Microsoft also has released tools to enable developers to build applications for the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, which will be offered on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5 software and allow developers to sell thousands of applications to users of Windows Mobile devices. Handsets running Windows Mobile 6.5 should begin shipping in the second half of the year.
The Windows Mobile marketplace is Microsoft’s answer to the App Store of iPhone applications Apple offers as part of its software for the iPhone, which popularized the idea of buying and downloading mobile applications from the devices themselves.
For an annual fee of US$99, developers can sell up to five applications on the marketplace and set the prices for those applications, receiving 70 percent of fees paid for applications sold, Microsoft said Wednesday. However, the company will waive the annual registration fee for student developers who are enrolled in the Microsoft DreamSpark program. Developers also can offer free applications on the marketplace is they so choose.
Microsoft also said it work with developers to test and certify their applications to run on Windows Mobile to ensure a smooth experience for end users.
Registration for Windows Marketplace for Mobile will begin sometime in the next couple of months, and developers will be able to submit applications to the marketplace in the summer time frame, which in the U.S. begins June 21.