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Do you remember one of the facts about the Windows Marketplace for Mobile:  “Windows Marketplace will open for application submissions from 29 supported countries July 27th.” ?

Recently two articles about Windows Marketplace for Mobile are published on this website: “Windows Marketplace for Mobile coming to Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.0” and “Windows Marketplace for Mobile – Payments and Operators” each with its own focus. The start of accepting submissions from developers and the related developer contest for Windows Marketplace for Mobile are the focus of this article.

Windows Marketplace for Mobile open for application submissions

Todd Brix -Senior Director for Mobile Platform Services Product Management at Microsoft- describes it a little different in an article on the Windows Mobile blog:

“Today represents another significant milestone for Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and more importantly, the first big opportunity for developers.”

In the thoughts and conclusion section I will come back on the point if it really is such a big opportunity, if related to the investments to conduct before the start. Todd Brix -Senior Director for Mobile Platform Services Product Management at Microsoft- impressed me with a summary of Windows Marketplace for Mobile concept:

“Our strategy for all of this is pretty straightforward; we want to create a global marketplace for Windows Phones where developers and users meet to sell and buy high quality and high value applications that make work easier and life more fulfilling. We’re creating a clear process and new opportunity for developers and ISVs to make money from their investment in innovation.”

The whole process of submitting and aproving as well as the technical details around developing an application for Windows Marketplace for Mobile can be found in references of the original article of Todd Brix on the Windows Mobile blog.


The Race to Market Challenge developer contest

In order to kick off the development and submissions for Windows Marketplace for Mobile Microsoft has organized a developer contest:

The Race to Market Challenge will reward the developer whose paid application earns the most revenue within the contest period and the developer whose free application is downloaded the most within the contest period.”

But in this developer contest Microsoft is offering some very very awesome cool prizes, namely 4 Microsoft Surface tables (developer edition).

The Microsoft Surface is a 30-inch tabletop multi-touch display that uses a camera-based vision system to interact with objects placed on its screen and let users grab and move digital content with simple hand gestures and touches. The Surface developer kit includes the Microsoft Surface SDK SP1, Windows Vista Business (SP1), and all other software required to develop and test Microsoft Surface applications.”

 The developer contest “The Race to Market Challenge” runs from launch (which is today) to the end of this year December 31st, 2009.


Thoughts and conclusions

At first let me start with concluding that Microsoft is working hard to get the developers back to work with the Windows Mobile platform, since we saw leading Windows Mobile developers adapting multiple platform strategies in the recent history.

Therefore I truely hope that the Windows Marketplace for Mobile brings back the development fun, and that the implementation of both the strategy & concept are according the the description in the article of Todd Brix quoted above.

However I would like to comeback on the point of “first big opportunity for developers”. Close friend and colleague Paul Willen concluded in the article: “Windows Mobile 6.5 Development – What about Developers?” 

“[…] I think its sad to see that a very good developer has to do a great investment before his application can actually become a product in the Marketplace .That’s why I hope Microsoft will re-consider the choice and gives something to starting developers. Something that will make it easier and cheaper to start developing.”

HonestlyI totally agree with him, that the development tools should becom cheaper in order to have no, or a very low threshold to start developing for Windows Mobile. The (almost) free development tools are partly the main drivers for succes, if you look for example to the Android Market.

In order to get young and talented developers onboard of this platform, the development tools are probably more important than the Microsoft Surface tables of the contest, and offer a long term and sustainable solution.

Overall the roll-out and information flow about Windows Marketplace for Mobile are good, and the taken steps certainly make sense to me. I’m looking forward to see the Windows Marketplace for Mobile go live, and test the concept with a Windows Phone.


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