Windows Marketplace For Mobile - Winner or Loser?

Can Microsoft Replicate The iPhone's App Store Success?

So far no one's come close to achieving the success of Apple's iPhone App Store, now boasting over 1.5 billon downloads. And just like RIM's Blackberry app store, Microsoft's set to make available their mobile app store for developer submissions beginning July 27th. Users won't see the mobile app store until the Windows Mobile 6.5 launch.So, is Windows Mobile app store going to set the world on fire, or is it another "me too" effort from Microsoft. Unfortunately, it looks like it's mostly the latter, but not because it functions similarly to every other online app store we've seen. Yes, it's me too in that sense. But what Windows Mobile will still lack isn't an app store, it's the vast quantities of developers building new innovative apps for a new innovative Windows Mobile platform. While Windows Mobile 6.5 is needed, it's not the platform the iPhone is for creating the next generation of mobile user applications. A step up, a step in the right direction... yes. WM6.5 is a big improvement in some areas. But we're still many months if not a few years away from a revitalized Windows Mobile OS that could spawn the kind of Oklahoma land rush that the iPhone has created. Do you think we'll be using the Apple iPhone saying, "there's an app for that", when referring to Windows Mobile 6.5, 6.1 and 6.0? Not likely compared to what we've experienced with the iPhone platform. Windows Mobile 6.5 has a new, better home screen that lets you flick through content (photos, calendar items, notifications, etc.) without starting the app. It now has flick scrolling, though not as smooth and impressive as the iPhone. There are new, squiggly menus. But most of that is window dressing. It's the apps that makes the iPhone platform great. Even if WM6.5 were functionally equivalent, it's always much harder for late followers to achieve the same kinds of successes an early game changer has achieved. We need killer apps for the Windows Mobile app store, and lots of them, with lots of developers energized about creating apps for Windows Mobile 6.5.NOTE: Have a favorite apps on Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Palm Pre or the iPhone. Send a DM twitter message to me at @mitchellashley about your favorite mobile apps. If selected, you'll be credited in an upcoming Network World slide show and blog post.

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