Microsoft scraps Windows Phone Marketplace for rebranded app storefront

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is rebranding its mobile applications storefront in advance of its forthcoming Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system update, phasing out Windows Phone Marketplace in favor of Windows Phone Store.

Although Microsoft has not yet formally announced the change, The Verge identified several references to the Windows Phone Store brand in documentation related to Microsoft's new Windows Phone Dev Center online resource, which launched Tuesday.

"The new Windows Phone Dev Center has everything you need to create great apps and add them to the Windows Phone Store for the world to see, try and buy," reads one example. "You can start creating apps anytime. When you're ready to offer them in the Store, you'll need a subscription to the Dev Center where you can start the process of adding them to the Store catalog." A Microsoft spokesperson was unable to confirm or deny the rebranding.

Windows Phone Marketplace went live in late 2010 in tandem with the introduction of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and presently offers more than 80,000 apps to consumers in 63 countries. The store supplanted the legacy Windows Marketplace for Mobile, which offered applications optimized for Windows Mobile 6.x smartphones. Microsoft finally shuttered Windows Marketplace for Mobile in May 2012, although some Windows Mobile 6.x apps may still remain available from their developers or via third-party storefronts.

Windows Phone 8, expected this fall, touts multi-core chipsets to bolster smartphone performance and optimize battery life, a choice of three screen resolutions, integration of VoIP and video chat, a customizable start screen and Wallet Hub, which combines support for Near Field Communications-enabled m-commerce services including contactless payments, deals and loyalty cards in addition to in-app purchase mechanisms. Microsoft also will integrate remote access features from its forthcoming Office 13 productivity suite. The company has said that apps optimized for Windows Phone 8 will not be backwards compatible with previous Windows Phone editions.

For more:
- read this Verge article

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