During the Mobile World Congress, Microsoft updated its Windows Marketplace for Mobile rules and services for both - Windows Mobile/Windows Phone developers and customers. The new "World View", previously known as "geo selector", will allow Marketplace users to browse and purchase applications from different geographic catalogs. For example, a user in France could choose to browse the English US catalog, or a user in Canada could browse the catalog from Japan. All application prices will show up in the user's local currency and Microsoft will be in touch with registered independent software vendors (ISVs) in the weeks ahead to provide step-by-step instructions on how to re-price their apps for all markets.
Furthermore it will be possible to install downloaded apps onto storage cards, which was a highly requested feature by end users. This will solve a common pain point today where the main memory of the phone runs out after installing a few apps from Marketplace.
In addition to these updates, Microsoft also continues to work closely with ISVs to offer clear guidance and insight into certification standards and processes and increase opportunities that allow for greater customer reach. To continue improving its developer support for ISVs, Microsoft will begin rolling out the following Marketplace updates and materials in the coming days:
- Free app submissions to additional markets: ISVs will no longer have to pay a US$ 10 fee for submitting applications to additional markets. With this change Microsoft is simplifying its fee structure and providing more opportunities for ISVs to submit their applications to smaller markets. Once an application has been certified for a primary market (US$ 99 submission fee applies) ISVs can submit for free that same application to other catalogs, as long as they meet the current Market Validation guidelines.
- Improved ISV registration flow: The ISV registration flow in the developer portal will be simplified, with different registration paths optimized for the type of ISV (company, individual, student) and additional guidance for completing the application submission process will be provided.
- Expansion to Russia: Users in Russia will be able to access and purchase apps via credit card from a local catalog of applications, as well as purchase from other catalogs through the World View feature. ISVs from Russia will also be able to register with Marketplace and submit their creations to any supported Marketplace country.
- Applications policy changes: Changes are being made to Microsoft's existing application acceptance policies to allow VoIP applications that use the carrier network unless explicitly prohibited by a mobile operator. Mobile Operators who sign a Marketplace deal with Microsoft will be able to dictate if they allow or prohibit the use of VoIP apps in their networks.
The changes and updates should become available within the next days/weeks.
UPDATE: The updated Windows Marketplace for Mobile is now available for consumers (see screenshots above) and features "world view" as well as the option to install applications to the memory card! In any case, an updated Windows Marketplace for Mobile client has to be downloaded an installed prior the new features are available. The updated client should be pushed to Windows phones automaticlly.
Cheers ~ Arne