MS Wages War with 'Windows Marketplace for Mobile'

Dennis Faas's picture

In a bid to gain market share in the emerging mobile phone industry, Microsoft has made plans to go live with their new online mobile application store 'Windows Marketplace for Mobile.'

The site will be a one-stop source for new mobile applications that can be downloaded to Windows Mobile 6.5 devices and earlier models, and will be analogous to the Apple App Store, Microsoft's biggest competitor in the mobile application market. (Source:

Windows Marketplace for Mobile (WMM) will offer mobile applications that can be accessed either directly from a Windows phone or else downloaded from the website using the customers' Windows Live ID. This will allow users to search for newly released applications, and purchase them on-site without having to waste time browsing competitor's sites-- in fact, a WMM icon will appear in the Start menu of each Windows Mobile 6.5 for maximum visibility. (Source:

WMM Site User Friendly

The WMM portal site, which is now live, is definitely user friendly. Consumers are able to browse the site in a number of convenient ways, such as by topic or operating system, and then the portal provides links to providers for purchase.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the WMM portal at February's Mobile World Congress, and touted the new site as a means for application developers to directly connect with the Windows Mobile consumer network.

WMM was originally planned as an accompaniment to Windows Mobile 7.0. under the name "SkyMarket," but delays in the release of Mobile 7.0 have caused Microsoft execs to reconsider and go live with the 6.5 version instead. (Source:

Economy Woes Forest Feisty Competition

As the economic climate forces companies to think outside the box in order to stay profitable, Microsoft is certainly evaluating all possible sources of revenue. The numbers don't often lie and Microsoft executives have probably noticed that the Apple App Store has garnered over 500 million downloads in the past six months. (Source:

Numbers like those from Apple make it no surprise that Microsoft is ready to cash in on the application market earlier than planned, and reflect the sound business advice that Ballmer seems to be heeding lately -- wait until the ground is proven, then start building something of your own. Microsoft won't be winning any medals for originality on this one, but Windows Mobile users will definitely be happy about the results.

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