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Microsoft Bans VoIP, Rival Stores At Mobile Market 151

narramissic writes "Microsoft has identified 12 application types that won't be accepted at the MarketPlace for Mobile store. Among them: VoIP apps, programs that are larger than 10MB, and programs that change the default browser on a device. Overly restrictive? Maybe. But perhaps the clear set of rules (PDF) will prevent confusion similar to what's been encountered over Apple's policy for approving or rejecting applications from the App Store."
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Microsoft Bans VoIP, Rival Stores At Mobile Market

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  • Excuse me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sam0vi ( 985269 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @08:54AM (#27844219)

    Excuse me for saying this, but does anybody else think this is MADNESS!!?? They are not going very far with those restricitions. Follow the way of the Zune.

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @08:57AM (#27844249)

    I personally don't care, since you are not tied to this store to get applications for Windows Mobile. This is not Apple where you have to jailbreak the device to install software from anywhere.

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @08:59AM (#27844279)

    The killer is they won't accept VoIP apps. Any attempt at control creates a pressure for change away from that control. The market will simply move past Microsoft.

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Andy_R ( 114137 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:04AM (#27844333) Homepage Journal

    The top 2 things in the prohibited list are "Applications that link to, incent users to download, or otherwise promote alternate
    marketplaces" and "Applications that are or distribute alternate marketplaces".

    This doesn't fill me with confidence about the future of alternatives to Microsoft's store, surely they must be envious of Apple's 30% cut of 1 billion app sales.

  • Re:Funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:06AM (#27844357)
    And RIM is ahead of them. I read just yesterday that RIM overtook Apple in marketshare of mobile devices. Not that any of us ever doubted Linux would one day surpass MS and Apple.
  • Re:Excuse me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tb3 ( 313150 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:16AM (#27844491) Homepage

    Exactly. I can't see anything in there that would stop porn, or the baby-shaking app, or anything else that could be controversial or offensive. The first time someone tries to submit an app like that, Microsoft is going to have to accept it, and deal with the PR firestorm, or reject it, and deal with the PR firestorm. :-P

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by m50d ( 797211 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:17AM (#27844499) Homepage Journal
    Who's to say the next IPhone won't stab users in the face with a fork?

    Could we maybe wait until such restrictions are actually, you know, announced, before bashing MS for them?

  • Re:dialers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kyuubi42 ( 1424889 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:23AM (#27844549)

    But the beauty of windows mobile is that you do not have to go through an app store, installing apps on your own does not void the warrenty.

    This is just guidelines for what MS will allow in the store, and it makes sense that they would not like to advertise competing products.

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice@gm a i l . com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:24AM (#27844569)
    Why should the supplied market place advertise and enable rival services?
  • Re:Excuse me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Andy_R ( 114137 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:25AM (#27844587) Homepage Journal

    This is a list of application types that will be rejected. I think it's safe to assume there will also be a list of application content that will be rejected, which will cover the sort of things you mention.

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:25AM (#27844589) Homepage Journal

    Anyone familiar with the PlaysForSure initiative should be extremely wary of purchasing anything for these devices without a way to guarantee that they'll work after Microsoft moves on to greener pastures.

  • by wild_quinine ( 998562 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:27AM (#27844611) Homepage

    Windows® Marketplace for Mobile
    Prohibited Application Types:
    1. Applications that... etc

    Basically 'You can't sell stuff in our store which directly competes with the stuff we sell in our store?'

    That sounds like a perfectly reasonable policy for a store owner to have.

    That only becomes a problem when you have a monopoly. In this case, Microsoft don't. They don't across Platforms because of Apple, Palm, Android, and they don't within their own platform, because you can go elsewhere for apps (unlike with Apple!)

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maxume ( 22995 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:29AM (#27844645)

    I'm not real sure that a policy of not promoting other appstores puts them at a competitive disadvantage versus Apple, which simply refuses to support any other appstores.

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animaether ( 411575 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:31AM (#27844665) Journal


    You already purchased Windows, one way or another (unless you're a pirate - ARRR!!!!!), so you can put whatever the heck you want on there.

    The Windows Marketplace is a -store-. You don't own it. Why exactly should they have to -sell- (or offer) another company's software - especially if it's competing software?

    Don't like it? Go to or or any of dozens of other stores.

    Microsoft isn't stopping anybody from installing competing 'market place'-type software; they just don't want to offer/sell it through their own market place. Sounds normal to me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:32AM (#27844683)
    I'm very gullible!

    So you also voted for Obama?
  • Re:Excuse me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:34AM (#27844699)

    In their offense, this ruling doesn't make sense.

    Apple apps don't run on Windows phones; hell, most of their own apps barely run on their phones. My Windows 5 Treo 700w is miserable.

    It's true that banning VoIP makes friends with the carriers. A good some place will deliver those apps soon. Then things are out of the carrier's gouging control again, and so much the better.

    Competition is cool. The Amazons of the world can actually make money from rivals, easily and handily.

    Open a store, make it a cool and safe place to go, and clean up. Microsoft keeps hardware vendors in business by getting their OS and apps to run in lots of places on lots of hardware. Their UI, good or bad as it might be, is at least understood. They have a chance to be egalitarian, but instead, copy the mistakes of their rivals, instead of breaking new ground. Oh, wait.... that's what they always do-- or at least that's the perception.

