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Microsoft Can Beat RIM, But Stands No Chance Against Apple

Case in point, Microsoft calls the Windows Phone version of the App Store "Marketplace." It not only includes apps, but uninspiring selections from Nokia and AT&T (T) as well as games, music and podcasts.

As you explore the Windows Phone Marketplace, you can't help but wonder if Microsoft is serious. There's not a nicer way to put it -- Windows apps are terrible.

Consider the music and video app category. It's an embarrassment. The only two worthy streaming apps I could find are Spotify and Slacker. There's no Pandora (P), which tells you all you need to know about Windows Phone relevance.

While I can get along without Pandora on my smartphone, I cannot get past the seemingly endless reel of complete trash Microsoft puts in its place. Search "Pandora" in the "Marketplace" and you receive results for hundreds of useless apps. And just to insult your intelligence, Microsoft serves knock-off apps called "Pandora," "Pandoras" and another titled "Pandora's Wallet."

The same type of song and dance applies to countless other Windows Phone app searches. What Microsoft lacks in relevancy and quality apps, it attempts to make up for with quantity.

Apps may or may not lead to smartphone sales. But that's not the point. Microsoft needs to use Office to go for Apple's throat.

Even that probably will not work, but it's about all it has. And, if Redmond does not have people in place to properly vet the quality of its app store, where else could Microsoft be dropping the ball as it attempts to take on Apple in a space where it sorely lags behind?

At the time of publication, the author was long MSFT and NOK.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Rocco Pendola is a private investor with nearly 20 years experience in various forms of media, ranging from radio to print. His work has appeared in academic journals as well as dozens of online and offline publications. He uses his broad experience to help inform his coverage of the stock market, primarily in the technology, Internet and new media spaces. He has taken a long-term approach to investing, focusing on dividend-paying stocks, since he opened his first account as a teenager. Pendola, 37, is based in Santa Monica, Calif., where he lives with his wife and child.
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