Under a program that runs March 8 to June 30, Microsoft is paying developers $100 for each app — up to a maximum of 10 per store — that they publish in the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store.
(To participate in the program, developers must be legal U.S. residents and be U.S. registered Windows Store and/or Windows Phone Store developers.)
Microsoft has lagged behind Apple’s App Store and Google Play in terms of the number of apps available for its mobile devices.
Microsoft has not released an official count of the number of apps in its Windows Store. But the site MetroStore has the number of apps in the Windows Store at about 48,400 as of Wednesday. And it looks like Windows Phone Store has more than 130,000.
But at least some people would like to see more emphasis on quality rather than quantity.
“I want to see two amazing apps a month instead of 300 mediocre apps a day,” said Wes Miller, an analyst with independent research firm Directions on Microsoft, who says he’s still waiting to see an outstanding, breakthrough app on the platform.
Not to say that there aren’t plenty of junk apps in Apple’s and Google’s stores but he said there are some great apps as well (in Apple’s app store. He has not perused Google Play thoroughly.).
[Update 3/20/13: I had asked Microsoft about why it decided to create the program. I received the following statement in reply:
We are encouraged about the quality and the breadth of apps in our Store and more are being added every day. Since launch the number of apps has more than quadrupled and just two months after GA, we passed the 100 million app download mark. We believe the best apps come from those partners who are invested in the platform and own their experience now and in the future. Of course, we are always working to spark creativity with new developer audiences and sometimes try limited incentives or contests, like Keep The Cash. However, it is not representative of an ongoing program. Our approach and commitment to working with app builders remains the same.]