I’m happy to announce that nearly two dozen new online stores for Windows Phone apps and games went live around the world this afternoon.
The new web Marketplaces are available in Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Israel, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In case you haven’t tried it yet, browsing and buying apps on the web Marketplace is an easy and convenient alternative to your phone. If you’re new to Windows Phone, here’s a quick tutorial on how it works.
I also wanted to tell you about another initiative just getting underway that’s designed to make Marketplace easier to use. Some of you have told us that when you search for apps by keyword or name, you don’t always see the results you’re expecting. To help address that, this week we’ve started reviewing the keywords that developers assign to their apps and removing ones that aren’t relevant. You can learn more about this cleanup effort in Todd Brix’s post on the developer blog.
It will take us at least several weeks to complete our review, but our expectation is that you should start seeing more relevant search results when it’s done, particularly for popular apps.
Finally, just a friendly reminder that soon we’ll begin requiring Windows Phone 7.5 to buy, download, or update apps from Marketplace. As I explained recently, this new requirement is part of a larger Marketplace improvement effort. You’ll find a handy checklist and instructions for updating your phone on Update central, our comprehensive how-to and troubleshooting resource.
Talk to you soon.