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Microsoft to launch App Store

Microsoft to launch App Store

Owners of Windows Mobile devices who have gazed jealously at the Apple App Store will get their own, dubbed Skymarket.

Microsoft is once more taking its lead from Apple and hoping to prove that whatever the Cupertino-based company can do, Microsoft can do – if not better, then “also,” with the planned launch of an apps store for Windows Mobile devices.

The source for the rumour comes via a job posting – now 'expired' – on Computerjob.com and picked up by Long Zheng of I Started Something before hitting the mainstream with a CNet article. The job in question was looking for a senior product manager for an as-yet unannounced division called Skymarket, to lead a team that will “drive the launch of a v1 marketplace service for Windows Mobile.

If you're thinking of applying, you'll need to take responsibility for the “definition of the product offering, pricing, business model and policies that will make the Windows Mobile marketplace “the place to be” for developers wishing to distribute and monetize their Windows Mobile applications” along with supporting “business development on engagements with mobile operators and integration of the marketplace offering into broader Microsoft services offerings or discussions.”

If the ad has been quoted correctly, all signs point to an Apple App Store-like marketplace for those who prefer their smartphones to have more of a Redmond flavour. Whether this game of catch-up will actually stem the runaway success of Apple's inaugural range of smartphones remains to be seen – but it's certainly a smart, if unoriginal, move on Microsoft's part.

Something that may hinder adoption of the Skymarket is, ironically, one of Windows Mobile's chief advantages – unlike the MacOS X operating system on the iPhone, Windows Mobile has no restrictions on what software you can install; where iPhone users are given the choice of sourcing software solely from the App Store or risking a 'jailbreak' to run unsigned applications, a Windows Mobile user can download and install anything from anywhere. Given this, what incentive is there to download the software from an 'official' source – especially one which may make a charge to do so?

Any Windows Mobile owners here looking forward to a centralised application store, or is all the best stuff free anyway? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

6 Comments

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Mankz 2nd September 2008, 12:56 Quote
Why do the MS names have to be so ghay?

Skymarket? Meh!
liratheal 2nd September 2008, 13:00 Quote
I wonder whether 'Skynet' was copyrighted..
ChaosDefinesOrder 2nd September 2008, 13:32 Quote
it's fitting in with the (relatively) recent Skydrive online "USB key" by the sounds of it.

WinMo certainly needs something like this, is can be bloody hard to find some applications if all you have is an intended use/function and not a specific product name...
wuyanxu 2nd September 2008, 13:45 Quote
i doubt MS's version of appstore will be as successful as Apple's Appstore. most importantly is the restrictions apple put on their platform, as mentioned in the article.

without restrictions, it'd be like opening a small jet of water in heavy rain, don't make much different. if under a roof, you open the tap, the room will be wet within no time
Liquid K9 2nd September 2008, 15:49 Quote
im getting a bit tired of ms playing second fiddle to apple, its a tired old trend that needs to change.

its just a store for programs.

wait a short while, amazon will have one too.
LA26 2nd September 2008, 18:35 Quote
If anything microsoft is playing third string while apple has "copied" what Blackberry has done but has just did it on a bigger scale.

Apple hasn't "invented" anything for years...that's what people like to tell themselves to justify over spending for a product that should be worth half the price.
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