Windows Marketplace. The announcement has been made at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference this week as it gears up for an onslaught of devices running WinMo 6.5 at retail later this year, though the retail channel might not be where much of the action lies; unlike the Apple App Store, the Android Market, Palm's App Catalog and others, Microsoft is putting major emphasis on a segment of Windows Marketplace it's calling the Business Center where corporate-focused apps and utilities will have a place to live. Boring, yes -- but probably also very profitable in the business fleet market segment where WinMo tends to thrive.
Though the company had previously indicated that Windows Marketplace would be a 6.5 exclusive, we've got great news for legacy device owners who don't expect to get an upgrade: Microsoft has also announced today that the Marketplace will be coming to WinMo 6.0 and 6.1 before the year's out. Considering that 6.5 won't be hitting the street until fall, that's not too bad of a wait; now all it needs is a rich catalog of great software to go along with the great hardware some of its partners are producing, right?