Windows Phone Marketplace adds private beta distribution

Microsoft announced its Windows Phone Markeplace storefront is poised to introduce a private beta channel enabling developers to distribute their applications to a defined set of users selected to trial the software. Writing on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Windows Phone Application Platform & Developer Experience program manager Charlie Kindel explains that the private beta program enables developers to identify their beta testers and upload their app to the developer portal--from there, the service distributes the app to the sample group's phone via "deep links" transmitted in email. Microsoft will formally launch the new mechanism this fall as it finalizes its developer portal.

"This is noteworthy not only as a cool new Marketplace feature, but also as a prime example of Microsoft embracing the concept of the public and private cloud," Kindel notes. "Initially, we are enabling private distribution of applications for registered developers in a way that is optimized for beta-testers. This will enable developers to more easily distribute test applications in a secure way. We also appreciate that as phones come to market and people begin bringing them into corporate environments, IT will look for a similar private distribution solution... Over time we're going to build on this public and private cloud philosophy to make the Marketplace infrastructure accessible to corporate and business customers as well. This will create an even richer marketplace for the games and applications that already live there by attracting an even broader base of customers who will no doubt want more than line of business applications on their new Windows Phone 7."

For more on the new private beta channel:
- read this Windows Phone Developer Blog entry

Related articles:
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Microsoft refreshes Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP
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Microsoft unveils first Windows Phone 7 prototype

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