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Microsoft To Shut Down App Store For Windows Mobile 154

angry tapir writes "Microsoft will soon shut down the app store for Windows Mobile, the phone platform it is phasing out. Starting May 9, users of Windows Mobile phones won't be able to browse, buy or download apps to their phones from the Marketplace, Microsoft wrote in a letter to customers. The move doesn't affect users of Microsoft's new mobile OS, who will continue to be served by the Windows Phone Marketplace."
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Microsoft To Shut Down App Store For Windows Mobile

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  • by bemymonkey ( 1244086 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @10:03AM (#39300143)

    Holy crap, I used WinMo for years and never knew. WTF?

  • Re:Windows Mobile? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 09, 2012 @10:27AM (#39300369)

    I am no fan of Windows 3.1 (Android interface).

    What does that even mean? This is actually the second time I've seen this reference made in the last two days, and it is legitimately bothering me, in a "if it wasn't for my horse I never would have spent that year in college" kind of way. I'm literally staring at my phone right now trying to make the connection, and I just can't find it.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @11:59AM (#39301319) Journal

    > The move should serve as a warning to customers

    ...and developers.

  • by Voyager529 ( 1363959 ) <voyager529 AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday March 09, 2012 @02:03PM (#39302799)

    There was, and the issue was the fact that it was about the worst implementation of a mobile app store I've ever used (and I've used Apple's, Google's, Amazon's, and the WP7 implementation).

    The first issue was the inherent problems of getting software for Windows Mobile in general. Windows Mobile 5/6 came at a time of some ludicrously awkward and diverse-in-a-bad-way hardware. Some devices had a resistive touch screen. Some had a keyboard. Some had both. Some only had hardware dialpads. Some had 2 hardware softkeys, others had four. Some had 240x320 displays, some had 240x320 displays, some had 480x640, some had 480x800. Some had barcode scanners. Some had IR ports. Some had Bluetooth. Some had Wi-Fi. Some had GPS. Some had a CompactFlash slot. Some had 200MHz CPUs and 64MBytes of RAM, others had 1GHz CPUs and 512MB of RAM. Try - just TRY - developing for a platform where you can't make a single assumption about input *or* output. There were essentially two ways that developers overcame this hardware diversity. The first was to develop for a handful of specific models. While this streamlined support and produced a standard of compatibility, it was problematic for the developer (whose market was limited by the phones available) and the customer (who either couldn't get a piece of software, or had to choose a particular phone/PDA based on the necessity of an application). The second route that could be taken was to have a developer extensively test as many handsets as possible, and develop the UI to compensate. While this made applications mostly consistent, I'm sure I don't have to describe the nightmare of testing (and debugging) dozens of handsets, and implicitly the fact that programs of this nature were typically much larger as the installation CAB file had to include all the different permutations. Even this second route led to the first to some extent. Some developers (notably SPB and Jeyo) sidestepped this a bit by making extensions to the OS itself and leaving the input/output/display to WinMo to figure out, but others like DeLorme had applications that would technically function (street maps for all of the USA for my laptop, and an export function for my phone so I can GPS for free without a data plan? yes please!), but in the most arcane way possible no matter what hardware you threw at it.

    So now that the nightmare of developing for WinMo has been established, consider the pathetic history of selling software for WinMo. I remember working at Staples, having a revolving rack of PDA software, priced from $9.99 to $49.99, that shipped on SD cards. Back then, the PDA software market used the retail model that PCs used, because back then, smartphones were considered portable desktops that did the core subset of PC functionality. The concept of buying apps on the fly made little sense when data was transferred over a serial cable, and later USB, from Outlook. On the flip side, the developers of mobile OS software were following the PC model as well; many listed their stuff on, each of which had a mobile section. Other companies like Handango and catered to the mobile crowd exclusively. This was, of course, in addition to developers hosting their own websites, taking care of their own transactions, and providing their own e-mail support.

    When Apple came out with the App Store for the iPhone, it wasn't entirely breaking new ground. Apps had been sold for mobile devices forever, Steam modeled a successful software distribution channel, Apple had plenty of success with selling songs and movies in their media store, and and Cydia had been enabling the installation of software on the iPhone for nearly a year before. The iPhone and the App Store did help make a critical change in the way that the smartphone was thought of: no longer was a mobile phone the extension of a desktop that facilitated the sending and receiving of e-mail and integrating one's Outlook contacts with their phone. The Smartphone started to be looked at as its own pla

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