While Apple’s App Store is certainly enjoying unprecedented growth
, Microsoft is getting closer to
joining the game and launching its upcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile. At
Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans, the company reported
that it is on track to open for application submissions from developers on July
27th. Microsoft also announced intentions to offer a developer contest later
this month with details to be disclosed on the 28th.
We’ve known for a while that the Windows Marketplace will
launch with Windows Mobile 6.5 in the fall. Until now, support for previous
versions of Windows Mobile was lacking. At the conference, Microsoft unveiled
plans to make
Windows Marketplace available to Windows
6.0 and 6.1 devices by the end of 2009. This is definitely good news
for users, but it’s also good for developers who will now be able to reach more
than 30 million Windows Mobile devices.
To help ease the navigation process of the Windows
also introduced the Windows Marketplace Business
Center, a category within the marketplace that will contain mobile business
applications from leading companies. Microsoft hopes the Business Center will
enable partners to better differentiate themselves while also making it easier
for users to locate and purchase the mobile tools they need.
The Windows Marketplace will open for application
submissions from 29 supported countries on July 27. These countries include
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Hong Kong SAR, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, New
Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States.
For a closer look at the Windows Marketplace, check out the
hands-on demonstration from Todd Brix, the Senior Director for Mobile Platform
Services Product Management at Microsoft, in the video below.