with the worldwide
Windows Mobile 6.5
(now better known as
on Tuesday, Microsoft
also launched its Windows Marketplace for Mobile, which gives Windows phone
users an easy to access and preinstalled localized online shopping resource for
Windows Mobile applications! However, Windows Marketplace for Mobile comes with
some developer restrictions which also hits the end-user hard. With the initial
Windows Marketplace registration, developers have access to one localized
Marketplace only and every extra localization (or country - however you want)
costs the developer an extra fee of US$ 10.
On the left the US American Marketplace, on the right the German Marketplace
with a different amount of available applications.
However, to get an application listed on several country Marketplaces, each
app has to be truly localized; it's not possible to submit an English
application for the French, German and Spanish Marketplace as well but this
application needs to get a French, German and Spanish language localization. As
a matter of fact, this has major financial impacts for developers because
Microsoft is verifying this localization, in addition to the general
functionality; a simple Google translation wouldn't help at all as well as such
a simple translation would have major drawback on the quality of the user
At the end of the day, this means that many developers won't localize their
applications to foreign languages and therefore great applications will never
make it to local Marketplaces. On the other hand this also means, customers and
users will not be able to get access to these applications because Microsoft is
always offering the local Marketplace in dependency of the mobile
network/location the user comes from.
When we discussed this issue with Microsoft during the recent Windows phone
press event in Germany, we got the feedback from a Microsoft employee:
"Microsoft is aware of this problem. However, for the launch it wasn't possible
to change this Marketplace Mobile behavior but Microsoft will introduce a
solution later which will allow the end-user to switch Marketplaces".
This means that a French, German or Spanish user will be able to access the US
English Marketplace (and vice versa) as well. At least, this workaround will
give end-users the full access to all available Windows phone applications,
however the Microsoft employee also made clear that "it's not yet planned to
list all available applications in a single Marketplace".
There's no official confirmation available yet, all we have is the word from
Microsoft but it's quite obvious that Microsoft has to solve this problem, to
offer its Windows phone customers the broadest possible range of applications.
Cheers ~ Arne