Windows Marketplace To Be Open To All 6.x Users

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 Mobile 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 Marketplace, Microsoft 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.