New Version of Windows Marketplace For Mobile

Microsoft is putting the finishing touches on changes to their mobile application store, Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Most of the changes are targeted at independent software vendors, but there are a few nice things in store for you and I.

Perhaps the change that Windows Mobile users will like the most is that you will be able to install applications from the store onto storage cards in the phone. Windows Mobile has long allowed one to install applications to storage cards (unlike Android) and therefore avoid using up the small amount of built-in storage space of most phones. It was disappointing then, that the Marketplace installation process did not allow users to designate where to install applications.

The Marketplace has different geographic catalogs, and now users will be able to browse and purchase applications from any of these catalogs. For example, if an application is only available in the U.S. catalog, a French user can now find and purchase that application. The cost of the application will be automatically converted to the local currency.

The remaining changes for software vendors, should benefit users too by encouraging more vendors to sell their application through the Marketplace. The changes for ISVs include:

– Free application submission for multiple catalogs. Previously if a vendor wanted their app listed in more than one catalog they were charged $10 for each additional one. The initial submission fee of $99 still applies.

– Simplified the vendor registration process.

– Provide deep linking to applications in the store so that vendors can provide links from their web sites directly to their application.

– Microsoft will now allow Voice Over IP (VoIP) applications in the store unless the mobile operator of the phone does not allow these applications.

– Russia is added as a geographic catalog, allowing users in Russia to purchase applications in local currency. Likewise, software vendors will now be able to have their applications listed in the Russian catalog.

An update of the Marketplace application should be pushed to phones in the near future.