Web-based Windows Phone App Store Coming Later This Year

One of Windows Phone 7’s weak spots was its app store (Marketplace). The Marketplace is limited to the phone and the Zune desktop app. I rarely use the Zune Deskop which self-limits my app search to the phone itself. The original Marketplace app on the phone had the unfortunate behavior of returning search results from all the store’s contents including songs. This made finding apps based on keyword searches very difficult. This issue was fixed in the NoDo update earlier this year. However, it left another problem. Apps are listed in one long list. Let’s say you scroll a few windows lengths down, tap an app name for more details, read the product information and then return to the list. You are not returned to the point you left off. Instead you are looking at the top of the list again and need to scroll back down to continue your app browsing.

Fortunately, one of the new things accompanying Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango update is a new web-based app Marketplace.

Windows Phone Marketplace on the Web for Mango (The Windows Phone Developer Blog)

The web-based Windows Phone marketplace will work much like Google’s Android Market and Amazon’s Android AppStore does today. Apps can be purchased in the Windows Phone Marketplace while the apps are delivered OTA (Over The Air) to the phone. The Marketplace will also retain information about apps purchased and can reinstall the apps if needed for a new phone or a phone that was hard reset.

A better tool for app management and discovery will certainly be welcome by Windows Phone users.