It has been a long wait which has made Microsoft appear quite unresponsive, but they have now finally set about to fix the many issues which plague Marketplace for Windows Mobile.
Areas addressed are below:
World View: previously known as â€œgeo selectorâ€, the World View feature will allow Marketplace users to browse and purchase applications from different geographic catalogues. For example, a user in France could choose to browse the English US catalogue, or a user in Canada could browse the catalogue from Japan. All application prices will show up in the userâ€™s local currency and Microsoft will be in touch with registered independent software vendors (ISVs) in the weeks ahead to provide step-by-step instructions on how to re-price their apps for all markets.
Installation onto storage cards: a highly requested feature by end users, it will allow users to install applications downloaded from Marketplace onto storage card memory. This will solve a common pain point today where the main memory of the phone runs out after installing a few apps from Marketplace.
Free app submissions to additional markets: ISVs will no longer have to pay a $10 fee for submitting applications to additional markets. With this change Microsoft is simplifying its fee structure and providing more opportunities for ISVs to submit their applications to smaller markets. Once an application has been certified for a primary market ($99 submission fee applies) ISVs can submit for free that same application to other catalogues, as long as they meet the current Market Validation guidelines.
Improved ISV registration flow: The ISV registration flow in the developer portal will be simplified, with different registration paths optimized for the type of ISV (company, individual, student) and additional guidance for completing the application submission process will be provided.
Deep linking: Microsoft is releasing deep linking capabilities for ISVs to allow users to purchase their apps from Marketplace. On the web, ISVs will be able to construct a URL to link directly to the purchase page of their applications in the Marketplace Web site, and will have access to the â€œGet it Now for Windows phoneâ€ logo, which standardizes the way ISVs link to Marketplace. On the device, ISVs will be able to call Marketplace from within their applications and open the purchase page for a specific app, allowing them to offer additional titles or provide free users the option to purchase premium version of an application.
Expansion to Russia: users in Russia will be able to access and purchase apps via credit card from a local catalogue of applications, as well as purchase from other catalogues through the World View feature. ISVs from Russia will also be able to register with Marketplace and submit their creations to any supported Marketplace country.
Applications policy changes: Changes are being made to Microsoftâ€™s existing application acceptance policies to allow VoIP applications that use the carrier network unless explicitly prohibited by a mobile operator. Mobile Operators who sign a Marketplace deal with Microsoft will be able to dictate if they allow or prohibit the use of VoIP apps in their networks.
The improved marketplace is not yet available, at least in UK, but we cant wait for the update to roll out soon.