Good news for Windows Mobile users from the Worldwide Partner Conference: by year’s end, Windows Marketplace, Microsoft’s upcoming app vendor, will be open to WinMo 6.0 and 6.1. Previously Microsoft was gearing the site toward WinMo 6.5, debuting later this year, but it seems the company will now include those customers using older phones that won’t be getting an upgrade in the app mania.
Windows Marketplace will also open the door for submissions from developers on July 27, giving app makers the chance to woo Microsoft into including their offerings in the store. Though tens of thousands of apps exist, only about 600 will be approved and available for Marketplace’s launch.
In typical fashion, Microsoft is chasing Apple–whose App Store, for the record, has 65,000 apps on offer and recently passed the 1.5 billion download mark–and is jumping into the app market behind Google’s Android Market and Palm’s App Catalog. But, also in typical fashion, Microsoft has a plan. Windows Marketplace is emphasizing a corner of the store called the Business Center where it will offer business-centric utilities and corporate tools. While not as sexy as Apple, Microsoft knows where it can make a bundles of money, and the Business Center is one niche where Marketplace stands to excel.
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