Microsoft today announced that its upcoming mobile software store, dubbed Windows Marketplace for Mobile, will being accepting submissions for mobile applications on July 27, with a target launch of fall 2009 for Windows Mobile 6.5 devices. Sample View of Windows Marketplace Business Center (Subject to Change)
Microsoft's Todd Brix, senior director of mobile services, is expected to make the announcement official today at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans. In addition to accepting app submissions in late July, Microsoft says Windows Marketplace for Mobile will be available in 29 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Germany and Mexico, on July 27.
At first the mobile software store will be accessible only by Windows Mobile 6.5 devices, which are expected to become available along with Marketplace for Mobile in the fall. But Microsoft says Windows Marketplace for Mobile will also support existing Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 devices by next year.
Brix can be seen on video talking up the Windows Mobile Marketplace announcement.
The news comes at a time when all of the major handset manufacturers are ramping up their efforts in the mobile software space. For example, BlackBerry-maker RIM just announced that its BlackBerry App World store will soon expand its reach by opening up in a handful of new European locales. Nokia is working studiously away on its Ovi Store. And Apple, king of the app store with its iTunes mobile software channel, just announced some very impressive first-year App Store anniversary numbers. (Can you say 1.5 BILLION apps downloaded??)
Microsoft also mentioned an upcoming Windows Mobile "application development contest" that will be announced at the end of this month, meant to entice developers to focus on Windows Mobile, though no additional details are available at this time.
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