A new report on the price and variety of apps available on Windows Phone 7 Marketplace could suggest Microsoft's aim in repositioning its mobile platform as consumer-friendly might just be working.
According to Distimo's latest report conducted in November in the US, games are now ‘significantly more popular' in the WP7 Marketplace than they are on Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Microsoft's older less successful app store.
The report said: "This mirrors the way that Microsoft positions Windows Phone 7 as a more consumer-oriented platform."
It also discovered that the price of apps in the WP7 Marketplace are now in-line with rival app stores such as Android Market and Apple's App Store in contrast with Microsoft's old store which was comparatively incredibly pricey.
Around 57 percent the 100 most popular apps in the WP7 Marketplace cost under $2. This is broadly in line with other app stores where between 51 percent and 67 percent of the 100 best selling apps cost under $2 with the exception of Windows Marketplace for Mobile where just 37 percent of the 100 top apps fell below this pricing threshold.
In fact whereas Windows Marketplace for Mobile apps were on average the most costly across all platforms at $6.27, those on WP7 Marketplace are the cheapest at $1.95 on average.
Remarkably despite launching last month Microsoft's latest app store now has some 2,674 apps (on 22 Nov) whilst it's old Marketplace struggled to gather 1,350 apps since its launch over a year ago.
Now more in line with Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market there is big demand for games in the WP7 Marketplace with its most popular 10 paid apps all games and costing between $2.99 and $6.99. However, just 2 of its 10 most popular free apps are games.
Yet just like its ailing predecessor, 6 of its 10 most popular apps in the WP7 Marketplace are made by Microsoft. Apple and RIM also enjoy similar success with 4 out of their top 10 apps produced by themselves.
While games is the most in-demand category of apps in the WP7 Marketplace, entertainment takes second place with a 12 percent share, whereas it was tools for Windows Marketplace for Mobile, once again demonstrating Microsoft's aim to position its new mobile platform as an alternative to entertainment-centric iOS or Android rather than a business option.
Microsoft has stepped up its marketing in one of the biggest weeks for shopping in the year and according to its developer blog, the WP7 Marketplace is on target to offer 3,000 apps by the end of this week, according to Todd Brix.
He wrote that Microsoft has seen an 80 percent increase in the number of registered developers since September with more than 150,000 developers planning on bringing an app to Windows phone.