Get Ready for 60% More Potential Customers

Get Ready for 60% More Potential Customers

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As Terry outlined in his post, today we’re announcing support for a new series of lower cost devices like the affordable Nokia Lumia 610. These phones will open the door to new price points and customer segments in several high growth markets. We’re proud of the great experience consumers (and devs) are having with Windows Phone. This spring we’re going to bring that experience to a lot more people!

Growing the Developer Opportunity

We recently enabled Windows Phone Marketplace in Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and the Philippines. Today we’re announcing that in the coming month we plan to extend Marketplace to customers in 23 more markets, including; Bahrain, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam.

That’s 28 new consumer markets this year alone, for a total of 63 markets worldwide where your Windows Phone apps may be sold. In terms of actual potential app customers, the addition of new price points and customers in China and the other new markets represents a near 60% increase in the total addressable market for Windows Phone. I told you it was a big step!

Deliberate Growth: Preserving the Customer Experience

We’ve tried to be very methodical in how we grow Windows Phone and Marketplace. You’ve seen new devices from Acer, HTC, LG, Nokia, Samsung, Toshiba and ZTE in major markets around the world in recent months. We continue to evolve the developer experience as well. We regularly add new developer markets and improve the App Hub experience to make the submission process a little easier. As a result, we’ve seen an amazing 300% increase in the number of new apps published every day (thank you!).

The additional new devices and markets will likely generate another wave of developer interest. While we don’t yet offer full App Hub developer support in every new market, local developers are still able to build and publish their apps to Marketplace through our Global Publisher Program. These Global Publishers are third-party companies that work with developers as intermediaries in regions where App Hub is not yet available.

Bringing Windows Phone to these new markets and price points isn’t something we’ve taken lightly. We’ve been very deliberate in understanding local requirements, behavior and of course the ramifications of introducing lower cost phones to the ecosystem. For example we recently amended our Marketplace policies to reflect unique local legal requirements in China, Indonesia and Malaysia. We looked at local customer behavior too. We recognized that customers in China consume apps a little differently from other countries. These consumers are highly sensitive to the costs of downloading content and simply expect their phones to come with a lot of apps. So, we’re working with local partners to provide up to six times as many preloaded apps.

We also did significant engineering optimization work on the OS to deliver a great customer experience on lower cost phones. This work will be largely invisible to you. For instance we improved our paging support to enable apps to automatically take advantage of more memory than is physically on the device. Our approach is balanced to provide the greatest amount of application compatibility with the least possible overall performance impact. As a result, we’ve been able to reduce our minimum memory and processor requirements to accommodate 7x27 processors and 256 MB of memory while still enabling nearly all 65,000 published apps to run on these new phones.

Windows Phone SDK Update & Preview

To help you test and fine-tune your applications for these new devices, we’re providing an update to the Windows Phone SDK. Today we’re releasing a technical preview of the 7.1.1 SDK Update that gives you access to the 256MB emulator to let you determine how your apps install and run on lower memory devices. This preview does not include a “go live” license so you can’t publish apps created with it. A final version of the SDK, complete with the go-live license, will be available next month.

In addition to the engineering work we’ve done in the OS to optimize for lower cost devices and the release of a new SDK with emulator, we have identified a small number (around 5%) of current applications that will not run properly on the new lower cost devices. We’re contacting the developers of these apps directly to advise them of steps they can take to make their app compatible with lower cost phones. In most cases the guidance is simply to use less memory.

Ultimately, whether your app should be available to these phones or not is your call. We’ve enabled you to update the app manifest file in order to state whether your app does or does not work on lower memory devices. We’ll honor whatever value you choose. If you say no, your app will not be installable on these phones. Those we’ve automatically opted out already have this value set appropriately. If you disagree with us or alter your app to perform adequately on these devices, you can change the value in your application’s manifest file and resubmit your app. Details on this process will be available on App Hub.

You may wonder how we identified the apps that were opted out. First, we reviewed anonymous data provided by actual users who opted-in to the feedback mechanism on their phones. These data told us (anonymously!) how much memory each app consumes in real-world use. If we found that in more than 3% of cases an app uses more memory than we provide with the new paging mechanism, we opted it out automatically and began the process of engaging the developer directly. We combined this programmatic approach with a comprehensive, hands-on assessment of the most popular applications in Marketplace and tuned our paging algorithm to balance high app-compatibility with enabling the largest number of most-popular apps.

Your Next Steps

We’re happy to be bringing the Windows Phone design and experience to so many more people around the world. To take advantage of today’s news, just:

  1. Check out the 7.1.1 SDK Update preview and make sure your app performs just the way you want it to in low memory, and
  2. Remember that it’s up to you to select new markets as they come on line through your App Hub account at http://create.msdn.com so that new customers see and install your app. It doesn’t happen automatically.  Don’t miss out on these potential customers!

