Microsoft is reported to be in negotiation with Vodafone, Telefonica O2 and other European operators regarding the prospect of allowing them to use their own brand in place of the forthcoming Microsoft app store, Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
The concept is based around Windows Mobile-powered handsets being modified by each operator to enable the Microsoft app store to appear under the operator's brand, or perhaps a combination of both brands. The Windows Marketplace portal is not released yet and should become available with the release of Windows Mobile 6.5 later this year.
Indications of which operator might be pushing hardest for its own brand to appear over Microsoft's might be gained from the handsets that are expected to support the 6.5 version of Microsoft's operating system. Of the ten cell phones expected to support the OS this year, the most notable are the HTC Touch Diamond2 and the HTC Touch Pro2, or the Toshiba TG01 smartphone.
Separately, Microsoft has just released a list of 12 applications that it will prohibit from its Marketplace app store. This includes mobile VoIP together with programmes that allow users to shop at competing app stores, or that change a cell phone's default browser, search client or media player. Developers will also be unable to write applications that change the default phone dialler, SMS or MMS interface.
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