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Windows Phone 8 launches with top games from rival platforms

As it prepares to launch its Windows Phone 8 devices next month, Microsoft is aiming to convince consumers that the app and game selection on WP8 devices is comparable to those on iOS and Android.
As it prepares to launch its Windows Phone 8 devices next month, Microsoft is aiming to convince consumers that the app and game selection on WP8 devices is comparable to those on iOS and Android. The company is looking to dispel worries that its app catalog is limited -- a complaint many have brought up with Microsoft's recently launched Surface tablet -- by emphasizing that the Windows Phone Store has over 120,000 apps. For comparison, iOS's App Store has 750,000 apps, while Android's Google Play market has 675,000 apps. "We will be at a point where we will have 46 of the top 50 of the most heavily used apps on other platforms," said Microsoft Corp. CVP John Belfiore at a launch event for WP8 on Monday morning (the first WP8 mobile devices will be made available in Europe this weekend). Microsoft has worked with a number of game developers to make sure the Windows Phone Store is populated with their mobile game hits, including Rovio's Angry Birds Star Wars, Imangi's Temple Run, and Disney's Where's My Water. It previously announced a partnership with Zynga to bring Draw Something and Words With Friends to WP8, too. At its press event, the company detailed a number of WP8 features meant to differentiate its devices from iOS and Android smartphones today, such as Kid's Corner, which lets children play games on their parents' WP8 smartphones without having access to other features (e.g. making phone calls, deleting files). Microsoft also played up the idea that its WP8 platform is built to work with Windows 8 PCs, Surface tablets, and Xbox 360s. For example, with the Xbox Music app, users can access their songs across all of their devices. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile will carry WP8 devices in the U.S., including smartphones from Nokia (Lumia 920, 822, 820, 810), HTC (Windows Phone 8X, 8S), and Samsung (ATIV S, ATIV Odyssey). Microsoft has a long way to go to catch up to its rivals' sales -- comScore estimates that Windows Phone had only a 3.6 percent marketshare among U.S. smartphone subscribers during the June-to-August quarter, far behind RIM (8.3 percent), Apple (34.3 percent), and Google (52.6 percent).

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