When it comes to applications for the mobile platform, it's essentially the same situation for any device ecosystem as it is for a mall: anchor stores are necessary to keep the whole structure active - and the same is true of the Windows Phone Marketplace which just this week hit 50,000 apps. This isn't the highest amount of apps in a mobile market, not by a long shot, but with an environment for apps that is, as many Windows Phone fans will tell you, still developing, it's certainly a milestone to be proud of. What you've got to keep this all anchored down is a set of apps that everyone wants, everyone needs! Let's have a brief look at what those are.
Over the past year there's one brand that's grown as a streaming media content name at such a speed and in such a way that no mobile device is complete without the ability to run the app that goes with it: Netflix. The Windows Phone forest of apps does include this mighty tree, and watching it grow with the rest of its relatives on iOS and Android has been something we're sure Microsoft has been watching with great interesting. Netflix is something that not everybody in the world even has a subscription to, but like anything that can be there, it certainly must exist!
Next there's the obvious duo of Facebook and Twitter - these two apps must both exist in their brand-made form and they must be great. This wasn't true of either one at the beginning of 2011 anywhere outside of iOS, as both Twitter and Facebook made apps, but they just weren't that fabulous. Now both brands are representing fairly well not only on iOS, but on Android and Windows Phone as well.
What missing? What's needed if this platform plans on getting past the 50,000 mark, through 2012 and forward? Google Plus. Google+ if you prefer. Google has become such a force not only with its search engine, Gmail, and ease in integration between their suite of services that I contend no mobile platform will be able to succeed through 2012 without them. That's how it is. Good luck Microsoft!