Windows Phone Marketplace opens in Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and the Philippines

The Windows Phone Marketplace ongoing expansion has just hit a new milestone today with the service’s availability in five new countries: Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and the Philippines. The Marketplace now reaches 41 countries worldwide and should hit 42 pretty soon once it opens in China (where dev can already submit their applications for certification). It should also be noted that application submitted to the Indonesia, Malaysia and China marketplace will be subject of additional requirements (censorship?) due to local laws, regulations, or norms.

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Flickr for Windows Phone updated for Mango with new features

The official Flickr application just received a major update containing lots of new features specifically implemented for Mango. Loading performance is now also vastly improved so it’s a win-win situation. Here’s the new features  list:

- Take high-quality photos directly from the in-app camera.
- Share the story behind your photo with titles, descriptions, comments and tags.
- Share photos only with the people you want with easy privacy settings.
- Full screen browsing and slideshows for your photos, your contacts’ photos or any of the public photos from the global Flickr community.
- See the most interesting Flickr photos, galleries and photos around you with our Explore module.
- Pin additional Live Tiles to your Start screen for quick access to the in-app camera, contacts’ activity, and your photostream.

You can download it directly from here.

Microsoft desperately fights Windows Phone Marketplace spam with no effect

Back in June Microsoft decided to limit bulk application publishing to 20 per day for a single developer account to fight the gigantic amount of crappy spammy applications polluting the Windows Phone Marketplace. As I said back then:

I personally think that 20 apps a day is still way too much. I can’t see a legitimate developer publishing 20 quality application in a single day…

Well things didn’t really go well so Microsoft is now announcing that bulk-publishing is going to be limited to 10 apps per day. But I’m going to repeat myself here and say that 10 apps a day is still way too much. I can’t see a legitimate developer publishing 21 quality application in a single day…. Spammers and scammers now have multiple developers accounts and are finding new ways to workaround this silly limitation. Here’s what should be done: 1 app per week.

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Web-based Windows Phone Marketplace launched

Microsoft has finally launched the web-based version of the Windows Phone Marketplace earlier today. This isn’t something really new for Microsoft given that Windows Mobile 6.5 already had a similar web-based marketplace back in 2009 (Android has a similar one too). Once a user is signed in he will be able to browse the entire application catalog and purchase/try applications directly from there.

The download process is done in two ways:

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The Marketplace has less unique applications than you thought

courtesy of J.Angel

Still wondering why I don’t bother posting about the total number of applications every time the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace reaches a certain milestone ? Well here’s a fairly good reason. Justin Angel actually took the time to download every application currently published on the Windows Phone Marketplace and came up with some really interesting statistics numbers. The best one is the following: 18 549. That’s the number of unique applications currently available for purchase/download (at the time he did his research) . This essentially means that out of 24 505 apps he downloaded, 6881 apps were clones.

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Windows Phone 7 application compatibility warning in the Marketplace: first sign of hardware “fragmentation”

I may be late on this one (I never saw it before) but I just noticed that the marketplace has a new Application Compatibility Warning prompt which alerts the user if the application isn’t compatible with his device or uses hardware capabilities that are not present on the handsets. As you can see in the picture above and below the official Foursquare application apparently requires a camera which my Samsung Omnia 7 obviously doesn’t have !? …. No worries though as I’m running the Mango Beta 2 so these kinds of small bugs are expected.

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New Android Market application: Hands on video and comparison with the Windows Phone 7 Mango marketplace

Google has launched the newest version of the Android Marketplace application yesterday which is going to be rolled out to all Android 2.2 + phones in the coming weeks. If you can’t wait that long the you hit this link and grab the APK that you will then manually install on you device. As you will see the UI has be heavily revamped compared to the previous version but contrary to what some people are saying I don’t find it really Metro inspired beside the main screen which looks closer to the Mosaic By Tribune app more than anything else. (see picture after the break).

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Microsoft details new languages and local services support in Windows Phone 7 Mango

Microsoft’s Windows Phone team has just detailed the new languages support coming this fall in Mango. As you probably already know, Mango will support 17 new languages in addition to the 6 already supported since launch (not 16 like originally announced): Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish. The Zune software will also support the set of languages.

Not all the languages listed above will be available on handsets as this is depended on the carrier and phone manufacturer (the more languages the bigger the rom will be..). Mango will also include four new fonts: Simplified Chinese (DengXian), Traditional Chinese (Microsoft MHei), Japanese (Yu Gothic), Korean (Microsoft NeoGothic).

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Microsoft My Phone backup service to be discounted in October 2011


You all must have already gotten the email but if you didn’t here’s what Microsoft just announced:

On August 7, 2011, the My Phone service will stop saving content from phones to the My Phone service. If you rely on the My Phone service to back-up the content on your Windows Mobile 6.x phone, you will be affected.

Starting August 7 2011 all the My Phone content will be transferred to the user’s Skydrive and will be only accessible via the Skydrive web site. Finally on October 6 2011 the http://www.microsoft.com/myphone website will be shot down and users will no longer be able to log into the My Phone service and restore their saved content on their Windows Mobile 6.X device but Microsoft will still continue to store content until October 5 2012 (the company will ship physical copies of the content if requested by the user).

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Microsoft to give away Mango devices to developers and early ROMs ? [UPDATED]

Microsoft has clarified the situation around the “early Mango access for developers” thing that Joe Belfiore announced on Twitter a few days ago. Un-surprisingly the company isn’t going to push out Mango early to registered developers but will instead hand out development devices with Mango pre-installed to a select number of developers similar to what the company did last year prior to the launch of Windows Phone 7. This may be disappointing to some but it’s clearly the way to go to prevent people from registering to the dev program in masses just to get early access to the update (tech support would have been a mess too).

