Microsoft shutters legacy Windows Marketplace for Mobile
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is discontinuing its legacy Windows Marketplace for Mobile today, meaning consumers will no longer be able to browse, purchase or download applications optimized for Windows Mobile 6.x smartphones. Apps and games already installed on Windows Mobile 6.x devices will continue to work.
Microsoft first indicated plans to shut down Windows Marketplace for Mobile in March, throwing its weight behind the newer Windows Phone Marketplace storefront, which serves devices running the current Windows Phone mobile operating system. Microsoft initially planned to halt support for Windows Marketplace for Mobile on May 9 but extended the deadline to give consumers more time to review all apps and install any software updates.
Microsoft previously announced that all phone data--including apps acquired via Windows Marketplace for Mobile and user-specific settings--will be deleted from the user's Windows Mobile 6.x device in the event the phone is wiped or "hard reset." Any data on a removable storage card, if present, also will be deleted if the phone is wiped or hard reset. Some Windows Mobile 6.x apps may still remain available from their developers or via third-party storefronts.
Microsoft is further streamlining its mobile ecosystem by requiring all consumers wishing to install and update apps from Windows Phone Marketplace to first upgrade their smartphones to run the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system. Users running previous versions of Windows Phone can still browse the storefront, but attempts to download or update an app will result in an error message.
"Why are we doing this? Marketplace is growing fast," Microsoft Director of Program Management Mazhar Mohammed wrote last month on the Windows Phone Blog. "It now has over 80,000 apps overall and is available in 54 (soon to be 63) countries around the world. Requiring Windows Phone 7.5 is part of a larger effort aimed at improving Marketplace performance and security and paving the way for even faster growth and more new features."
Windows Phone devices are expected to generate just 2 percent of all app installs in 2012 according to an ABI Research forecast issued last month. ABI anticipates consumers will download close to 36 billion apps this year, with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android combining to drive 83 percent of all downloads.
- read this Engadget article
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