Joe Belfiore

VP, Windows Phone Product Management

48 Comments
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  • Any news on when the new markets will be available?

  • gmm
    1 Posts

    >> As a result, we’ve seen an amazing 300% increase in the number of new apps published every day (thank you!).

    As a result, it's taken exactly 2 weeks to publish an App (in my case publish then edit to change a few words in the live description text). So, slow down on opening the new markets need be (to zero) until you can get the support infrastructure in place to not hold back progress on the ones you already have or developers will sprint elsewhere.

  • prelud
    9 Posts

    Now that Marketplace is going to be available for my country how do I change my liveID region so I see my local market instead of the UK one, which is what I currently have set?

  • Still, there is no AppHub support so it's half-baked.

  • Great news of extended marketplace and support for lower devices..

  • Hii,,, glad to hear that croatia will finally be one of the supported countries,,, with that and the skype finally available i'm starting to love my hd7 even more,,  :)

  • wisnia
    3 Posts

    Does the 7.1 or 7.1.1 SDK support Visual Studio 2011 Beta?

  • Where could I get a list of all available countries?

  • DjiXas
    46 Posts

    Can you also address Apollo in the next post? I feel that many people are not exactly sure whether they should buy Lumia 900 or not as they'd rather wait for Apollo if it can't be updated.

  • In regards to the upcoming tango update, I'm a bit confused. Is it only for lowend devices, or are current US mango phones receiving it too? (specifically the Lumia 710, 800, 900, and the HTC Radar 4G)

  • Will there be a similar update to allow higher end hardware, or is that targeted for Apollo aka WP8 in Q4?

  • Profoss
    1 Posts

    Nice, but what about Bluetooth API ?

  • It's very promissing that Croatia are getting WP7 marketplace (our neighbours).

    I hope that Bosnia & Herzegovina wouldn't wait too long for that day. We in Bosnia really need official Marketplace and I really hope that day would be soon.

    Thanks for the great technology such as Window Phone.

  • Great News for China. We are ready! 鲜果联播!

  • DjiXas
    46 Posts

    @Cliff Simpkins

    Thanks for that, I know it could be due to some legal issues when you bought something, but if account is raw, I see no reason why this can't be achieved.

    Unfortunately, creating new account means losing 300+ MSN contacts and SkyDrive data. I seriously hope that someone like Ballmer just goes to LIVE office and instead of developers, shouts, fix this dan thing.

  • What about South Caucasus (Transcaucasia) Region? en.wikipedia.org/.../Caucasus

    Still no support in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia.

    it's to hard to push Windows Phone Platform on the market without at least language support, push developers to write apps for market without language and regional support.

    Once and for all add support for all languages ​​and markets, huge part of the problem disappears immediately and market share grow fantastically in comparison to other platforms

  • So will i be able to change my billing address to my actual one once you add support for my country ?

  • @Cliff Simpkins until that is fixed, I will not be able to buy any apps. I'm not going to create a new live account just for that. Your loss.

  • Nice to see that Bulgaria is included in the list of new markets. Hopefully this means a Bulgarian keyboard will be natively included with the Tango update.

  • xmorera
    1 Posts

    One thing is that the market has been enabled for Costa Rica, but can developers from Costa Rica submit applications?

    I know it sounds like common sense, but I've tried hard to be able to submit apps and until now I haven't been able to.

  • @DjiXas - That limitation is on the Xbox and Windows Live backend - my team continues to lobby for that to happen as well; I definitely hear your pain there.

  • @Martin Anderson - The SDK Update is a technology preview, and we are recommending that you don't use it on your primary developer machine. The CTP doesn't have a 'go live' license on it because it has an early/interim build of the Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh OS. As such, behavior in the emulator may not reflect real world (production phone) conditions; and we can't support it for producing apps that are published to customers. There isn't anything that would TECHNICALLY stop you from building/compiling/submitting (the compiler hasn't changed); the limitation is entirely one of legal empowerment and supportability from our Dev Support folks (who are pretty awesome, btw :) ). That being said, if you aren't worried about testing your app within the 256 MB emulator, there isn't much in this release for you - and I'd suggest you wait for the final release in the coming month.

  • What about Dominican Republic? I want to start submitting apps!

  • wp7Dave
    36 Posts

    Great. Now when will existing markets get the post Mango update to fix the disappearing keyboard issue (build 8107)??? If Microsoft cannot provide good service and timely updates with the premier carrier (AT&T), what can these emerging markets expect.

  • Nothing on the next update? still no Arabic support? and why Kuwait is the only country in the middle east that's not there? I'm the biggest supporter of windows phone in Kuwait and i'm kinda disappointed with the results.

