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Microsoft Details Windows Marketplace & Azure

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It's a busy day at Redmond HQ. Just as Windows 7 pre-orders begin in the UK, Microsoft has announced some exciting details about Windows Marketplace (yes, yes 'Windows Mobile App Store' to you and I) and pricing structures for its Cloud computing platform Azure.

First up is Windows Marketplace for Windows Mobile (surely there's a better name?) and the good news is twofold. Speaking on the Windows Mobile blog Microsoft Senior Director for Mobile Platform Services Product Management (again, surely there's a better title?) Todd Brix proclaimed:

"I'm pleased to report that Windows Marketplace is on schedule to open for submissions in 29 supported countries* on July 27th. We're already working with a wide range of leading developers for both business and consumer applications and will soon be able to make available a new wave of applications that will be ready for download when Windows Marketplace launches with Windows Mobile 6.5 {does anyone use the name Windows Phone anymore?} in the fall."

Secondly, Brix explained: "We're announcing today that by the end of 2009 Windows Marketplace will also be available to Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 devices. This means that developers will have an opportunity to reach more than 30 million Windows Mobile devices."

This is indeed great news for existing and future Windows Mobile handset owners though Steve Jobs today announced more than 1.5 billion apps have been downloaded in one year from the iPhone App Store (now there's a name that is to the point). Currently there are also 65,000 apps and more than 100,000 developers. "It is going to be very hard for others to catch up," said Jobs.

I agree-ish... (come on competition!)

As for Windows Azure, we finally got some news on what Microsoft will charge for a platform which includes a cloud services OS, Web-based relational database in Microsoft SQL Azure and connectivity and interoperability with .NET Services. Essentially the company has decided upon pay-as-you-go pricing backed up by service level agreements and support.

We're waiting on UK costs but in the US it will look at hourly and data based charges plus monthly rates. Yep, it's something of hotch potch but given this is heavily business focused for the considerable future I wouldn't be getting too wound up about breaking down all the details.

In related news Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc has shot down Windows 7 RTM rumours stating on the Windows Blog: "Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. When Windows 7 hits RTM, it will be announced here. Until that happens, any builds you are likely to see on the web are either not the final bits or are laced with malicious code."

Until the real build is leaked a few days early generally Brandon, then leaked and leaked again...

Links:
Windows Blog: Windows Marketplace
Apple Hot News
Azure Press Release
Windows Blog: Update on Windows 7 RTM

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