Skymarket – Windows Mobile app store coming “this fall”

Long Zheng from the istartedsomething blog has been reading the tea leaves (or rather the Microsoft’s job postings) and have uncovered a plan to launch a Windows Mobile application store seemingly modeled after the Apply Appstore, with Microsoft acting as an aggregator and middle man, collecting fees from consumers and disbursing it to developers. The app store is meant for Windows Mobile 7, and the software is now very close to launch.

The two relevant job postings are:

Job Title: Senior Product ManagerSkymarket
This is a unique opportunity and time of rapid change in the mobile industry for a Senior Product Manager in the Mobile Communications Services team to drive the launch of a v1 marketplace service for Windows Mobile.

Key Responsibilities include the following:

  • Definition of the product offering, pricing, business model and policies that will make the Windows Mobile marketplace “the place to be” for developers wishing to distribute and monetize their Windows Mobile applications
  • Responsibility for the business model and key elements that will drive the optimal experience for developers and monetization of the service by Microsoft
  • Preparation and driving the cross group collaboration for the initial launch of the marketplace offering to the developer community this fall
  • Preparation and driving the cross group collaboration with stakeholders in the commercial launch of the marketplace service with the launch of WM 7
  • Define and mange the consumer, developer and mobile operator value proposition and supporting materials for use by PR, MCB’s developer outreach organization, and other teams across Microsoft
  • Working with multiple stakeholders (product team, product planning, developer outreach, business operations, legal and more) in definition on the process, policies and terms of use through which developers and consumers take part in the marketplace
  • Work closely with product planning on prioritization of consumer, developer, and mobile operator scenarios
  • Support business development on engagements with mobile operators and integration of the marketplace offering into broader Microsoft services offerings or discussions
  • Work closely with the Mobile Communication Business developer outreach organization
  • Management of KPI’s for the service post launch

Product Manager – Commercial Integration

This is a unique opportunity for a Product Manager in the Mobile Communications Services team to drive the commercial operations and infrastructure integration for the v1 launch of an applications marketplace service for Windows Mobile 7.

Key Responsibilities include the following:

  • Drive the commercial operations and infrastructure integration that will enable the Skymarket service and enable revenue collection from consumers of the service and payments to 3rd party developers selling applications/content through the marketplace
  • Drive the cross group collaboration for the commercial operations and infrastructure that enable initial launch of the marketplace with the launch of WM 7
  • Benchmarking 3rd party mobile marketplaces for commercial integration options for consumers and developers, generating a set of best practices as input for the app market planner
  • Working closely with product teams and potentially 3rd parties on mobile operator commercial integration
  • Define the processes and KPI’s for measurement of the performance of the business
  • Define processes for the on-going operation of the business including unds collection, payment, reporting requirements
  • Oversight of 3rd party developer payments, tax issues, and funds management
  • Work closely with product planning on prioritization of consumer, developer, mobile operator integration, and internal commerce integration scenarios
  • Preparation and driving the cross group collaboration for the commercial operations and infrastructure that enable initial launch of the marketplace with the launch of WM 7
  • Working with multiple stakeholders (product team, product planning, developer outreach, legal and more) in definition on the process, policies and terms of use through which developers and consumers take part in the marketplace
  • Support business development on engagements with mobile operators and integration of the marketplace offering into broader Microsoft services offerings or discussions

Read more on Istartedsomething.com for a lively discussion of this latest development, including the little titbit that Sidekick has an app store years before the iPhone was even imagined, and of course MS now owns Danger.

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