Microsoft has pretty much given all Windows 8 naysayers who believed that the platform was short on applications reason to quiet down: The Windows Store has more than 50,000 apps available for Windows 8 and Windows RT right now. According, there are currently 50,341 apps listed on the Windows Store. The site aggregates all the apps available for Windows 8 and Windows RT devices, along with uploads and availability details.

50,000 apps and counting!

50,000 apps and counting!

However, new applications to the store have declined steadily since it was launched last November. The first month saw 468 apps being added to the store, but the numbers dwindled by the hundreds over the next couple of months. It was noticed in February that only 142 apps were added to the store. Surprisingly, March seems to be a great time for Windows 8: 258 new apps were added to the store this month.

Besides the usual complaint that the platform lacks apps, Windows 8 users have expressed their grouse about the quality of apps too. There seem to be very few apps that have been built around the operating system’s environment and most look like they're tacky ports of Android or iOS applications.

Microsoft is said to be working hard on releasing an update to spruce up most core apps for Windows 8. A stack of pending updates for 18 Microsoft-built core apps was noticed by Paul Thurrott of Windows SuperSite.

Microsoft made certain changes to Windows 8's core first-party apps such as Xbox Music and Games between August 2012—when RTM versions of the new OS were released—and October 2012, when Windows 8 went on sale. Minor refreshes have been trickling down since the launch, but user response has been lukewarm towards apps like Xbox Music and Mail even though they are free. Users have complained that most of these apps feel like beta versions and are generally shaky. Most find it preferable to use websites over most apps, especially when it comes to the Mail app.

Microsoft is even said to be working on trying to unify the Windows and Windows Phone platforms. A job listing posted in February sought a Software Development Engineer in Test to help make apps sharable under the Windows umbrella. The listing was deleted soon after it was put up, but the Google Cache of the web page clearly showed that Microsoft is seriously contemplating a marriage between its phone and desktop platforms.

Currently, Windows Phone apps cannot be sold on Windows Store, which has Metro UI apps, without adequate modifications. Once unified, the Windows Store could turn out to be a force to reckon with.

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