Feeds

Microsoft eyes mobile app store

Skymarket to challenge iTunes?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
BEST EVER broadband? Oh no you DIDN'T, Sky – ad watchdog
Rival BT moaned that claim was misleading
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
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?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.