You can't blame Microsoft for avoiding to share sales metrics regarding Windows Phone 7 software, the company's latest foray into the smartphone space.
After all, reviewers met Microsoft's latest attempt with great skepticism, spelling doom for Windows Phone 7. But dismissing the new mobile operating system would be a grave mistake, Achim Berg, Microsoft's vice president of business and marketing for Windows Phones, warned in the official company statement issued Tuesday:
We are pleased that phone manufacturers sold over 1.5 million phones in the first six weeks, which helps build customer momentum and retail presence.
Berg also noted that Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, Microsoft's curated app store, now enjoys support from more than 18,000 developers. As of now, the mobile bazaar carries a little over four thousand apps, he confirmed. IDC analyst Al Hilwa observed in a Monday research note that the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is off to a great start:
We can say that for a company that just a few months ago was an also-ran in mobile, having ten smartphones released in 30 countries is not a trivial achievement. I would not be surprised if Microsoft had the third largest app portfolio in the industry by the middle of next year.
The slope of the curve in the below chart indicates that the Windows Phone 7 marketplace is ramping up faster than both Android Market and the App Store (red line).
A brief look over at WP7Applist.com, a handy service that tracks Windows Phone 7 apps, reveals a similar software distribution to that on Google's Android Market and Apple's App Store. Approximately one third of apps are free. Games, tools, and entertainment categories amount to 22 percent, 15 percent, and 11 percent of all items, respectively.
Billed as a "different kind of phone" that helps you get things done quickly and move on with your life, Windows Phone 7 represents a fresh start for the Redmond giant whose share of the mobile market eroded to a single-digit figure. Windows Phone 7 launched in Europe and the Asia Pacific region on October 21 and in the United States and Canada on November 8.
Although heavily criticized for the lack of MMS, copy and paste, multitasking, and other basic features that were likewise nowhere to be found on the original iPhone, most reviewers did sing praises for Windows Phone 7's fluid and attractive interface, tight integration with the Xbox Live service, and homescreen tiles that deliver up to date information without the need to launch apps.