Microsoft shutting down Windows Marketplace for Mobile on May 9
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will shut down its legacy Windows Marketplace for Mobile application storefront on May 9, throwing all of its weight behind the newer Windows Phone Marketplace, which serves devices running the current Windows Phone mobile operating system.
In an email sent to users, Microsoft states that beginning May 9, consumers will no longer be able to browse, purchase or download applications from Windows Marketplace for Mobile. "Applications and games acquired from the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace service installed on your Windows Mobile 6.x phone will continue to work after the service is discontinued on May 9, 2012," the email states. "However, additional downloads of these applications and games from the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace will no longer be available." Microsoft urges consumers to review all apps installed on their smartphone and download any available updates in advance of the May 9 cutoff.
Microsoft adds 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 unveiled its Windows Phone operating system at a February 2010 launch event, essentially dooming the Windows Mobile platform to second-class status in the process. Last May, Microsoft notified developers that they could no longer submit new Windows Mobile 6.x applications or update existing apps as of July 15, 2011, although consumers could still download and purchase software from Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Microsoft's App Hub continued to supply sales and download reports, and the company also continued processing payouts.
Both Windows Phone and Windows Mobile have struggled to gain transaction in a smartphone marketplace dominated by Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS. The Windows platform's U.S. smartphone market share slipped to 4.4 percent in January 2012, down from 5.4 percent in October 2011, according to digital research firm comScore--Android devices make up 48.6 percent of the U.S. market, up 2.3 percentage points since October, followed by iOS at 29.5 percent, up 1.4 percentage points.
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