Hello there, my name is Frank Prengel, and I’m a technical evangelist at Microsoft Germany, helping the Windows phone and Marketplace teams establish Windows Marketplace for Mobile in my country. Since I work with the German developer & ISV community, let me share with you some thoughts from a local perspective – they may help you develop for Marketplace, especially if you live outside the US.
Let’s first remember that Windows Mobile has always had a very active developer community, and that it gives you freedom in how software is developed and distributed. There are more than 20,000 Windows Mobile applications today which you can get and install from Web sites, software portals, forums, etc. – provided you are a tech savvy person, and you know how to do it. With Windows Mobile 6.5 we have begun addressing non-tech savvy consumers as well. This is exactly why we introduced Windows Marketplace for Mobile as an easy way for people to find and install additional software on their new Windows phones.
If you are a developer, this means one thing for you: an additional great opportunity to potentially reach millions of new customers. Windows Marketplace launched with commerce in 20 markets as well as developer registration support in 29 markets, more than any other app store at launch. It offers credit card as well as mobile operator billing, and self-serve refunds of certified apps. It now supports Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 and even allows for browsing and purchasing apps from the PC, with over-the-air synchronization to the user’s Windows phone. If your goal is to expand your business or the reach of your software, you should take the opportunity to join. For more information on the recent Windows Marketplace updates, including availability on 6 and 6.1, accessibility to browse and purchase apps from the PC and antipiracy protection benefits for developers, check out Todd Brix’s blog post at the Windows Mobile Developer Blog, and Eric Nelson’s post at the Windows Phone Blog.
As with every retail marketplace, there is a bit of administrative work involved. Windows Marketplace for Mobile is a new service and a fresh approach that improves frequently with feedback from the developers and ISVs we work with. We are committed to continually improving the entire experience as we learn more about developer and customer needs and behavior. (If you find that Marketplace is not the right distribution channel for your business model, after all, you can of course use any other channel, such as those mentioned above, as they continue to be available. Windows Mobile means freedom of choice.)
If you are in the US, signing up and getting apps certified should be pretty straightforward by now. In other countries there may be additional steps related to the business and financial processes involved. There also is localization work to be done when you want to submit products to several markets, as the application needs to be localized in the proper language (including the screenshots and descriptions). If there are any questions during this process, your first support resource is the Windows Marketplace help page. You can also use the contact form in your Windows Marketplace portal, and ask for help or information. Then, we have a dedicated forum where team members try to answer your questions as quick as possible.
Beyond all that, in some countries there are additional dedicated resources that you should know – let me take Germany here as an example: We have a dedicated Windows phone blog with news and a contact form for questions, we have our local Windows Mobile Developer Center on MSDN, a Twitter channel, a comprehensive introductory document on Windows Mobile development, a webcast series – we even have an exciting local developer contest which complements the global one!
You see, there are a lot of great resources that should help you get started with Marketplace. Don’t miss this great opportunity to expand your mobile business. Good luck!
Thank you for sharing such a useful information
We think the Marketplace is a good chance for developers although there are still some strange things happening (e.g. no world-wide accessible market from everywhere. People in Norway can only see and buy products from the Norwegian Marketplace which somehow disadvantage Norwegians as they can't get English programs although they want to)
Unfortunately it took a very long time (over a month) we didn't get certified because of multiple problems. Gladly Frank Prengel found us and helped us. It still took some time until we finally get a certified Marketplace member and we still haven't finished the certification process of our applications yet, but it's very good to see that there is someone at Microsoft, someone from your country, who helps you and who shows that it is important to him that your problems are solved as early as possible.
Thank you for supporting the local developers! Hopefully the last bit doesn't take that long anymore :)
this is perfect for people with any smartphone right?