Private Beta testing applications through the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace

Microsoft has announced a new Windows Phone 7 developer centric feature this week during TechED: Private Beta distribution through Windows Phone Marketplace. This will enable developers to distribute their applications to beta testers prior to marketplace certification:

The public model enables developers to market and distribute applications to all phone users globally or based on a particular geography. In contrast the private model enables developers to use the same Marketplace service to distribute applications to a defined set of people that they select for beta-testing. Developers will identify their beta-testers and then upload their application to the developer portal. The Windows Phone application deployment system will then ensure that the application is available on the beta-tester’s phones via a “deep link” the tester will receive in email. We’ll be rolling this mechanism out as we finalize the developer portal this fall.

Source: Microsoft