One key part that Microsoft has focused on recently is bridging the app gap with rival platforms. Belfiore explained on stage at the company's Windows Phone 8 event that it now has 46 out of the top 50 apps from rival platforms. "The four I would say that are missing that count as the top 50 are Instagram, Viber, Pinterest, and Wells Fargo," says Belfiore. "If you look broadly at download numbers and usage and engagement those are the ones for us are top priority."
Some may argue — us included — that there are many more top apps missing, but Belfiore insists the company is being aggressive about landing the remainder. "We're actively working on everything. From our perspective we're going to keep working with everybody who has got a meaningful app." Microsoft isn't taking no for an answer when it comes to reaching out to these top developers. "We are going to keep coming back. You might get one answer today, you might get another answer later," he says. "We're not done until we've checked all the boxes."
Belfiore's insistence is reminiscent of the early days of the Xbox. Vastly outgunned by Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft remained persistent and steeled itself against losses. Eventually, following a contentious and hard-fought battle, Microsoft has emerged as the leader in the gaming industry.
Of course, success with a home entertainment system certainly doesn't translate to the mobile phone industry, but it provides a glimmer of precedent hope for Microsoft in the mobile space.