The problem with a popular Marketplace: boring, redundant apps

Not everyone is happy with the Windows Phone Marketplace. Someone at Reddit (hello 'rage comics', my favorite other time killer) is lamenting the overabundance of "non apps" in the Marketplace Tools section. As noted in the image, there seems to be quite a bit of...the same thing? Echoing similar statements, writer for ZDnet, Noikia Experts and friend of the site Matt Miller noted last night in a tweet: "Appears to be maybe 50 decent apps and 950+ crap ones in WP7 Marketplace. Numbers aren't everything, let's pick up the quality please."

Question: even if Microsoft wanted to prevent this from happening, how would they go about doing it? Set a five "Tip calculator" rule? (And seriously, who actually uses a tip calculator?) Do you think the Windows Phone Market, despite promises, will become like Android's and Apple's with the majority of apps subpar? Or is this just the 1st wave of a new OS that will up the ante?

Fire away in comments!

Source: Reddit, Twitter (@palmsolo)

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Meh. It's to be expected really. Ratings and reviews will help direct traffic to specific apps a bit, as will trial versions of paid apps over those paid apps that don't offer trials. Eventually it'll come down to which apps can generate the most buzz. i'll try not to complain unless it gets to Android levels of quick, copyright-infringing, pocket shovelware.
  • Um. Aren't indy developers doing just great with iOS? How is this any different from any other new platform. First you have the flood of mediocre apps and tools as folks get familiar with the tools (with occasional gems thrown in), then you have the market mature and the junk is left behind. Remember early DOS apps, early Windows apps, early .... This is what a beginning looks like.
  • Some people are looking for anything they can to bitch about. Who cares if there's 10 apps that do the same thing? Look how many apps there are that do the same things on windows, on linux on OSX probably. People don't always use the same single app, since when does choice become a problem? As long as the apps are still good if there's more of the same it doesn't really matter, completition to make a version that looks better, works better and has even more features is how we keep getting better apps over time.
  • Isn't this every app market tho? I mean, everyone loves to boast about iOS having hundreds of thousands of apps, and Android alot too. Thing is, when you look at these markets for quality versus quantity, you realize the number is really WAY lower. I mean, how many Fart apps are in these markets? Prolly dozens. But that is the way of a marketplace, virtual or real. Microsoft is trying to help curb this trend, I believe they have a 5 Free App limit on developers don't they? This should help cut down on the tons of free apps that don't do squat.
  • oh good grief lol.....didnt most of the naysayers of wp7 say that ios and android are ahead of the game because of the number of apps they have? when i go into android's market and search wallpapers it appears that 100's are listed...give me a break...wp7 cant win for losing....first its not enough apps then its too many apps...blah blah blah...
  • Exactly, first they said it will fail because of no applications now it fails because it has too many of a certain kind. Just cant please the haters.
  • Same trouble everywhere... But there's nothing you can do about it. Sure, MS could dismiss apps doing exactly the same as existing ones, but probably most of those (tip) calculators have slightly different interfaces. If you want a good new app to succeed, you need good word of moth propaganda by forums, blogs, and the like. When an app becomes popular enough to be featured in any top list, it's been gone a long way already anyway. It's that way on every platform.
    Well, unless it's featured by the store owner right from the start, like Google apps and the official Twitter client on Android. Which isn't quite fair to competitors as well. (IMHO, the official Twitter client for Android is the worst of its kind...) I could imagine the WP7 store might tend a bit more to the extremes - either small crappy apps or big apps with lots of company power behind them - because of MS' strict code review. It's hard to do big complex apps as hobby developer without the casual bug... But then, which user cares about an app he never gets to know when there are others around?
  • Ok, ok, ok, ok, I get it no one likes Wp7, but shit ease off MS nuts. Out Of those 950 "crap apps" there will be many people who will find one of them they cant live without. I hate these wirters coming off like their opinion is authority. I refuse to believe that 95% of the apps are a waste. But hey the haters will hate, we have somthing good coming, and I just cant wait.
  • Desktop OS's suffer from all sorts of junk applications. How do you fix it? The applications that are worth anything gain recognition and are featured in articles, blogs, download sites, etc. Same with all market places - don't restrict developers from making crappy apps, just highlight and reward the ones that are worthwhile by giving them prominence in the marketplace based on things like rating, # of downloads, popularity, etc.
  • The apps that will survive are the ones that are really handy and helpful Acai Berry Colon Cleanse