When I checked out Windows Phone 7 earlier this year, one feature that wasn’t available for testing was the Marketplace app store. Based on a quick look at that feature at this morning’s press launch, we’ll be waiting a while to see any decent and free productivity apps on the platform.
The first phone I tried accessing the Marketplace on utterly failed to connect to it, but we’ll be charitable and blame that on event Wi-Fi. The second worked fine, and the experience of browsing apps is consistent with the rest of the Windows Phone 7 environment. But there’s not much to browse, especially outside of the games arena (which has been the major focus of most of the launch activity).
Case in point: when I burrowed into the Productivity category and then looked at ‘free’ apps, there was precisely one on offer, for fuel tracking. Tools was similarly bereft, with just two tools (one a random winner picker, the other a network profile app from Samsung).
I don’t expect every app to be free, I don’t expect a new phone platform to match the breadth of established players in the market, and I realise that some apps might show up between now and next week’s launch. But right now, from a productivity perspective, Windows Phone 7 doesn’t have a lot to obviously recommend it, given that the built-in apps aren’t exactly compelling either.