Microsoft has launched a new support site for Independent Software Vendors (and developers of Windows Software), http://www.innovateonwindowsmobile.com
INNOVATE ON Windows Mobile provides targeted tools, support, and training to help you develop and market your mobile applications more quickly and efficiently. Enroll today to gain access to exclusive benefits, such as free test vouchers and technical support, and the information you need to certify, test, and sell your mobile solutions
Free stuff and free development tools - that's good stuff right there. Should help pump up the number of apps... which is already at a healthy 18,000 apps built by independent vendors. That's more than even I would have guessed, though it still hasn't caught up to the vaunted 30,000 apps available on Garnet. We won't discuss whether or not that 30,000 number is padded with identical-fuction one-off mini-apps too deeply - there are a few of those on our side as well.
But being an identical-function one-off app isn't necessarily a bad thing, either. I recently purchased Pocket Light for the Motorola Q/Q9h/Q9(etc) for $4.95 and love it. What does it do? It turns on the “flash” and will also display morse code. Since the Q9 has an ambient light sensor, the screen gets too dim to prevent me from tripping in the dark. And next time I need to be found at a giant concert or a crowded room, I'll have it display “I'm over here, dipstick!” in morse code. Ah, smiles.