Microsoft is apparently in the final stages of polishing off their Windows Mobile 6.5 OS update for public release. That means Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace mobile application store is almost ready to launch. As Microsoft’s answer to the success of the Apple iPhone App Store, the Windows Marketplace is expected to make its global debut with WM6.5, but the details on the what’s and how’s of the Marketplace have so far been murky. Well, today Microsoft gave a lucky few Windows Mobile enthusiasts a sneak-peek at the Windows Marketplace.
The screenshots you see here come to us by way of ppcgeeks forum member MrHawaii, who managed to get into the Windows Marketplace and take a quick look-see before Microsoft pulled the plug. Using a cooked version of a Windows Mobile 6.5 ROM, MrHawaii fired up the Windows Marketplace application today to find that the “Coming Soon” notification had been replaced by a largely-functional mobile application store. And, after a bit of looking around and playing with the finger-friendly UI, MrHawaii found that the Pandora application was ready for download.
“Today I clicked on it and it said CAB needed to be installed. After install, voila! Marketplace open for business. I already downloaded Pandora successfully. There are not too many fun apps yet and most of them come with a charge. But the layout of the store was very finger friendly and very snappy.”
It’s good to see “finger friendly” and “snappy” used to describe Windows Mobile’s upcoming Windows Marketplace. Now, we just have to wait for Microsoft to get WM6.5 and Windows Marketplace out the door.