It has been known for some time that hardly any innovation goes into the technology world these days. While many will debate as to whether this is true or not, a quick look at some of the biggest tech crazes of our time will show that the idea has been around for longer then we think. Its more of the reinvention of the wheel that is currently taking place
Such is the case with the mobile smartphone application market. While it may seem odd to some, Apple wasn’t the first in the mobile app marketplace niche. The credit for this idea actually goes to Helio and their original Ocean. But where the Ocean lacked Apple built on and was able to claim the spot as the most successful smartphone application marketplace to date. This of course has led to many others copying their pattern in one form or another and while all the major players in the smartphone market have released their forms of application markets, albeit some are still beta, Microsoft is still left out of that bunch.
Recently, mobiFrance sat down with Audrey Zolghadr, Windows Mobile Product Manager for Microsoft’s French headquarters. While the interview went over quite a few things many of us already knew about Microsoft’s intentions to dominate the mobile marketplace once again, it did shed some light on a few factors that could really help Microsoft in their quest for this dominance.
Although the iPhone has passed Windows Mobile in recent months, (quarterly sales), Microsoft still remains in the top three in overall market share in the smartphone industry. As Audrey Zolghadr pointed out, Windows Mobile has over 20,000 apps currently available for the Windows Mobile OS. That said, Apple confirmed back in February of this year that after 7 months in the mobile application market it has over 20,000 apps available in the iTunes App Store. You might also remember that they recently crossed the 1 billion app download mark.
So how does that fit in with Windows Marketplace? Well for one, when the App Store launched back on July 11th 2008 it only had 500 apps that were approved. Audrey Zolghadr has confirmed that 600 will be available when Microsoft launches Windows Marketplace. It should be noted though that not all apps will appear to every Windows Mobile user. The apps shown on the marketplace will depend on certain things such as screen resolution etc.
But still Microsoft has an advantage here as they have more Windows Mobile phones circulating then Apple has iPhone’s. Since this is coming to an already established platform it shouldn’t be a surprise why analysts are expecting some pretty impressive numbers, and if the recent news about the Palm webOS App Catalog has taught us anything lately, people are app crazy no matter what is out there.
Given the new invigoration pumped into the Windows Mobile platform by partners such as HTC, Sony and more recently Samsung it is going to be interesting to see how this translates to the Marketplace success. Audrey Zolghadr acknowledges that themes, backgrounds etc. will be available for download VIA the Marketplace, so users will be able to change and customize the OS UI on the fly.
Zolghadr has also stated that the Windows Marketplace will be coming sometime this fall. She points out that Windows Mobile has been changed to Windows Phone and reflects the integration of all the different mobile services including MyPhone, Live (Messenger, Spaces, Hotmail etc) and of course Marketplace.
While I am yet to call this a success on the part of Redmond, it is going to be interesting to see what happens come this fall and next year as Windows Mobile (er… Windows Phone 7.0) is released in the coming year.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.