Marketplace for Windows Mobile will allow app sharing

Share When we interviewed Microsoft’s Loke Uei Tan two weeks ago we asked specifically about application sharing between multiple smartphones, and at the time the answer we received mentioned applications being locked in some way to the hardware, a rather unsatisfactory feature for the user, as it may mean you have to buy the same app for each smartphone you own.

It seems a lot can change in a week, as Daniel Bouie, a senior product planner for Microsoft, has now said at TechEd that Marketplace apps will be allowed to be shared by up to 5 different smartphones, authorized by the users Live ID. A Computerworld article implied the multiple Live ID authorizations can co-exists at the same time on a device, allowing you for example to give an application to your wife and you daughter without de-authorizing their own apps.

Analyst Jack Gold mentions this could turn off developers, who would like to sell as many apps as possible.

"Developers want to sell as many apps as possible. They don’t want you to run a single app you bought on multiple devices," Gold said.

Bouie however said  "It will be very hard for the casual, semi-casual or semi-pro user to pirate apps,"

He disagreed that app sharing will anger the developers Microsoft needs to woo.

"We feel comfortable that using our LiveID system to help connect products to five devices is a great balance of the needs of both developers and end users," Bouie wrote in a follow-up e-mail. "We see this as a permanent feature, and we’ve gotten great positive feedback from the vast majority of developers we’ve talked with about this."

Some good news for developers is that Microsoft will allow Marketplace apps to be sold via other stores, and that Microsoft is working on letting developers sell subscriptions to apps, though it won’t be ready by the Marketplace’s launch.

"I can’t commit to a date, but it will be one of the first things we do" after launch, Bouie said.

The Marketplace is set to launch in 29 countries soon.

Read the full article at Computerworld here.