Microsoft tweaks Windows Phone Marketplace policies for the better

Previously, the $99 that Windows Phone devs paid annually to get access to the Marketplace covered up to five app submissions -- but Microsoft looks like it's willing to play ball in an effort to drum up more interest in third-party development ahead of Windows Phone 7's release by chucking the five-app cap. Well, sort of -- paid apps will have unlimited submissions, but free apps will still be limited to five per yearly cycle, with additional submissions running $19.99 each. Additionally, Microsoft is taking the wraps off its Trial API for helping developers enforce trial functionality prior to purchase, details on its push notification service, and a new option that lets publishes push their apps globally -- to every localized store in the Marketplace's reach -- in one fell swoop. The company says that it has "listened to developers and responded to changing customer behavior to make Marketplace an even better experience for all," and it certainly seems like a step in the right direction -- but we'll admit, we'd still love to see free app submissions go unlimited (what can we say, we've got a soft spot for freebies).