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Windows Phone’s app market will no longer be the poor relation to iOS and Android come next year, Microsoft claims, seemingly leaving the platform a lot of catching up to do in a short time.

Right now, Windows Phone has around 175,000 apps. That compares to the million or so each for Android and the iOS operating system that powers Apple kit.

Still that’s done nothing to dent Microsoft’s design don Joey Belfiore faith in the platform. He reckons we’ll see Windows Phone make a lot of ground this year, which ought to ensure it's much more attractive to mass-market buyers.

Belfiore tweeted: “We’re all gonna look back on the end of 2014 as the ending of the app-gap for Windows Phone. The 3rd ecosystem is decidedly here!”

The Big M man’s forecast comes as Microsoft has seemingly started to plug a few major omissions. Just this week, photo-sharing app Instagram hit the platform. Albeit with some key functionality missing that won’t please the sunsets-and-sepia-tint set.

Belfiore Stage

How Microsoft plans to bridge the gap isn’t yet known. But we think it’s safe to assume that money-hatting cash incentives, along the lines of those that saw key titles reserved exclusively for the Xbox 360, will almost certainly be involved.

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