Microsoft has updated their mobile application store with a number of impressive features, but most notably, the ability for Windows phone users to browse the catalogues of other countries.Here’s a full run-down, according to the press release.
World View: previously known as “geo selector”, the World View feature 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.
Installation onto storage cards: a highly requested feature by end users, it will allow users to install applications downloaded from Marketplace onto storage card memory. This will solve a common pain point today where the main memory of the phone runs out after installing a few apps from Marketplace.
Free app submissions to additional markets: ISVs will no longer have to pay a $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 ($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.
Deep linking: Microsoft is releasing deep linking capabilities for ISVs to allow users to purchase their apps from Marketplace. On the web, ISVs will be able to construct a URL to link directly to the purchase page of their applications in the Marketplace Web site, and will have access to the “Get it Now for Windows phone” logo, which standardizes the way ISVs link to Marketplace. On the device, ISVs will be able to call Marketplace from within their applications and open the purchase page for a specific app, allowing them to offer additional titles or provide free users the option to purchase premium version of an application.
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.
MicroSD installing and global app browsing seem like the biggies there, but for developers, being able to properly link to their apps online and having a polished registration and app approval process can certainly make life easier. Of course, those devs that get involved with WinMo are making the brash assumption that they’ll actually get paid for their apps.
If you’re packing a Windows Phone, just launch the Marketplace, and it should update on its own.
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