Redmond (WA) – Today, the Microsoft Corporation launched a program which would aid developers in the sale of their mobile applications through Windows Marketplace, its virtual store for mobile phone applications and extensions which launched in February.
It is Microsoft’s aim to capitalize on the gigantic market which is mobile applications. Utilizing a 3G Internet connection, mobile phone users can purchase nearly anything from their mobile handsets — from maps to nightlife and entertainment reviews. Microsoft claims to have about 20,000 Windows Mobile compatible applications in their market.
At this point and time, Microsoft is riding the coat tails of Apple who pioneered the boom of applications for smartphones via its App Store, which works with the iPhone and iPod touch devices. Since the store opened last July, over 500 million applications have been downloaded. Already it has turned in to an estimated $800 million per year business (in 2009), and is projected to exceed $1 billion in 2010. Its growth has surprised even Apple’s Steve Jobs, who attempted to delay the App Store launch.
Microsoft is now quite behind in the application store trend. RIM, the manufacturers of the Blackberry, and Nokia each have their own stores.
Developers will be able to submit up to five applications to Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace for a fee of $99. The company will then run a certification program which tests applications prior to their release into the market.
Developers will be allowed to keep 70% of the sales revenue via the Windows Marketplace, which is an identical percentage to that which developers of Apple applications are allowed to collect. Additionally, developers can make the decision as to how much their applications cost, and are also given the opportunity to distribute them at no charge to consumers at all.
Analysts have said that software-based smart phone tools and accessories will be a huge part of the growth of the mobile phone market over the next few years.