To update Joe’s tweet: We’re working on a plan. Just like last year, when we made developer phones available with the Windows Phone 7 OS, we plan to have developer phones this summer supporting new Mango features like the gyroscope. We don’t have any dates to share just yet, so stay tuned.

The developer handset will most probably be the HTC Mazaa that has been used in all Windows Phone 7 Mango demos so far.

UPDATE: Scratch all that. Apparently Microsoft’s Cliff Simpkins confirmed  that registered developers will get access to Mango via an update if things go as planned:

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Microsoft limits bulk application publishing to limit spam in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace


As you may have already noticed the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is filled with spam applications that really render the whole thing ridiculous especially for legitimate developers who publish useful application that are unfortunately barely visible to the end user because of some idiots who are in it to make a quick buck. Microsoft is also to blame here because nothing has been done since the launch of the platform (see here , here, here and most recently here) and is always happy to quote the number of apps in the marketplace when it suits their needs even though most of them are either useless or spammy.

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Marketplace on the Web

Something I didn’t talk about in my Windows Phone 7 Mango preview yesterday was the announcement of the Web version of Marketplace that will launch with the new OS later this fall. This will essentially enable users to purchase, reviews browse application directly from their web browser instead of using the Zune desktop software. When an application is bought (or a free/trial) and an sms or email containing a link will be sent to the phone allowing the user to install it over the air [Update: Microsoft is now saying that there will be no link sent and that the installation will happen automatically] if the services is running on the phone. Nothing groundbreaking obviously but it’s a step in the right direction.

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USA Today talks about the development of their Windows Phone 7 application

The developers behind the superb USA Today have just shared their experience creating their first Windows Phone 7 application. Interestingly the app was developed in house by USA Today unlike most of the big names applications which are usually developed by contracted development houses.

My group is particularly proud of this launch because the app was conceived, designed and developed entirely in-house. The designers and developers on this project spent a lot of time trying to get our app to feel just right with the unique but compelling Windows Phone “Metro” interface. We think we got there and, in the process, became quite enamored with the platform. Who knows, there may be more apps coming soon on this platform ;-) .

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USA Today application for Windows Phone 7 released: hands on video

The official USA Today app for Windows Phone 7 has just been released for free in the Marketplace. Contrary to some other official news paper applications like AP Mobile… or the recently released LeMonde.fr, this one doesn’t seem to be riddled with bugs. Navigation is fast and relatively snappy and I didn’t experience any crashing issue so far. Scrolling is also extremely smooth in listboxes and when reading news stories (yes this is possible even without Mango… just need to code it right). Once in a while a nicely coded app pops up on Windows Phone 7 and this week USA Today is the one. Check out my video tour after the break:

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Microsoft confirms Windows Phone 7 Marketplace downtime caused by scheduled maintenance

Microsoft has just confirmed what I had been told yesterday. Yesterday’s hours long Windows Phone 7 Marketplace downtime was a result of a scheduled maintenance operation performed earlier in the night:

We regret any inconvenience this disruption caused the impacted customers and our developer community. The problem was the result of scheduled maintenance being performed on Microsoft’s infrastructure during the night. The root cause of this issue has been identified and steps are being taken to help prevent future disruptions to the Marketplace service.”

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Windows Phone 7 Makertplace issue: Service maintenance or technical problem?

You are probably well aware that the Windows Phone 7 marketplace is experience some difficulties today. Users can’t purchase or simply download content from the applications store (paid apps, Free apps, trials, updates etc..) and the Zune Pass service was also apparently down too. I first un-officially heard that a maintenance / update was taking place (another user phoned MS and got the same answer).

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New Beta and Private applications distribution options coming to Windows Phone 7 Mango Marketplace

Microsoft has just announced during the “Making Money with your Application on Windows Phone” MIX11 session (which is currently still underway) that 2 new methods of distributions are going to see the light of the day alongside Mango later this year. As you can see in the slide above developers will be able to submit applications as part of a Beta program (this was announced last year…), privately or publicly which is the only option right now.

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Full House Poker for Windows Phone 7 released

This weeks Windows Phone 7 Xbox Live game is Full House Poker and it has just been released on the marketplace for $2.99. I’m not a poker player so I can’t tell you if the game is any good but from what I’m seeing it’s your basic Texas Hold’m game and there’s unfortunately no multi-player feature at all (hopefully this would be enabled once the platform supports it). The only cross-platform functionality is that your Chips, XP, Levels , rewards are shared across the Xbox360 and Windows Phone 7 versions of the game.

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How is Nokia’s Ovi Store going to be integrated into the Microsoft Marketplace?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself ever since the Microsoft & Nokia partnership was announced. The press release stated that “Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.” I quickly assumed that this would simply mean that Nokia will have its own section the Windows Phone Marketplace similar to other OEMs and that the Ovi Store which contains Symbian applications will be slowly fazed out in the coming years once Nokia finally ships only Windows Phone based smartphones.
Sounds logical, right? Why would the current Ovi Store be integrated into the Microsoft Marketplace given that it’s only filled with content and applications that are not compatible with Microsoft’s products? Well, I tried to dig around and came across ad Microsoft Job ad that mentions the following:

The Commerce Services development team in Windows Phone Services will develop the service software to power the shared application marketplace for Nokia and Microsoft alliance. You will explore, prototype and design the integration between two marketplaces. Your job will entail creating a consistent set of APIs, workflow systems, and data systems. You will partner with end-user experience teams to deliver seamless developer and end-user experience. You will get exposure to worldwide developer demands hungry to create 1000s of applications for the application marketplaces. Take this job and make history with your awesome contributions.

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