Microsoft is having a hard time containing Windows Mobile 6.5. First, the HTC Pure hits retail shelves in advance of the October 6th unveiling, and now Windows Marketplace for Mobile has also reportedly launched prematurely. If you are already running Windows Mobile 6.5 on your handset or were amongst the savvy folks that scored an HTC Pure this weekend, you can now enjoy the ease of browsing and buying applications through Microsoft’s first mobile phone marketplace. Your pleasure will be limited as the marketplace reportedly only contains 34 applications, most of which have a higher price tag than the 99¢ price point that dominates Apple’s App store. Let’s hope that Microsoft is working overtime today to beef up the numbers and trim down the prices of the applications in their fledgling Marketplace. Otherwise, well, you can use your imagination.
Good news, future Windows Phone owners — Microsoft has further clarified its position on the app kill switch tied to Windows Mobile 6.5 we reported earlier this week. Apparently it’s not as bad as everyone thought. In short, the remote deletion of apps from users’ handsets will supposedly only occur in the event an app goes haywire:
In the vast majority of instances where an application is removed from Windows Marketplace for Mobile, users of this application will continue to be able to use these applications on their phones. In the rare event an application from Marketplace exhibits harmful behavior or has unforeseen effects, Marketplace has the capability to remotely uninstall these applications. While we hope to avoid this scenario, we will make refunds available in such cases.
So in the end — assuming Microsoft holds true to its statement — the Marketplace for Mobile kill switch shouldn’t have any negative impact on users. Of course “unforeseen effects” leaves a bit of room for interpretation, but Redmond’s vow to issue refunds in the event an app is remotely uninstalled should help everyone feel all warm and fuzzy again. Satisfied, WinMo fans?
We have a bit of troubling news from Windows world today as a developer in attendance at Microsoft’s Tech.Ed New Zealand has relayed some interesting tidbits. Regarding the “Windows Marketplace for Mobile” — Microsoft’s version of the Apple App Store — Microsoft has confirmed the existence of a ‘kill switch’ for apps. In the event an approved app is later removed from the Marketplace, the app will also automatically be removed from users’ handsets. We’re not sure what this means for paid apps, though we doubt refunds will be issued automatically as well. Microsoft isn’t the only company with this policy of course, but it’s a bit unsettling all the same. The bottom line is that this could spell bad news for users and developers alike, though we highly doubt Microsoft will rule over the Marketplace with an iron fist to the extent that Apple does. Let’s just hope that if and when Redmond does start killing apps, there’s a good reason for it. Hit the jump for more interesting tidbits from Tech.Ed as reported by The Unofficial Tech Ed Blog.
Earlier this week, news broke about the new sharing policy for applications purchased on the upcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile. The source article cites a new policy which potentially allows a customer to install purchased apps on up to five phones; theoretically allowing the customer to share purchased applications with four friends and/or family members. According to Microsoft this is incorrect, and a spokesperson has contacted us with the company’s official statement:
So this policy, as it is meant to be interpreted, will allow a customer to install a purchased application on up to five phones that are owned by the purchaser. This five phone policy is meant to make application installation easier for an individual who switches phones frequently, demos more than one phone at a time, has lost his/her phone or has had his/her phone stolen. Application sharing however, is not permitted.
Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace for Mobile is reportedly instituting a very customer friendly application sharing policy. According to circulating reports, customers who purchase apps from the online storefront will be able to install those apps on up to five Windows Mobile devices at no additional cost. Most normal people, BGR readers aside, will not own five Windows Mobile 6.5 devices so customers will presumably be able to share purchased apps by authorizing the mobile phones of close family and friends. Daniel Bouie, senior product planner for Microsoft, says that the company “sees this as a permanent feature, and we’ve gotten great positive feedback from the vast majority of developers we’ve talked with about this.” Happy developers, happy customers — is it too good to be true?
Microsoft has officially opened the doors of its Windows Marketplace for Mobile to developers. Windows Mobile code monkeys with a Windows Live ID, valid taxpayer ID, bank account and $99 to spare can sign their life away up for a vendor account with Microsoft. Once approved, developers may begin submitting their Windows Mobile 6.5 applications for inclusion within the Marketplace. Similar to Apple’s App Store, each application will be reviewed and approved according to Microsoft’s application submission guidelines. With new Windows Mobile 6.5 handsets on the horizon and the Marketplace now open for applications, things in the world of Windows Mobile are starting to get interesting. Umm, right?