Microsoft has launched a new website called ‘Mobile App Match’ intended to promote discussion between application developers and consumers, “to start conversations, exchange ideas and see what develops.” Programmers can post apps and videos to promote their efforts and generate feedback, while consumers can post requests and vote on new ideas and software to “influence mobile app builders.” Unsurprisingly, the content is focused on Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 platform, which is expected to be used in commercial devices shipping before the end of 2010. The new site is separate from Microsoft’s existing Windows Marketplace for Mobile app store, although a prominent link is provided at Mobile App Match.
Microsoft is not the first company in the mobile applications ecosystem to try to unite developers and consumers. O2 launched its O2 Litmus website late in 2008, which it said “brings customers and developers together to create better apps.” With Windows Phone 7 set to launch into a market dominated by platforms such as Android, BlackBerry, Apple’s iOS and Symbian, after Microsoft lost ground with its existing Windows Mobile platform, the company needs to promote developer and consumer interest in Windows Phone 7 to strengthen its proposition in its early days. It was previously reported that the company is paying developers to create apps for the platform, in order to deliver a competitive portfolio of software at launch.