We mentioned Microsoft’s plans with Windows Phone Marketplace earlier this week, but in that same post they also mentioned more details were coming soon for the web-based Windows Phone Marketplace. The internet version of WP Marketplace will release alongside the Mango update later this year. It will give customers much more flexibility when accessing applications and games for their Windows Phone devices. Similar to how Xbox 360 LIVE members can already access the marketplace via www.xbox.com, users of Windows Phone will be given the same experience later this year. Todd Brix, Senior Director of Windows Phone Marketplace, gives us the details via The Windows Phone Developer Blog:
[…]Just as on the phone, customers will be able to browse the full catalog, view screenshots, read application details and reviews and choose from all of the supported languages for that app. This offers customers another way to more thoroughly and confidently browse your apps from the comfort of their PC’s web browser. With the Web version of Marketplace, we will also have more placement areas in which to provide featured apps with extra visibility and merchandising possibilities.
In addition to easy shopping, Web Marketplace will also enable customers (and you[developers]) to promote your apps among friends, family, partners and social networks. Customers will be able to share their favorite apps by embedding a link in emails or articles or make a recommendation through Facebook or Twitter.
Buying and installing apps from the Web Marketplace is fast and easy, just like the phone experience. Purchases are charged against the credit card already linked to the customer’s existing Windows Live ID. If they prefer, the customer can also opt to assign a new credit card. The apps will be automatically downloaded over-the-air to the customer’s Windows Phone, or can be optionally installed later. Web Marketplace will also be able to maintain a customer’s download history to make it easier to reinstall apps (when changing phones, for example). Finally with Parental Controls, parents can determine which apps their kids access based on ratings or keep them from downloading paid apps.
[…]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. By creating more opportunities for customers to get to your great apps, and maybe even discover something they didn’t expect to find, we hope to help you make more money and inspire you to continue creating great apps for Windows Phone. To that end, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the new beta tools.
Having a web version of Windows Phone Marketplace will not only bring flexibility when searching for applications or sharing them, but it will also bring the convenience we need for re-installing applications thanks to a download history.
Tell us how important it is for you to have a web version of Windows Phone Marketplace in the comments below.