At Mobile World Congress today in Barcelona, Steve Ballmer announced a number of upcoming additions to the Windows Mobile® family. In addition to great consumer-focused services such as Microsoft® My Phone, he also announced a new on-device application marketplace for Windows Mobile 6.5 called Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Beyond providing consumers with the ability to browse and download applications from their Windows Mobile 6.5 phone, this new service will offer developers, like yourselves, the opportunity to connect directly with those millions of Windows Mobile users, to publish and distribute applications. Sound like a win-win opportunity? Let’s take a closer look.

Before I dig into the details, let me begin by introducing myself. My name is John Bruno, and I am a new contributor to the Windows Mobile Team Blog. As a Program Manager on the Windows Marketplace team, I am responsible for the developer-focused features of the product. So, I am really excited to be able to announce this program for developers, and hope all of you are as enthusiastic about this opportunity as we are.

In the past, it has been challenging for developers to get their Windows Mobile applications into the hands of consumers. In addition to fragmentation in the distribution channels, there has been no definitive marketplace experience on the device for users to browse and acquire applications and/or content. This has prevented developers from achieving broad reach with their application offering, and inhibited the user’s ability to leverage the power of their Windows phone.  Fortunately, Windows  Marketplace for Mobile addresses these challenges while also including a number of key benefits for developers. Examples of some of these key benefits include:

  • An easily discovered on-device application that is installed on every Windows Mobile 6.5 device, and includes prominent placement on the Start menu.
  • Leverage existing Microsoft developer tools, such as Visual Studio, for faster time to market.

As you can see, the opportunity for developers is quite clear. Windows Marketplace can help you grow your business profitably by connecting you directly with millions of Windows Mobile users that are looking for your applications. Whether you are a hobbyist developer or a large ISV, we’ll make it easy for you to bring your applications to market and manage them effectively throughout their life cycle.

Please stay tuned to this blog, or our web site as we release additional information about the Windows Marketplace developer program over the coming weeks. In the meantime, please feel free to send us your questions or feedback. We look forward to hearing from you!

Stay tuned for more details!