Sunday 1 July 2012

Microsoft to launch Windows Phone Marketplace in 180 countries

In a bid to carve out its share of the app market, Microsoft recently announced that it would be launching the Windows Phone Marketplace for its Windows 8 phones in 180 countries. The Microsoft blog states that users will be able to browse and download apps at Marketplace when the operating system releases later this year. Currently present in only 63 countries, this move is a big leap, roughly three times the current number, for Microsoft. Meanwhile, developers will be able to submit apps via App Hub from 38 markets.

Windows Phone 8 boasts of in-built app purchase/sales features. This means that you can purchase apps as well as sell apps and services from within the app itself. The blog states: “App Hub will provide tools for managing in-app commerce. You can specify what you want to sell, choose prices and countries to make it available, and use App Hub reporting tools to generate detailed sales reports.” The phone’s operating system also features a new market for custom enterprise apps called Company Hub, which allows developers to provide services and apps for enterprise solutions.

The blog also revealed that Microsoft is putting the finishing touches on both Marketplace and App Hub, which have been re-built from scratch to “be more robust and scalable”. The re-built features promise “faster certification and publishing times, better reporting options, and more”. Another interesting feature is the automatic filtering of apps based on screen resolution and other key characteristics, helping to better target audience, thus increasing customer satisfaction and lowering support costs.

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system is going to be a giant shift in terms of design and interface. The company recently mentioned on the MSDN blog that Windows 8 was going to support HD video calling, 3D video and adaptive bitrate streaming and now they’ve introduced the new Photos app. With the new Photos app, users can connect their Microsoft account to services like Facebook and Flickr to get all the photos and all those memories by simply signing in to Windows 8. There is seamless integration with Windows Phone as well, so you can simply sync all your photos using SkyDrive. This makes the Photos app in Windows 8 a great way to show off your photos without having to huddle around a phone. Even though you took your photos on your phone, you can view them on your PC, just about as fast as you can take them.

Another feature that they’ve spoken about on the blog is the SkyDrive Desktop App. If you install the SkyDrive desktop app, you can choose to have all of your photos automatically sent and saved to SkyDrive. Any PC with the SkyDrive desktop app installed will show up in the Photos app. So by simply running SkyDrive desktop app on the PC(s) where all your photos reside, the Photos app will reach back to that PC, so that you can look at your old photos, alongside your recent ones. You’ll soon be revisiting photos you forgot you had.

The really long list of countries Windows Phone Marketplace will be launched in can be found on the Official Windows Phone Blog.

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