Microsoft's Windows Phone platform is apparently growing in popularity among app developers.
The software giant's Windows Phone Marketplace now hosts more than 40,000 apps and games from more than 10,000 different publishers, according to a study conducted by All About Windows Phone. About 33 percent of those apps were added in the past 90 days.
Of the submissions made during the past month, 85 percent were apps, while 15 percent were games. Some 68 percent of those were free downloads, 23 percent were paid, and 9 percent were paid after the initial free trial period.
Apps are being added a rate of 165 a day, and the Windows Phone watcher predicts that the marketplace, which only launched in October 2010, will surpass the 50,000-app mark by the end of January 2012.
As impressive as that growth rate sounds, the marketplace's number of offerings pales in comparison with the app stores for competing mobile platforms. Apple's App Store, which launched in 2008, surpassed the 500,000-app mark in May, adding some 150,000 apps in just four months. Meanwhile, Google's Android App Store, which also launched in 2008, offers more than 300,000 apps.
Microsoft's platform will likely get an additional boost from AT&T, which is reportedly in talks to offer Nokia's Windows Phone smartphones to U.S. consumers early next year. Glenn Lurie, the head of AT&T's tablets unit, revealed last week that the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier was working out the final details with the Finnish handset maker.