Greetings from Amsterdam. I’m speaking at Microsoft’s TechEd Europe event this week and wanted to share some of what I’ve been telling audiences here about the new Windows Phone 8 Marketplace—including the list of new markets and new money-making opportunities that Windows Phone 8 makes possible.
Before digging in, let me add the same important caveat that everyone has been repeating all week: This is just the beginning of what we’ll be saying about Windows Phone 8 and the new store for apps and games in the weeks and months ahead. Stay tuned to our official blogs for the latest news.
As we announced last week, with Windows Phone 8 we’re dramatically expanding our footprint around the globe. Consumers will be able to browse and download apps in more than 180 countries at launch—roughly three times the 63 markets served today. Developers, meanwhile, will be able to submit apps to those same markets via App Hub, up from 38 markets.
What we haven’t shown yet is the exact list of those markets—and today I’m happy to share it (see below). Keep in mind that it’s still early, and there’s always the possibility a few names could change between now and Windows Phone 8’s official launch.
More ways to make money
Windows Phone 8 brings in-app purchase capability, providing an important new way to profit from your apps. In addition to what you earn from advertising or app sales, you can also now sell virtual goods and services within the app.
As I’m sure you know, this is an opportunity that’s really only limited by your creativity. In-app purchasing not only provides a supplemental revenue stream but helps extend the shelf life of the app—because you can keep adding new items to keep your customers interested.
App Hub will provide tools for managing in-app commerce. You can specify what you want to sell, choose prices and countries to make it available, and use App Hub reporting tools to generate detailed sales reports.
Another new revenue-generating opportunity comes from the new enterprise features in Windows Phone 8, which Joe Belfiore outlined in his recent post. Many companies, for example, are increasingly relying on employee-targeted apps for things like filing expense reports and booking travel.
In Windows Phone 8, we’ve built a new home for custom enterprise apps called the Company Hub, opening a new market for developers who specialize in building and licensing these line-of-business apps. IT departments, meanwhile, have options for deploying, managing, and revoking these apps. Another bonus: The Company Hub has the same clean Metro look and design, so businesses and their employees should find it as easy to use as the rest of the phone.
At TechEd I’m also reminding developers that we continue to invest in and improve options for distributing and marketing your apps. For example, in Windows Phone 8 apps can come pre-loaded on microSD cards. Carriers and device makers can also more easily feature your apps in their branded Marketplace storefronts, providing a new way to get them in front of customers.
Next generation platform
Finally, we’re putting the finishing touches on the next versions of Marketplace and App Hub, both of which have been totally rebuilt from the ground up to be more robust and scalable. You can look forward to faster certification and publishing times, better reporting options, and more—all of which I’ll have much more to say about in future posts.
One tidbit about them that I am disclosing at TechEd: Our new architecture makes it possible for us filter apps based on screen resolution and other key characteristics, helping you better target your audience, thus increasing customer satisfaction and lowering your support costs.
Before I go, I wanted to thank you for all your hard work, creativity, and support. We couldn’t have reached our first 100,000 app milestone this quickly without the incredible energy you’ve put behind this new platform.
I’m just one of many here who can’t wait to see what kinds of apps you create for Windows Phone 8 and beyond. I’ll be back in the next few weeks with more Windows Phone 8 news I think you’ll want to know about—so stay tuned.