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Thursday, December 30, 2010, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)

Windows Phone 7 hits 5,000 apps in 2 months, equaling Palm's webOS

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform now has more than 5,000 applications written for it, well behind the 300,000 for Apple's iOS, but matching the total number of programs for Palm's webOS in just over two months.

As noted by CNNMoney.com, the new Windows Phone 7 platform topped 5,000 applications in its mobile download store this week. That's already as many apps as HP's 18-month-old Palm webOS platform, as well as a third as many applications available from BlackBerry App World.

The report noted that almost all of the most-downloaded applications available for Windows Phone 7 are also available on the iPhone and Android, though there are major omissions like the game "Angry Birds." But Microsoft does have some advantages, such as Netflix's streaming application, which Android does not have.

Applications alone, of course, are not an indicator of sales of Windows Phone 7 devices, but the milestone does suggest that Microsoft has retained strong developer support for its fledgling platform. The numbers could be used to counter other developers who, in November, expressed concern over writing software for Microsoft's new mobile operating system.

But early reviews of Windows Phone 7 after its debut in October found the new platform lacking. And earlier this month, Microsoft announced sales of 1.5 million phones running its new operating system, but those sales were only to channel inventories and not end consumers.

For an app comparison, Apple revealed that there were more than 25,000 applications on the App Store 7 months after it debuted in July of 2008. Since then, the creation of software has only accelerated, reaching 65,000 applications in the store's first year alone.

The App Store has also expanded to a new device, the iPad, which now boasts more than 50,000 applications of its own. In all, the App Store is home to more than 300,000 applications written for iOS devices.