Right now there are over 42,000 apps designed for the modern style of Windows 8 and that’s the current count of available apps in the store. Before there was Windows 8, Steve Ballmer said that there are about 4 million Windows Desktop applications out there with about 800,000 that were made specifically for Windows 7. Some of those include programs developed only for private business use. You can also find a count for Windows 8 compatible desktop apps that have been tested by Microsoft in the compatibility center which turns out to be 17,381. So the real number available to consumers is a little vague, but still those are some pretty big numbers.
After you install Bluestacks on Windows 8, you can run another 750,000 Android apps. Then if you want to unlock the Surface Pro’s BIOS, you can install Linux. Or an easier method would be to create a Virtual Machine using Hyper-V (which is supported by the Surface Pro hardware) or Vmware. So that’s another 30,000 or so apps that you can use. That’s pretty close to 5 million choices for adding software functionality to a Surface Pro or any Windows 8 powered tablet (depending on which apps you decide to count).
Apple is considered king of the app count though. With their “There’s an app for that” ad campaign, Apple makes their iOS look like it’s got the most robust software selection around. There are over 800,000 apps in the iOS App Store, and 300,000 of them are specifically made for the tablet version of iOS. Compared to 5 million, that’s doesn’t seem like very many, which is why I’m still of the opinion that Apple’s iOS Doesn’t Have Enough Apps.