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Microsoft Poised to Launch App Store Rival Skymarket

  • Posted: Monday, September 08, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Microsoft, Skymarket

By Jason Ankeny

Following in the tradition of Apple's App Store and Google's forthcoming Android Market, Microsoft is poised to introduce Skymarket, a centralized virtual marketplace enabling consumers to find, purchase and download applications and content optimized for devices based on the software goliath's Windows Mobile Operating system.

An online job advertisement first spotted by blogger Long Zheng suggests Microsoft will introduce Skymarket in conjunction with the debut of the Windows Mobile 7 OS. The ad, which calls for a Skymarket senior product manager, reads "This is a unique opportunity and time of rapid change in the mobile industry for a Senior Product Manager in the Mobile Communications Services team to drive the launch of a v1 marketplace service for Windows Mobile," and lists responsibilities including "Definition of the product offering, pricing, business model and policies that will make the Windows Mobile marketplace ‘the place to be' for developers wishing to distribute and monetize their Windows Mobile applications" as well as "Support business development on engagements with mobile operators and integration of the marketplace offering into broader Microsoft services offerings or discussions."

In addition, the successful candidate will take charge of "preparation and driving the cross group collaboration for the initial launch of the marketplace offering to the developer community this fall."

While third-party development of Windows Mobile applications is nothing new--there are more than 18,000 WinMo apps at last count, compared to roughly 2,000 created for the iPhone platform--the notion of a centralized Microsoft mobile app repository is a different story. The nearest antecedent to Skymarket is Microsoft's Windows Mobile Catalog website, which connects users to application vendors like Handango, Pocketland and MobiHand; otherwise, WinMo apps retailers are scattered across the web. [FierceWireless]

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