In tandem with the introduction of its Windows Phone 7.1 mobile operating system update, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rolled out a web-based version of its Windows Phone Marketplace application storefront, slated to go live later this year. Like the existing smartphone-based version of Windows Phone Marketplace, the web iteration will enable consumers to browse the complete application catalog, view screenshots, check out details and reviews and select from the app's supported languages. "With the Web version of Marketplace, we will also have more placement areas in which to provide featured apps with extra visibility and merchandising possibilities," states Microsoft senior director of mobile services and developer product management Todd Brix on the Windows Phone Developer Blog.
All web-based Marketplace purchases are charged to the credit card linked to the consumer's existing Windows Live ID account--customers can also choose to assign a new credit card to their account. All apps are automatically downloaded over-the-air to the user's Windows Phone device or optionally installed at a later time. Microsoft adds that Web Marketplace also will maintain a consumer's download history to simplify app re-installation in the event a customer loses or upgrades their device, as well as Parental Controls that limit downloads according to rating or cost. "In addition to easy shopping, Web Marketplace will also enable customers (and [developers]) to promote your apps among friends, family, partners and social networks," Brix notes. "Customers will be able to share their favorite apps by embedding a link in emails or articles or make a recommendation through Facebook or Twitter."
In related news tied to the Windows Phone 7.1 launch, Microsoft will expand Windows Phone Marketplace local app submission and purchase support from 16 to 35 countries. The new markets include Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan. In addition, Windows Phone Marketplace now supports app submission in China, Israel and Luxembourg.
- read this Windows Phone Developer Blog entry
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