Microsoft has confirmed that it will launch its new ‘Windows Marketplace for Mobile’ applications store next Tuesday (6 October), initially available only on smartphones running Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows Mobile 6.5. Writing on the official Windows Mobile blog this week, Todd Brix, Microsoft’s director of mobile services marketing, said the store would launch in two phases with support for Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 to be included by the end of the year. “This second phase will bring the PC based catalog and shopping experience, user generated app reviews, advanced key-based anti-piracy protection and other enhancements that expand your business opportunity and make it easier for a larger number of customers to find and buy your application,” wrote Brix.
Brix said that the response from the global developer and ISV community for Marketplace had been “impressive” but conceded that the submission process for applications had been slow. The blog post addressed a number of issues raised by developers and included tips for speeding up the process. Microsoft is also running a developer competition (‘The Race to Market Challenge’) to generate interest among the developer community. Microsoft’s store will compete with a number of other high-profile mobile applications stores from rival handset vendors and operators, including Apple’s App Store, Google’s Android Market and Nokia’s Ovi.