Microsoft getting its apps together

Good news for anyone that has bought a Microsoft Surface RT tablet -- the apps are coming.

Although Microsoft failed to hit its own target of 10,000 apps (by a total of 971) in its Windows apps store for launch day, since the first Surfaces were dispatched on Friday, the number of apps available has risen by 500 every day.

Even better news is that of the newest apps to roll out many of them are not just good, but what owners of other tablets have taken for granted such as Kindle, Netflix and Evernote apps. However, there's still no news as to if and when Facebook and Twitter apps will be joining them.

In the weeks leading up to the launch of its first tablet, Microsoft was criticized for not making it clear to potential customers that the Surface RT's operating system -- Windows RT -- would not support existing Windows software and would rely 100 percent on apps to function. Microsoft made a bold announcement that by February 2013, there would be over 100,000 apps available in its store and though it is starting to slowly edge towards that number, many experts and analysts were very doubtful that Microsoft would be able to attract developers to its platform.

WinAppUpdate.com has been tracking the development of available apps for Windows users and is starting to see a real surge in both numbers and quality, although there is still some way to go before the Windows offer can match Apple (750,000 apps, including 275,000 optimised for the iPad). But crucially it already has more apps than either HP or RIM had when they launched their doomed tablets -- both of which failed due to a lack of third-party applications.

In terms of apps, it's still not clear if the Surface can compete in the long term. However, in terms of hardware, reviewers have been unified in their praise of Surface's physical quality and of its look and feel. In those terms it is already going head to head with the iPad.

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Writer: AFP Relax News
Position: News agency