Microsoft Hits Back at Apple with Online App Store

Software giant Microsoft today announced the launch of a new virtual store for mobile phone applications.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based consumer electronics group Apple launched its App Store last July that allowed users of its high-end iPhone to download applications for their devices, with games, travel info or news services on offer.

The company, which allows other developers to provide applications for the phones, claimed it had its 500,000th download at the end of January.

On Monday at the Mobile World Congress industry event, Microsoft hit back with its version of the App Store, which is to be called Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

Windows Marketplace for Mobile will be "an integrated marketplace for searching, browsing and purchasing mobile applications," the company said, adding that developers would have "unrestricted ability to offer applications."

Apple demonstrated the benefits of opening up its iPhone to outside developers, who have created new applications to add functionality to the devices.

Windows does not make smartphones itself, but it plans to establish its operating system for mobile phones as the industry standard -- much same way as it had dominated the market for computers.

It has therefore decided to open up to outside developers to allow them to improve the core Windows product and encourage mobile phone makers to use Windows over rival operating systems.

Nokia, the world's largest maker of mobile phones, also announced a similar service today, aiming to launch its Ovi Store for applications and content in May. via mobiledia

No comments: