Nearly nine months after the launch of its mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, Microsoft faces a steep uphill slog in the app race against Google and Apple. The two competitors offer more than 200,000 and 400,000 apps, respectively, which puts market latecomer Microsoft several steps behind with just 10,000. In an effort to catch up, the tech giant is hosting an app-development contest at this annual Los Angeles conference, where a few clever developers will take the prize — and presumably a nice slice of the $15 billion in global app-store revenue predicted for 2011.
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