Along with its Windows Mango announcement, Microsoft has also given details on the web version of its OS marketplace store.
The web version of Window's marketplace will launch with the Mango OS later this year. For consumers, the web-based store will be another place where they will be able to discover apps. For developers, the web-based store will be added visibility for their apps along with increased merchandising possibilities. It will also have a social element, where consumers will be find and discover apps easier.
Web Marketplace will also enable customers (and you) to promote your apps among friends, family, partners and social networks. Customers will be able to share their favorite apps via email with a link to the app, embed a link in articles or make a recommendation through Facebook or Twitter; each in just a single click, Todd Brix, senior director for Windows Marketplace, said in a blog post.
Microsoft also plans on integrating the web-based app store with its Bing search engine. Apps consumers have bought will appear in their search engine and history. Furthermore, using Bing's visual search, consumers can browse and find apps.
In terms of billing, the downloaded app on the web will be charged against the user's credit card, linked to their existing Windows Live ID. The app will be sent via SMS or email, where the consumer clicks a link and downloads it. Microsoft says the web store will be able to maintain a customer's download history, which will make it easier to reinstall apps. This will be especially convenient if the consumer needs to change phones.
With the new Web version of Marketplace, we can provide your app with extra visibility, more merchandising possibilities, new end user features that promote app sales and a simplified application purchase experience, Brix said.
Google actually made a similar move back in February, introducing a web version of its own app store. Unlike the Windows Phone 7 web store, the web-based Android market allows consumers to download an app onto their phone directly from the browser.
For Microsoft, which has struggled to get its smartphone OS off the ground, following in the footsteps of Google is not a bad idea. According to the most recent Gartner numbers, Android is the leading smartphone operating system in the world, with a share of 36.0 percent. In the past year, Android's share increased 25 percent. These numbers show Google knows what it's doing with Android.
Check out our pictorial preview of Mango here.