Step-by-Step Introduction of Windows® Marketplace for Mobile
As announced way back on February 16, 2009 the new Windows® Marketplace for Mobile was made available to the public today on October 6, 2009 in conjunction with the public availability of Windows® Phone (aka Windows Mobile 6.5).
Likewise the supported devices will be Windows Mobile 6.5 during the launch and later in 2009, Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1. On a Windows Mobile 6.5 device (or Device Emulator) I took these screen shots of the upgrade process (due to a down-level 6.5 release I assume) which went quickly and only a relative small download of 686Kb.
With the huge success of the Apple App Store on the iPhone platform and all the other mobile platforms having a similar avenue for the end-user to find, purchase and download software on the device itself. It was all too painful not to have a similar solution on the Windows Mobile platform so I welcome the solution!
Upgrade from the http://client.marketplace.windowsmobile.com/ placeholder website:
The version I received was 1.0.2201, and I believe the second update so far:
Purchase and account information is all driven through your Windows Live ID:
A total of 14 different built-in main categories make it easy to find a group of applications you might be interested in. Several sub-categories in most of the main categories as well:
Selecting an application gives you a nice drill down of application information, reviews, and screenshots. Very similar to the Apple App Store.. :-)
Application purchase is easy and provides options for various payment options, either through carrier or credit cards. A Windows Live ID is mandatory:
However, it appears that any purchasing is still unavailable and not ready for prime time.
Choosing “My applications” gives an overview of your apps, and an opportunity to review and rate an application:
An important thing to note is that there is currently no “smarts” behind the application if you already have the application previously installed on your device. Thus currently you can not “manage” your existing applications with the Marketplace for Mobile tool..
Installations are done in the background:
Several installations can be selected and queued up for installation at the same time. However prompts from each application installation may appear as they complete:
However there is no options to select the storage location for each application installation. So by default all installations are taken to the Device memory at this time.
Just like on other mobile platforms Microsoft is granting installation of the purchaser (via their Windows Live ID) on up to 5 devices.
On the developer side there has been some stir on the Anti-Piracy solution Microsoft has announced for developers using the Marketplace for Mobile. Please see the white paper here. It appears the Advanced protection level will be rolled out in December 2009.
So far I’ve been unable to find any corporate angles on the usage of Marketplace for Mobile. To block it completely using your Device Management system of choice the file executable name appears to be" “WMMarketplaceFullClient.exe” in the \Windows directory. There also appears to be a “WMMarketplaceUpdater.exe” that you also might want to block if necessary.
There is also a ClientLog file in the \Windows\Marketplace directory that may be useful in some cases..
I do have some ideas on how the Marketplace for Mobile application could perhaps be made more useful for corporate usage on Windows Mobile devices:
- Extend Marketplace with a Corporate selection of applications through an .XML file with perhaps pointers to intranet locations of .CAB files. These could be licensed or public links to recommended applications..
- Limit Marketplace to only a Corporate selection as mentioned above.
- Extend functionality, so business applications could be pre-installed and managed with Marketplace ready for end-user usage and updating. Ie. SalesForce.com etc.
Of course I’m not sure how this all would tie into the new Anti-Piracy processes Microsoft has envisioned, but creativity shouldn’t hold us back right? :-)
Developer Information and Marketplace signup: