Microsoft to launch web-based Windows Phone Marketplace alongside 'Mango'

We're not quite sure why Microsoft didn't make mention of it during its big event yesterday, but the company has now confirmed that its forthcoming "Mango" update will also bring with it another significant addition to the Windows Phone scene: a web-based Marketplace. That will of course let you browse and buy apps right from your favorite web browser, and then have them installed on your phone over-the-air ("via SMS or email," apparently). You'll also be able to take advantage of various social networking tie-ins to share apps with your friends, and the Marketplace will hang onto your download history so you can easily reinstall all of your apps if you switch phones -- and, yes, you can count on plenty of Bing integration as well.

Update: Microsoft got in touch with us to clear up some of the confusion about how apps are actually delivered to the phone. It says it expects the vast majority of customers to install apps OTA in a single step using its regular notification system. SMS would only be used in instances where that service is not already turned on, and in that case there would still be "no links or added engagement on the phone." Customers can also choose to send themselves an email with a link to the app but, again, it expects most folks to simply let apps install in the background.