including background audio, fast app switching, multiple and double-side Live Tiles, better Search integration, and hundreds of other features.

Windows Phone SDK Hits RC Status

On Monday, Microsoft opened up its Windows Phone Marketplace to accept developers’ Mango app submissions. And it has now also updated the Windows Phone SDK (software development kit) 7.1 to Release Candidate (RC) status. The SDK is available in both English and Japanese, says Microsoft.

Included in the SDK is a “Go Live” license that allows developers to publish their Mango-ready apps to the Marketplace, after they’ve been recompiled. In addition, the SDK includes the final version of the “Marketplace Test Kit” and a new profiler, which lets developers test their apps for certification requirements prior to submission. This helps to speed up the approval process – meaning the apps will hit the Marketplace sooner. The Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone has been included in the new SDK, too,  for those developers who want to include ads within their mobile apps.

Microsoft is also giving developers the green light to cross submit their games to the newly supported Mango countries, along with any game ratings info via App Hub.

The RC version of the SDK is not the final SDK, however – that’s still set to arrive this September, presumably alongside Mango’s public launch.

But there is a little bit of bad news: even though the Mango apps will arrive in the Marketplace’s back-end systems, those of you running a pre-release Mango build won’t be able to run them yet. You’ll have to wait until September, just like everyone else!

Update: Android now has 250K apps, a Google representative tells us.

Update 2: We see that Microsoft’s blog post states there are “nearly” 30,000 apps. For what it’s worth, the statement we received from Microsoft prior to the post going up read as follows: “…all 30,000 Windows Phone app and game titles will run on Mango. (This is the first time we’ve shared the 30k figure publicly).”  

Whether it’s “nearly” or exactly 30,000 is probably splitting hairs a bit, but good to note.