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back to article Microsoft's mobile marketplace opens for submissions

Microsoft has thrown open the door on its Windows mobile marketplace, betting it can tempt customers and developers with a better service than the one offered by Apple's iPhone App Store. On Monday, the software giant began accepting application submissions for apps that target devices running Windows Mobile 6.0, 6.1, and 6.5. …

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do not see the difference

These rules appear to primarily protect the MS store and carriers from competition, just like Apple. There may some clarity on the initial details, but the disclaimer "Microsoft reserves the right to update these policies as needed to protect the Windows® Marketplace for Mobile service or the users of the service " would tend to indicate that it is possible for them to restrict applications on an ad hoc basis by changing the rules. Just like Apple, the process does not seem to include a public hearing. If MS receives complaints, MS has no part in the solution, so, presumably, MS will mandate a solution that the ISV can either accept or leave.

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Money Split?

Didn't see anything here on revenue split between Microsoft and ISVs, or publishing cost. That's gonna be pretty crucial in getting developer buy in. Apple seems to have set the standard with a flat 30/70 split. Is Microsoft planning the same?

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Ty
Jobs Halo

Ummm so?

Total irrelevance.

iPhone has replaced these also-rans.

No one cares.

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FAIL

@ Ty

30 Million Windows Phones. How many iPhones? So who's the also-ran exactly?

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why would developers want this?

How embarrassing would it be to have a Microsoft Surface appear on your doorstep. Win a touch screen phone that doesn't make phone calls, doesn't have GPS, and requires four people, a pickup truck and a generator to move. So big you can't even hide it. A competition I'd hope not to win.

So there's 30 million devices in a hundred or more different form factors with different feature sets and screen sizes and OS versions, with 90% of their owners never having installed third part software or an OS update, versus 45 million near-identical iPhones and iPod touches, with 90% of their owners familiar with downloading applications and OS updates.

Perhaps MS just wants to remind developers why they develop for iPhone.

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Bronze badge

Been around for ages

This has been available for a long time, before even the iphone was conceived

Ever heard of Handango?

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RE: do not see the difference

The real difference is that you don't have to jailbreak your WinMo phone in order to install apps that aren't in the app store.

The Microsoft app store sounds a lot like Apple's in terms of restrictions (though at least Microsoft has published a list of criteria) but you can also download applications from a whole host of other sites, or even write your own without joining the developer programme.

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FAIL

A Better Experience?

"a better service than the one offered by Apple's iPhone App Store."

I lol'ed.

"We think the number-one reason [most people don't use or pay for apps] is because people lack confidence in what happens in the purchase experience,"

WTF is he talking about? People DO download and use mobile apps - didn't he catch the 1.5 billion App Store downloads, or was he too busy cartwheeling around Redmond? These people are looking more and more stupid each day.

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FAIL

MS are behind on this one

30 million mobile devices running Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1?

Maybe; but its still different versions of Windows Mobile with different UI's running on a wide range of devices and capabilities (i.e some might have tilt sensors, most won't). Apple in a very short time have sold more devices that are all very similar, and the beauty of iTunes serving the apps is that iPod Touch and iPhone owners are used to single click purchase of apps.

There was a very cheap Win Mobile 6.1 phone I could have brought in the weekend for 1/3 the price of an iPhone. Thought about it, but if I buy the iPhone I can purchase 100's of good apps and games via iTunes. If I get the Win Mobile phone, then I might be able to download apps in December? I don't have a LiveID.

Only thing I could see working is if MS made if very cheap & easy for iPhone developers to also spin off a copy of their apps for Win Mobile. Can't see that happening though.

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FAIL

Just like an online flea market

MS has been offering a mobile O/S for a decade and hasn't exactly set the world on fire with the user experience and quality of applications. I'm sure will see a flurry of utter crap being developed for it and then experience endless bugs and crashes.

And you don't have to be an Apple fanboy to wonder how they will make it a better experience than Apple's online store, something that Microsoft hasn't been able to achieve in any of their products or offerings so far.

Too little, too late. Additionally, Windows mobiles are just so uncool and only appeal to business people and some techies.

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FAIL

To late

MS epic FAIL. They've had 10 years to get ahead of the game in mobile device development, and even this year they've still got months before they can start to attempt to compete with Apple and Google.

The biggest problem with WinMo isn't finding the applications, it's the fact that the OS is so shonky and outdated. If MS had put all the dev hours they spent on the app store into getting WinMo7 out sooner, so they have some hope in competing with iPhone/Android, they might have used the time more effectively. As it is, they're putting up an app store to promote 'freedom of app distribution' (which windows mobile already has, by virtue of the fact that you can get apps easily without going to an app store) for a platform which currently has no future.

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@ Sleepy

"So there's 30 million devices in a hundred or more different form factors with different feature sets and screen sizes and OS versions, with 90% of their owners never having installed third part software or an OS update, versus 45 million near-identical iPhones and iPod touches, with 90% of their owners familiar with downloading applications and OS updates."

Yeah, and did you know that 80% of statistics are made up on the spot!

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@Jim Coleman

1.5 BILLION downloads. Redmond's boot sale opens in December, probably with a few exciting Expense Calculators on it. Who's the also-ran again?

This isn't about device sales, it's about app sales, and the App Store has handed MS their collective arses on a plate.

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Jobs Horns

Look at al the Apple bilge.

Bilgepipe he didn't talk about downloads, he talked about paying for them and using them. Reports like this:

http://i.gizmodo.com/5157322/the-life-of-an-iphone-app-nasty-brutish-and-short

http://www.casualgaming.biz/news/28530/How-many-times-is-a-free-iPhone-app-used

suggest people download apps and use them for a very short time.

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FAIL

@Jim Coleman

WM is. Apple's recent figures show 45m devices out there running iPhone OS, and the majority of them are downloading and using apps *now*, not possibly in six months time.

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Alert

Great.

"The real difference is that you don't have to jailbreak your WinMo phone in order to install apps that aren't in the app store."

Ah, so the average punter can install whatever the hell she or he feels like. That's ... um ... well ... make sure you all buy yourselves some lovely AV apps too.

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Gold badge

Look at the bright side - it may improve Apple..

The only possible benefit I can see from this "me too" offering from MS is that it may improve the App checking process at Apple which is driving developers away. In other words, by Apple slacking there (no, let's call it what it is, mishandling) it left a potential quality perception gap which MS thinks it can exploit.

I personally don't think MS has a snowball's chance in hell catching up with Apple, fine marketing BS or not, but the apparent potential competition may just jolt Apple out of its sleep long enough to fix the App check issues.

After that I can see MS waste a large chunk of shareholder money on marketing and buying their way into the market (and the occasional chair), but they've been there before - the model just doesn't really work for MS' approach to business.

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@bassey, @windywoo

@bassey - do your own research if you are in doubt

@windywoo - you are absolutely right about iPhone apps usually being quickly discarded (a bit like newspapers?). But unless WinMo apps are uniquely appealing, they are going to suffer the same rate of attrition.

Steve Ballmer April 2007, USA Today interview:

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Isn't he the guy defining Microsoft's future? And they talk about Steve Jobs' reality distortion field.

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