Windows Phone head Joe Belfiore: "The 3rd ecosystem is decidedly here! Instagram,Flipboard, Vine and Waze apps arrived.
Since Microsoft and Nokia unveiled the Windows Phone 8 platform and the first handsets to use it, the operating system has comfortably overtaken BlackBerry to move into third place in the smartphone pecking order. But more importantly, it's finally managing to win over developers.
As a result, over the past few months, we've seen Windows Phone versions of Flipboard, Vine, Waze and now Instagram arriving to add to the 200,000 apps already available for download for Windows Phone users. Ok, it's nowhere near Apple's 1 million app total, but the iPhone has had a six-year head start.
Likewise in terms of downloads, Windows Phone users have already downloaded 3 billion apps after just over a year, which is very good going considering how few apps were available only 12 months ago and how few handset owners there were to install them.
The only potential issue in the platform's continued growth could be its market share in some mature smartphone markets, such as the US, where most developers are based.
They're less likely to build an app worth using for a Windows Phone 8 device if they think they're going to get little or no revenue in return.
But even in this regard, Microsoft is not prepared to give up without a fight. Joe Belfiore, the current head of Windows Phone, on Wednesday took to Twitter to claim that by 2014 the ‘app gap' between Windows Phones and its competitors will be closed. "We're all gonna look back on the end of 2014 (he corrected as 2013 #donttypewhiledriving!) as the ending of the app-gap for Windows Phone. The 3rd ecosystem is decidedly here!" he tweeted.
So, if you're a Windows Phone 8 handset owner or are considering one as a holiday gift for a loved one or family friend and you're worried about the platform's future, it would appear the best thing to do is to keep calm and carry on.