  • Great news to see that Romania is finally supported. However, everyone getting "too excited" about the news should read the post carefully:

    It says that "/.../ While we don’t yet offer full App Hub developer support in every new market, local developers are still able to build and publish their apps to Marketplace through our Global Publisher Program. /../ "

    Therefore, just because a market is supported as a "consumer market", it does not necessarily mean that it will be supported as a "developer market" as well.

    It remains to be seen if App Hub will be available in any of the new markets listed in the post.

  • markiz
    40 Posts

    @marioherc Polako, prvo EU zemlje idu :) Šalu na stranu, možda možeš neke papire srediti za Hrvatsku? Pozdrav

  • rem15
    11 Posts

    cheapchristiansandals.com

  • markiz
    40 Posts

    Awesome! It has been a long time coming, and finally it's here.

    Todays announcements have not been exciting for a premium consumer, but the news are huge for WP in general.

    All that remains is to come clean about the 1st and 2nd gen WP devices getting apollo or not.

    Now all i need to do is find an unofficial backup application and prepare for a hard reset to finally use my WP with my real LiveID :)

  • this is great, but in order for this to be successful in Israel, you need maps in Israel. I remember the day that the iPhone was arrived officially in Israel -- the same day that google maps had Israel. Although Bing Maps now has Israel (finally), what about facebook etc. It's not going to work on Windows Phone without maps!!!

  • Sad to see that Pakistan still hasn't made it onto Microsoft's list. C'mon guys, hurry up!

  • Patience and patience and finally! Turkey waiting for WP7!

  • Nam
    1 Posts

    yeah ! Vietnam coming soon :)))) i love winphone 7

  • Bahrain!! Thank you ! :) Been wanting to use my HTC Titan for a while!

  • DjiXas
    46 Posts

    Will I finally be able to modify my LIVE profile and change country from US to my own IF I have not bought any apps yet?

  • If I were to install the updated SDK, will that prevent me from working on my existing published apps?  I am working on an update right now, and would not want to fund myself unable to release updated apps.

  • Errrm.... Guys... Still waiting for KENYA to be added to the market place. We are the number ONE country in the world in Mobile payments (M-Pesa) (en.wikipedia.org/.../M-Pesa) and the fastest growing developer community in the region!! (ask Mr Elop, he was here a few weeks ago). We would love to be a part of the FAMILY!! please stop leaving us out in the cold!! PLEASE ??

  • I would really love it if Sprint and Verizon had more Windows Phone choices. Hard to court those users (Verizon users are especially loyal to their carrier) with only old phones.

  • Stilgar
    10 Posts

    Cool Bulgaria supported at last. Now you just have to push the Xbox guys so I can switch my account. Direct developer support is also important.

    Is it reasonable to expect that countries with marketplace support will have the corresponding language supported in Tango?

  • When we can expect WP7 marketplace in Bosnia and Herzegovina? I am WP7 developer and cannot publish own application on official WP7 marketplace.

  • Seriously, no Pakistan? The country has the 5th largest mobile user base (131 million) in Asia, Microsoft! I was trying to choose between Lumia 800 or iPhone 4s. Now its definitely the iPhone.

  • Great news indeed!

    As a developer, I would like to know when I will be able to publish my own apps through the apphub and not through a third party publisher. It would make a huge difference for me!

  • riseagn
    28 Posts

    Thank you Thank you Thank you you made my day big happy face :) for supporting middle east

    now only one thing missing the arabic UI

    good job and wishing all the best luck to windows phone team

  • deiruch
    13 Posts

    Is there something in this for existing users? Can we benefit somehow from the optimizations too?

  • xenry
    1 Posts

    So will i be able to change my billing address to my actual one once you add support for my country ?

  • Roobaj
    1 Posts

    No Kuwait? Come on now, how are we different than UAE, Saudia Arabia, Bahrain and Iraq?

  • Great thing to read. As a stock holder I'm looking forward to you expanding, especially in the Middle East, where I'm currently working (originally from Canada), but you guys have to really push forward on marketing like mad. People in this region still have a devotion to Nokia, but iPhone is a huge killer here and if you don't launch strong, and don't launch with proper credit card support you will fail miserably with no return. You must fix your address billing feature first. Some users already have XBL on a US account and buy cards online, or renew through PayPal (I'm using my Canadian account and have managed to slightly work through this chaos of having multiple accounts since I cannot change the address billing). Get to it guys, and focus on Arabic text support. You will annihilate iPhone is you support Arabic language in more ways than them. Good luck and don't sleep on it.

  • Monir
    1 Posts

    Great News! But I'm wondering Why Jordan is not included in the 23 New Markets? when when it will be possible for developers in Jordan to publish their apps to the official windows phone 7 Marketplace? I've been waiting like for ever