Feeds

Microsoft eyes mobile app store

Skymarket to challenge iTunes?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Microsoft is looking like it may launch an application repository in response to the success of Apple's iTunes application store and Google's announcement that Android will be similarly endowed. Or is it?

Recent job adverts, grabbed by i started something, are for a Product Manager and Senior Product Manager and describe Skymarket as 'the place to be' for developers wishing to distribute and monetize their Windows Mobile applications", with a launch scheduled for "this fall", along with Windows Mobile 7.

While the existence of the adverts might seem conclusive, Microsoft Watch, with admirable cynicism, suggests the whole thing might be a cheap PR stunt from the chaps in Redmond - pointing out that the advert appeared on US Labor Day, a slow-news day when coverage would be guaranteed, and that one of the adverts disappeared within a day.

But the idea of Microsoft launching its own application portal shouldn't come as any surprise: Apple has iTunes, Nokia is still pushing Ovi, and Google has announced the Android Marketplace, so it seems each of the smartphone platforms is to have its own application store - leaving the former duopoly of Motricity and Handango in a very tenuous position.

At the beginning of 2005 Microsoft was already privately expressing concern over the power of that duopoly and the effect it was having on mobile application distribution. Motricity and Handango don't just run their own application portals - they also run those found on most network operators, so their control over the mobile-software market is considerable.

Ovi hasn't exactly got the companies quaking in their boots yet, but its early days and a launch from Microsoft would further squeeze its business model - though at least it can be confident of still having one. Neither Nokia nor Microsoft will launch anything like iTunes, with its exclusive access to punters' wallets: both companies publicly claim to embrace competition, but also want to ape the simplicity that the heavily-integrated iTunes can provide.

Only the Brew platform compares to iTunes, with its absolute control over application distribution, though for the time being at least that's under the control of the operator rather than the device manufacturer. But with the mobile phone industry mutating so swiftly, nothing should be discounted. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.