Microsoft announced that over the next few days its Windows Phone Marketplace will open in 13 new countries, with additional expansion in the existing marketplace in China.
The new countries in which Windows Phone marketplace will open are Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela. These 13 new countriesin addition to the Marketplace storefronts Microsoft launched earlier this year in Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines and Chinabring the total number of Marketplace storefronts where developers can sell their wares to 54. This represents a significant expansion for the Windows Phone developer opportunity, Microsoft said.
Moreover, Microsoft announced at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year that it will also be opening stores in UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Israel, Thailand and Vietnam.
Microsoft also announced that Windows Phone customers in China can now browse more than 20,000 apps in the new China Marketplace.
In a March 28 post on the news, Microsofts Mazhar Mohammedwho is head of the engineering team responsible for the online storewrote on the Windows Phone Blog:
"Were excited about all the new Marketplace locations, but theres one recent addition worth special mention: China. Maybe you saw the news today about the Nokia Lumia phones coming to China Telecom. In less than three months, weve added 20,000 apps and 15,000 registered developers to our new China Marketplace. Here's a peek at the online store if youre curious."
Microsoft noted that the Marketplaces in the 13 new markets wont magically appear all at once. They will become available beginning March 28 and will be visible to users over the next several days, the company said.
In a post on the Windows Phone Developer blog, Todd Brix, senior director of Windows Phone Marketplace, addressed the App Hub issue:
Before signing off, I wanted to quickly address a question I often get: Why isnt the developer App Hub expanding at the same pace as the consumer Marketplace? Its a great question with a complicated answer. Simply put, it takes a lot of legal and engineering work to bring App Hub to new markets. We know you want to see App Hub expand, and were working hard to do that while guaranteeing a good experience for you. Setting up registration and payment infrastructure, complying with local laws and regulations, and doing all the other work necessary to ensure you have the tools you need to publish free and paid appsand get compensated properlytakes time to put into place.
Microsoft said App Hub has only been open for developer submissions to these markets since March 22, so initial catalog sizes may be small. The company recommends that developers should begin cross-submitting their apps for publishing now so customers in these new markets can start downloading them.
We encourage developers in markets where App Hub isnt yet available to take advantage of Windows Phones global publisher program, a Microsoft spokeswoman said.