After I posted yesterday about the apparent dearth of productivity apps in the Marketplace, several commenters sprang to Microsoft’s defence, pointing out that app approval had only just begun. We’ll certainly be checking in once the phones are actually released to see how much things have changed, but one way we can measure Windows Phone 7’s prospects in this area in the meantime is to look at the Australia-centric apps which are being aimed at the platform.
The table below shows the locally-developed applications which Microsoft was promoting in its press kits at the launch (excluding games). It also shows whether the same app is available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices. I’m looking at precise matches here; there are (for instance) plenty of pizza-ordering apps for iOS, but not one from Eagle Boys. (Click on the image for a larger version.)
If my post yesterday underestimated the potential range of Windows Phone 7 apps, this one if anything overstates its success, since it starts with a list of developers who are pro-Phone 7 and then rates their enthusiasm for other platforms. Nonetheless, it’s notable that the vast majority of apps Microsoft is talking about already exist in some form for iOS. That’s good news for Microsoft, since it means that it has managed to persuade developers to build across multiple platforms; and it’s good news for Apple, since it suggests there aren’t too many local exclusive deals with Microsoft right now. There’s rather less on offer for Android and (particularly) BlackBerry that directly competes, but that doesn’t mean they’re also-rans — just that they haven’t attracted this particular pool of developers.
While local apps to order cabs and pizza are welcome, many of the key tools we’ll need in Australia are no different to the rest of the world. I’d really like to see a WordPress app for Windows Phone 7, for instance. What productivity applications do you really want to make it onto Windows Phone 7? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.