Smartphone Apps Coming to Windows

Dennis Faas's picture

A hardware manufacturer has revealed that applications designed for smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system (OS) will work on PCs running the next edition of Windows. It's believed that this could encourage developers to turn their attention to the phone OS.

At the moment, there are an estimated 30,000 applications available on smartphones running Windows Phone 7. That may sound a lot, but it's only around one-eighth of the number available on Android phones, and less than one-tenth of those available for Apple's portable devices.

Chicken and Egg Situation

This contributes to something of a chicken-and-egg situation: developers don't want to spend their time writing applications for a system that few people are running, but in turn few people want to buy a smartphone that doesn't have many applications available.

That's helped lead to a situation where barely one in a hundred smartphones in use today are running Windows Phone 7. (Source:

If that is the case, the potential audience for a Windows smartphone app suddenly grows to include all new Windows computers. That means an increase from a few million possible customers to, most likely, hundreds of millions.

Windows Marketplace App Store

It'll be interesting to see how Microsoft takes account of this given that it's planning a smartphone style "app store" for distributing software to PC users. Given the new revelation, it would certainly make sense to integrate this with the existing Windows Marketplace for mobile apps.

Of course, not all smartphone applications are suitable for running on a PC: many are designed for small screens, are based around the user's movements and location, or are simply too gimmicky to seem worthwhile on a desktop or laptop.

That said, the change could certainly help to further break down the already fuzzy borders between desktop PCs, portable computers and smartphones.

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