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maxume ( 22995 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:34AM (#27844705)

    Anyone with any understanding of DRM at all should be wary of any service that employs DRM that depends on a server (there is some distinction between server based schemes and something like DVD style protection, the latter being someone less likely to explode).

    Of course, whether than means not using it at all or simply factoring it into the purchasing decision is going to be up to the individual. The short term payoff could well be significant enough that the DRM simply isn't relevant.

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tgd ( 2822 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:40AM (#27844769)

    That 1 billion is a misnomer.

    Every time you download an update to an app, its considered a sale (and you get a $0 receipt for it).

    I'm sure I've racked up hundreds of sales, but I've only bought maybe four programs.

  • by internerdj ( 1319281 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:41AM (#27844793)
    1-3 make good business sense
    4,5,7,9 are probably rules pushed by the provider
    7,8,10 protect tech support
    11,12 are to protect the consumer
    6 is probably just a loophole to make sure they can get around any creative ideas that would have been intended to fall under 1-3 but might not be covered.

    Of course if you are unhappy with these rules maybe you could return to the open and free policies of buying apps for your iPhone...
  • Re:Excuse me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tanktalus ( 794810 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:53AM (#27844911) Journal

    It really depends on what they see as their revenue stream.

    One option is to try to lock all your customers in to your vertical stack, such that you spend all your money with them. This is known as the "bundle everything with your OS" tactic. Microsoft has had some success with this.

    Another option is to enable partners to drive sales of your base product. That is, you provide the base product (say OS) and encourage others to provide value to your product by producing add-ons. This could be known as the "contract out your OS to some weenie startup who stole the code they're trying to sell you" model. Didn't work so well for IBM. Although IBM is doing better with it now - perhaps they vet their partners better.

    I'm not really sure why MS would go the other road, especially since the first one works so well for them in the Windows space, and seems to be the way Apple is going... though the second way seems to be the way that Sony does their PlayStation which has traditionally worked well for them (until the Xbox came in and further divvied up the console market). What the second method really does is encourage others to sell your product. Maybe I'm naive in business (I'm just a drone at a big company, not an entrepreneur), but I'd probably want to go with the second method, if only to get people selling my stuff without having to pay them ;-)

  • by bleh-of-the-huns ( 17740 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @10:35AM (#27845515)

    What do you mean unofficial.. there is no such thing in the WinMo world. Anyone can create and distribute apps for WinMo devices, in any way they please.

    The only thing that the Windows Market place is allowing for is the ability for developers to create applications that can be sold through a 1 stop shopping space directly on the phone.

    there is nothing stopping users from buying apps from developer websites, handango, or whatever other distribution method is out there, and installing via activesync. These are still official applications.

    As for the VOIP thing, well thats to appease the carriers. And no, MS does not have to allow applications that will point to competing market place applications. Thats like Walmart selling you a coupon that points to best buy to buy a piece of software...

    I read the rules a few days ago, I do not see anything wrong with them. As someone else pointed out, if you don't like those rules, go elsewhere, thats the advantage of WinMo, unlike Apple where you have to jailbreak if you want to do anything fun

    disclaimer, I have an iphone.. but I also have half a dozen winmo phones too.

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @10:37AM (#27845541)

    Uh, no.

    Your analogies don't hold water at all. I think skype on a mobile phone is great. I want dialtone, not monopoly in the same way that I want a carrier/Internet connection of some kind. I'll buy the products and services from whom I wish, and not be captive to some joker MBA's idea of a monopoly. Choice counts.

    Enslaving developers to draconian rules is not only boorish, but it's ultimately harmful to the business doing it-- and consumers get wise to the BS quickly, and go elsewhere.

    Say you were the #4 mobile OS maker, and you wanted to get market opportunities. Would you enslave your developer community in this way? Or would you try and eat your competitor's lunch by outdoing them in quality, selection, variety, and freedom?

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:57AM (#27846759)

    By that logic you can even justify murder. Don't glorify it, this is horrible. This is just as bad as McDonalds employees spitting in your food. I don't understand how people can be so easilly manipulated to accept these things

    I dunno, maybe because this ISN'T equivolent to murder or people spitting in your food? Really, if this is your biggest concern, get a life.

  • Re:Excuse me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WNight ( 23683 ) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:43PM (#27850201) Homepage

    Wrong question?

    Why would the marketplace accept a crippled device from company A when company B doesn't restrict their app store?

    I mean, who does MS think they are? Apple? Do they think they have any star power?

    Business types, MS's traditional cash cow, switched to Blackberries, and since Vista, people *have* gotten fired for buying Microsoft. They aren't really hip and cool. They don't appeal to kids...

    Don't they realize they're the LG of the market now? They're now the crap you whine about getting at work because the macbooks are gone and decent smartphones were already taken.

    So, um, no. They don't have to "enable rival services" - their rivals are doing fine without them (see iPhone and Crackberry). But if they didn't try to trap us in their walled garden, the crappiest of all, they might manage to hang onto some of their remaining customers.

Loose bits sink chips.