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The Crow
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Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:14 pm

News emerged today that Microsoft is preparing an application marketplace for its Windows Mobile platform, dubbed Skymarket. It seems everybody is keeping an eye on Apple's marketing strategies these days. With Apple registering 60 million downloaded applications through its AppStore and cashing in over $30 million in sales in just one month, Google has jumped into the same boat as well, unveiling a similar sales concept called Android Market.

Following its Microsoft siblings Windows Marketplace, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Zune Marketplace, Skymarket purports to gather into one place most of the 18.000-plus applications available out there for Microsoft's mobile operating system, once Windows Mobile 7 launches in early 2009. Skymarket will probably come as an alternative to Handango, a third party store for Windows Mobile applications that comes bundled with many WM devices, and from which Microsoft doesn't earn any money.

The reports on Microsoft's Skymarket launch emerged when the Redmond giant posted job listings seeking for a "senior product manager" and a "product manager - commercial integration" who would be responsible for "the launch of a v1 marketplace service for Windows Mobile."

Details on Skymarket's features are quite scarce at the moment, as Microsoft did not yet confirm the service's existence. Nevertheless, one would safely assume that Skymarket will be built into Windows Mobile 7 and will enable users to search, buy and download applications for their smartphones, presumably in a similar way to iPhone 3G's AppStore or Google's Android Market.

Smartphone sales increased to 19 percent of all mobile phone sales in the second quarter of this year, up 9 percent in comparison to the same period last year, according to the market research firm NPD Group. Apple's iPhone sales are still going strong and Google's Android phones are expected to ship by the end of this year. Microsoft has to do some catching up before it is left out of the game, even though it has been one of the pioneers of mobile operating systems ever since Windows Mobile launched.
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Q-Area51
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Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:53 pm

^This is cool - considering that M$ has been reported doing this since last August - more power to 'em. Competition is a good thing and more sources for more software is a GREAT thing !!! Ain't up and runnin' yet but y'all know Microshaft, eh. Smile
THX for the heads-up, bird man. Smile
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The Crow
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Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:23 am

No problem. From what I can tell some time in early 09.
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The Crow
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Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:13 pm

One thing I was thinking about. Is the app store going to have free apps as well or just apps that costs? If they have free apps like they have for apple it could be a very interesting time for window mobile phones.
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Q-Area51
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Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:32 pm

^Certainly a good marketing move if they do have free apps . . . gets people there at least. Sort of a loss leader which is indeed a proven sales model. -Q
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