Along with the official launch of the Windows Phone 7.5 “MANGO” update tonight (AM US time), Microsoft have also launched their Marketplace on the web for Windows Phone. This new initiative promises new expanded marketing and promotion opportunities for Developers, and also provides a new method of getting Apps onto your handset other than using the Zune Client or phone marketplace.
Winrumours a short while ago alerted the world to the arrival of the Microsoft Windows Phone Web-Marketplace. This new site, which is nicely integrated into the overall Windows Phone website, allows for not only web-based browsing of Apps and Games in the WP7 marketplace, but also a direct new method of accessing them. It is understood from earlier Windows official Blog posts that the Microsoft Web-Marketplace is seen as an important new offering to Developers for Promotion, Advertising and improved reach in delivering content to WP7 users in global markets.
Furthermore, the Marketplace allows for Messaging based delivery of Apps and Games ex the store to your device. WPDownUnder has tested this process, and can report that whilst we were able to complete the online steps and show the App grabbed as being “sent” to my device, as yet no message has been received. We will report back on this as more info comes to light.
Additionally, the new WebMarketplace also tries to be more helpful in managing region restrictions. Of course, there are still Apps and content that is only available in selected markets. The WebMarketplace allows us to search these apps – and offers a button “Check My Marketplace” to see if a version is available in your region. AT least it makes it quite clear that an App is therefore restricted, and also checks for you – a whole extra frustration to the actual region-restriction itself. It’s an improvement and some more focus on the customer!
I expect to update this post with more content once the official MS Blogpost/release notes become available.
—– UPDATE —–
Here’s some more info from the Microsoft Blog today – including a brief video on the new WebMarketplace.
The second new feature is our the brand new Web Marketplace, which will serve as your online resource to discover, try and buy new apps and games (and share them with your friends via Facebook & Twitter), and get them automatically delivered to your phone without any complicated multi-step installs. The Web Marketplace is too awesome to accurately describe in screenshots and text, so I shot a video of what the Web Marketplace looks like, how it works, and how you can take advantage of it. Check it out: