Mobile
Commentary
2/18/2010
12:27 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
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Windows Marketplace For Mobile Refreshed

Windows Marketplace for Mobile, which is Microsoft's application store for Windows Mobile, was launched in October 2009 when WinMo 6.5 came out. It has since been made available for all 6.x devices. Very soon, Microsoft should push out an update that will add a few new features. In addition to that there are some welcome changes for developers.

Windows Marketplace for Mobile, which is Microsoft's application store for Windows Mobile, was launched in October 2009 when WinMo 6.5 came out. It has since been made available for all 6.x devices. Very soon, Microsoft should push out an update that will add a few new features. In addition to that there are some welcome changes for developers.The first and perhaps biggest change is there will no longer be regional limitations on where apps are sold. One of the loudest complaints about the service, especially from non-USA customers, is that the app selection was very limited. Now, unless the developer specifically limits distribution, anyone can get any app. So, if you are in Italy and you want a specific app that isn't showing up when you search, you can change the catalog from Italy to the world. Of course, when you do that, no guarantees what you get will have an Italian language interface. Could be English, German, French or something else, but at least you can get the app and if you know the other language, you are good to go.

Related to that change is developers will no longer have to pay $10 per country to distribute the app. They just submit the app and unless they want to restrict distribution, it will be available in the worldwide catalog and any country they specifically choose to have listed.

You will now be able to install the app on storage cards. This is especially important to devices that are over a year old as those tended to be short on onboard memory and could quickly fill up. If you have existing apps you want on the storage card, you'll need to uninstall and then reinstall, selecting the storage card as the destination.

Russia will now be added to the marketplace as well. Russians can register as developers and buy apps with a credit card. Just like everyone else, they can look at the catalog in their home country or look at all apps globally.

The other change worth noting is VOIP apps will now be available to everyone. Only when a carrier specifically prohibits it will VOIP apps be removed from a user's view. Honestly, I am not sure how Microsoft can manage this. If I am on carrier X's network but connect to the store via WiFi, how would MS know to filter out VOIP apps? I am sure we'll find out if a carrier asks MS for the restriction. However, I suspect such requests will be few and far between.

The changes should be out soon, so the next time you open Marketplace on your Window Mobile 6.x device and it checks for an update on launch, it may need to upgrade itself before you can continue shopping.

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