Making Windows Marketplace Worthwhile

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-10-07 Print this article Print

4. There are hardly any apps

Right now, Apple is offering over 85,000 applications in its App Store. They range from games to educational apps. On Microsoft's side, the company is offering approximately 250 applications. When consumers compare those two figures, it doesn't take much for them to realize that Microsoft hasn't done enough to attract developers.

5. Timing doesn't matter

For some reason, I think Microsoft felt that it needed to release Windows Marketplace for Mobile as quickly as possible. Why? Apple was going to dominate the app sector whether Microsoft released the store or not. It should have waited to make sure it was done right and then take on Apple. Offering just 250 applications at launch is a big mistake.

6. Developers do matter

Timing might not matter to Microsoft's success in the mobile-app market, but working with developers does. The company simply isn't doing a good enough job showing developers why they should offer apps in the store. By the looks of things, they're overpriced, poorly designed, and not on the same level as those in Apple's App Store.

7. The platform isn't optimized

Perhaps the biggest issue Microsoft faces with its new app store is that Windows Mobile 6.5 simply isn't optimized to run the apps consumers expect. It was designed to be a platform for the average smartphone user of 2006, not the average smartphone owner of 2009.

8. Experience matters

Say what you will about the iPhone's touch screen, but it's intuitive and it helps improve the overall experience of using apps. Smartphones equipped with Windows Mobile aren't so capable. And the apps designed for that platform aren't as capable either. It's frustrating and it's a problem.

9. Apple is going strong

It might not be the best scenario for Microsoft, but it can't forget that Apple's App Store is on top of its game right now. The store's consumers are adding more apps to phones than ever. Releasing a new app store at the height of that store's success was a major blunder for Microsoft. It should have waited.

10. It's not ready

Worst of all, Windows Marketplace for Mobile is that the store just isn't ready. Access to it isn't optimized. It still doesn't work with Windows Mobile 6 legacy products. And there's no guarantee that it will integrate well with all those platforms when Microsoft transitions to Windows Mobile 7. More thought needed to be put into Windows Mobile 7. And it didn't happen.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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