Microsoft claims Windows Store has 400,000 apps, saw its 5 billionth download in March

Microsoft’s General Manager of the Windows Store offered up a bunch of new information about the company’s two main mobile platforms today, claiming massive increases in sales numbers since last year.

Specifically, combined downloads between the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store have increased to 5 billion as of March, a 200% increase since early 2013.

There are more than 400,000 apps across both Stores, though Microsoft no longer differentiates between the two. While this is mainly to pad stats in their favour, there’s a practical reason too: Microsoft is making it much easier for developers to create a single app to deploy across desktop, tablet and phone.

Another achievement, according to Brix, is the shortened length of time it takes for apps to be certified in the system, though this refers to initial submissions and not updates.

Of course, with a million apps available on both iOS and Android, Windows Store is still a ways behind its main competitors. More to the point, the quality of apps on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone still pales next to Google and Apple, and though there are plenty of great apps available on both, the many big names are still missing.

With Windows Phone 8.1 coming in the next few months, it will be interesting to see how developers take to the platform, and whether they choose to justify the investment in the number three app ecosystem.

[source]Todd Brix[/source]