MarketPlace – we talk to Panoramic Software

The Windows Mobile Marketplace has been developing only slowly over the last few months, with much controversy engendered during the same period. Issues have included limited selection in many markets, poor anti-piracy features and high prices.

We have decided to ask a developer prominent in the market how their experience has been of this new application sales channel.  Panoramic software with their moTweets and many other applications has seemed almost unavoidable in Marketplace, with their software showing up in many categories and even in the featured software bar.

Below is the questions and answers we kindly received from Patrick Abadi, head of Panoramic Software.

1) How many applications do you have in marketplace.We currently have 15 different products on the Marketplace spanning 126 different markets with more on the way.

2) How have your sales been comparing marketplace to your other channels.The Marketplace has become a reliable sales channel and has allowed us to reach customers that are not comfortable purchasing software through their PC.  It is too soon to draw any comparisons between the marketplace and other sales channels.

3) Your application MoTweets has been a featured application for some time now.  Has this boosted sales, and have you needed to do anything special to achieve this status?

We feel that being in the showcase has improved sales for our featured products. Microsoft selects the applications to be featured and we’re honoured to have been selected but had no direct part in the selection process.

4) How large, in terms of devices, so you believe marketplace is at present?

Unfortunately we have no way of making any sort of reasonable estimate.

5) Do you have any specific concerns regarding piracy and marketplace?

We have our own copy protection methods that work across all sales channels so piracy is not a primary concern for us.

6) Are you happy with Marketplace as it is, or is there any specific issues you wish Microsoft would address.

Obviously with something as complex as the Marketplace there will be issues that need to be addressed and changes made. We feel Microsoft has done a good job addressing these issues so far based on the changes we’ve seen to date.

7) Do you have any advice to other developers considering developing for Marketplace.

Take the time to read the submission guidelines and thoroughly test your applications to ensure you pass testing the first time.

 If there is any conclusions we can draw from Patrick’s response is that Marketplace is still pretty young.  The developer fees that many have complained about does not seem to have deterred Panoramic Software from getting their inventory in the marketplace, and also to make their applications available in many territories, and also of note is that Panoramic Software seems to have managed to include anti-piracy features beyond what Microsoft puts in place, something we had not known was possible.

In general however Panoramic appears to be happy, if not ecstatic, which will hopefully encourage other developers to jump in also.

Thank you to Panoramic for participating in our survey. You can see Panoramic Software’s catalogue here, and of course find them in Marketplace.

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