With thousands of developers churning out thousands of apps, we've no doubt exploring the Marketplace is going to be a full-time job for at least a day or two after you nab your Windows Phone 7 device this fall -- but with all the hullabaloo today, we thought this would be a good opportunity to highlight a few that Microsoft and its partners have been talking about recently. Dig in!
Tetris (EA): If you don't know what Tetris is -- or if you don't agree that it's a must-have on any gaming platform, regardless of size or age -- you need to go back to school. Tetris school. Available this fall.
The Sims 3 (EA): We imagine this will be a pretty faithful reproduction of the version that's been available on the iPhone, albeit at a slightly different screen resolution and with the addition of Xbox Live support. Available this fall.
Monopoly (EA): Do not pass Go, do not collect $200... because you just spent it on a Windows Phone. Available this fall.
Need for Speed Undercover (EA): Fan of driving and racing titles? The Need for Speed franchise continues to grow by leaps and bounds -- so now that EA's involved with the platform, it's no surprise that one of the NFS titles will be right there near the launch. In this case, it's Undercover.
ilomilo (Southend Interactive): AT&T locked down an exclusive on this one through the end of the year, downloadable for free from the Windows Phone Marketplace -- and from the looks of it, that was a smooth move on their part. The basic idea is to get two characters to unite by traversing crazy terrain, and the screen shots posted on Southend's blog look really promising.
U-verse Mobile (AT&T): Hold up -- don't skip over this one just because you're not a U-verse subscriber! Yes, granted, U-verse TV users will be able to use the pre-installed U-verse Mobile to schedule their DVRs -- and with some packages, you'll be able to download shows right to your phone for free -- but AT&T's switching it up a bit by offering the service to anyone with an AT&T-branded WP7 device for $9.99 a month as well, regardless of whether you've got U-verse on your boob tube. It's not clear whether the change will eventually filter down to the iPhone version of the app, but seeing how it's a new opportunity to make money, we'd imagine so.
Slacker: A pack-in app for the HTC HD7 on T-Mobile USA, Slacker's app will be a solid alternative for anyone not interested in paying for Zune Pass (and heck, even if you do pay for it, you'll probably still want it). It integrates directly with the platform's native Music hub.
Netflix: Though Microsoft didn't show anything new with Netflix today, we already know from prior demos that it'll support Watch Instantly -- not just queue management -- which is pretty huge. Notably, T-Mobile's HTC HD7 will have it pre-installed when it launches in mid-November, just like Slacker.
T-Mobile TV: Oh, and one more T-Mobile pre-load (as the name suggests). As far as we can tell from T-Mobile's announcement, this looks to be T-Mobile's answer to services like Sprint TV, MobiTV, and AT&T Mobile TV, offering a selection of "free programming from ABC News NOW, FOX Sports, PBS Kids, Azteca America, family holiday movie favorites and more." Both live and on-demand shows will be available -- perfect to take advantage of that sweet HSPA+ rollout, eh?
IMDb: Yes, IMDb's website looks straight out of 1995, but no worries: the ubiquitous all-knowing movie database looks much better on Windows Phone 7.
eBay: Microsoft didn't spend much time talking about eBay's Windows Phone 7 app today, but from what we did see, it looks right at home in WP7's unique user experience. You can expect they typical eBay functionality -- checking out auctions, keeping track of your sales, bidding on stuff, and adding items to your watch list.
Fandango: Like Netflix -- another movie-centric app -- Microsoft didn't actually mention Fandango on stage today, but we're willing to bet it's a pretty hot download, particularly when the time comes for Inception 2: Nightmare presales to go live.
Twitter: Twitter's support for Windows Phone 7 is especially important because Microsoft has chosen not to support the network out of the box -- it's only got Windows Live and Facebook at launch -- so we've got a hunch that this will be one of the top downloads in the Marketplace for a long time to come. Interestingly, it appears to be one of the most complete implementations of Twitter on a mobile platform to date, allowing users to browse timelines without even logging in to an account.