Windows Mobile Marketplace to Shut Down. Does Anyone Really Care?

The title sounds harsh, especially coming from a long time Windows Mobile MVP, but it’s true. Some people care, but it’s misguided. The Windows Mobile Marketplace was thrown together after seeing how well a consolidated marketplace like the iTunes App Store did. For years, Windows Mobile did fine without a consolidated market. There were some 3rd party markets that made it easier for users to find apps, but the main way we, Windows Mobile and Pocket PC users, got their software was directly from the developers. That’s the way it worked in the early days at least. Then came Handango, who ripped their developers off often until Mobihand came along and became a welcome store for Windows Mobile app developers. There were others that popped up and faded over the years too, but Handango and Mobihand were the main players. I used to resell for both of them and switched from Handango to Mobihand somewhere in all if.

Back in 2009, Microsoft opened the Windows Mobile Marketplace to offer apps directly on devices running Windows Mobile 6.5, the WinMo release that finally pushed me to try other mobile operating systems out with less of a biased eye. The day I posted my review of the Windows Mobile 6.5 on launch day was the day I bought my 2nd iPhone, the iPhone 3GS. This app store, like I said, was pretty much Microsoft trying to keep up with Apple’s infrastructure. I stopped using Windows Mobile so I not really sure if it got any better. Still, you could obtain apps and games from other 3rd party stores and direct from the developers since Windows Mobile wasn’t locked to an app store.

I caught the news from Julie Dejong this morning on Twitter. She tweeted a link to Microsoft’s Answers Forums.

Windows Marketplace for Mobile 6.x Discontinuation Notice

March 8, 2012

Dear Windows Mobile 6.x customer:

Microsoft is discontinuing the Windows Marketplace for Mobile service for Windows Mobile 6.x. Please review the details below to familiarize yourself with the changes:

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Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace Service To Be Discontinued

Beginning May 9, 2012, the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace service will no longer be available. Starting on this date, you will no longer be able to browse, buy or download applications directly on your Windows Mobile 6.x phone using the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace application and service.

Applications and games acquired from the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace service installed on your Windows Mobile 6.x phone will continue to work after the service is discontinued on May 9, 2012. However, additional downloads of these applications and games from the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace service will no longer be available.

Take Action

Microsoft recommends you review the applications or games installed on your Windows Mobile 6.x phone and install any available updates in advance of the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace service shut-down on May 9, 2012.

Please note: All phone data, including applications acquired through the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace service, data and user-specific settings, will be deleted from your Windows Mobile 6.x phone in the event that your phone is wiped or “hard reset.” Any data on a removable storage card, if present, will also be deleted if your phone is wiped or “hard reset”.

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.

Thank you for your continued support of Windows Phone.

-The Windows Phone Team

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Ok, I said this isn’t a big deal and who cares right?

  1. You can still get apps from 3rd party stores.
  2. You can still get apps from developers.

I am hearing, “What about my company, we have 10,000 Windows Mobile devices deployed. OH NO!” 

Well, to that I can say, your company probably uses custom software developed in-house or by an external developer. I am sure whoever develops your business’ app will still be around without Microsoft’s store.

The impact of this announcement could possibly leave a bad taste in some mouths, but really, the amount of people and companies still using Windows Mobile is so small that this will most likely be forgotten about quick. I think that people are blowing this announcement way out of proportion and this isn’t my inner WinMo fanboy talking.

In fact, one of the few people I know still using a Windows Mobile phone is Todd Allcock, another former Windows Phone MVP. He doesn’t even use this store!

Don’t look at me! ;)  I buy my apps from the developers directly or from Handango/PocketGear.  I never bought a single app from the MS Marketplace, since I never liked the delivery mechanism. When I buy an app, I want the app on my hard drive, and whatever product key it needs, not repeated access to a download server. 

If Microsoft would not have announced it and just did it, most wouldn’t notice. Plain and simple.

 

Comments

  1. Sachin Palewar says

    I guess a bigger news will be if Microsoft says they are not going to license Windows Mobile to Device Manufacturers anymore, because I think many companies who have windows mobile based business apps still keep buying new win-mo devices every now and then and there are still many such devices available for sell. Looks like that can happen eventually and Microsoft is gearing to pull curtain on Windows Mobile and only support Windows Phone going forward.

  2. Necromas says

    I care, because I still get unlimited 3G data at $7.50 a month on my old palm treo and if I upgraded to a phone with a newer OS I’d have to pay several times as much.

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