Microsoft's Windows Phone could rack up 50,000 apps in its marketplace in January 2012, according to a new estimate from the blog All About Windows Phone.
"At the current growth rate, we estimate that Windows Phone Marketplace will reach the 50,000 app mark in the second or third week of January 2012," read the blog's Nov. 16 posting. "However, it is possible that this mark may be reached before the end of the year if submission rates accelerate."
An accompanying graph shows the number of "content items" in the Windows Phone Marketplace reaching 40,000 by November. However, the blog notes, some of those items are either no longer available, or limited to specific countries.
Other studies have suggested an increased developer interest in Windows Phone, following news of Microsoft's alliance with Nokia to create new devices for the platform. According to Appcelerator and research firm IDF, which surveyed 2,160 Appcelerator Titanium developers earlier in November, Windows Phone has eclipsed RIM's BlackBerry OS as a subject of interest-making it the third mobile OS behind Apple's iOS and Google Android.
"Microsoft is enjoying symbiotic success with Nokia, read the summary of that report. "When asked why developers are more interested in Windows Phone 7 now than a year ago, a plurality (48 percent) said it was the Microsoft/Nokia partnership."
Earlier this year Nokia made the somewhat controversial decision to abandon its homegrown operating systems, most notably Symbian, in favor of Windows Phone. With Microsoft's help, the Finnish phone maker hopes to retain its global presence in the face of fierce competition from both Apple's iPhone and Google Android devices.
Windows Phone's recent "Mango" update, which features hundreds of tweaks and redesigns, could also draw developers in search of a more robust platform on which to build their products. Over the next few months, a variety of manufacturers plan on issuing new Windows Phone devices loaded with Mango.
Even with that concerted push, it remains to be seen whether Windows Phone will attract the audience base it needs in order to succeed in a turbulent marketplace. But unlike some mobile contenders which have crashed and burned over the past few quarters, including Hewlett-Packard's webOS, Windows Phone won't lack for apps.