Microsoft plans on shutting down its Windows Marketplace for Mobile service for Windows Mobile 6.x, Windows Phone's predecessor.
shutting down its Windows Marketplace for Mobile service for Windows Mobile
6.x, the increasingly antiquated predecessor to Windows Phone.
9, 2012, the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace service will no longer be
available, read a note posted on the Microsoft Answers
Website. Starting on this date,
you will no longer be able to browse, buy or download applications directly
onto your Windows Mobile 6.x phone through the Marketplace.
applications and games downloaded before that date will continue to work on
devices. Windows Mobile applications and games that are compatible with
Windows Mobile 6.x may still be available directly from their developers or via
third-party marketplaces, added the posting. The shutdown will not affect the Windows
Phone Marketplace, which offers applications and games for Microsofts newer
News of the
shutdown quickly found its way onto tech Websites such as TechCrunch
launched Windows Mobile 6.5 in October 2009 with diminished expectations.
During Microsofts Venture Capital Summit the previous month, CEO Steve Ballmer
reportedly suggested the company had screwed up
its smartphone franchise, whose market
share had been steadily eroding in the face of fierce competition from the
likes of Google Android. Windows Mobile 6.5 was supposed to act as a sort of
stopgap measure until Microsoft could launch a new and improved smartphone
operating system, which turned out to be Windows Phone 7.
6.5 nonetheless failed to stop that erosion. The same business customers who
traditionally gravitated to Microsofts mobile products began to embrace the
Apple iPhone and Google Android devices in greater numbers.
Microsofts current Windows Phone push, despite some high-profile devices from
Nokia and other manufacturing partners, has so far failed to translate into
significant gains in U.S. smartphone market share. According to research firm
comScore, Microsofts share of total U.S. smartphone subscribers declined from
5.4 percent in October 2011 to 4.4 percent in January 2012.
That dip might
be partially due to Windows Mobile, as users abandon it in favor of either
Windows Phone or a rival smartphone operating system. In that case, the loss of
Windows Marketplace for Mobile could accelerate the Windows Mobile bleed-off,
which might translate into further losses for Microsofts overall smartphone
market share. That being said, the faster Microsoft clears the old version
away, the faster it can concentrate its whole effort on making Windows Phone a
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