Speaking Wednesday at the Casual Connect gaming conference in Seattle, Steven Hegenderfer, group product manager of Windows Mobile, declared that Microsoft has only just begun to fight in the mobile market.
"Anyone [who] thinks that Apple is going to run this thing, they are sorely mistaken," said Hegenderfer, as reported by TechFlash's John Cook. "And I am not talking from like a pompous point of view. We are so early in this industry ... we are barely scratching the tip of the iceberg. And this is exciting.... It is like a Wild West land rush, there is gold in them there hills."
Microsoft on July 27 will begin taking submissions for its Windows Marketplace For Mobile, which the software giant hopes will lead to a frenzy of mobile applications on par with that which the App Store has generated. Windows Marketplace For Mobile is designed specifically for Windows Mobile 6.5 devices, but to expand the addressable market, Microsoft also will offer a downloadable application for Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 phones.
Microsoft has paid attention to what Apple and others have done in mobile application distribution and come up with an approach that best suits the needs of ISVs and Windows Mobile users, said Todd Brix, senior director of product management for Microsoft Mobile Services, in an interview earlier this month at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference.
As part of this effort, Microsoft will offer clear application submission guidelines for developers and will give customers 24 hours to return applications they don't like for a full refund through a simple, self-service process.
Microsoft may see opportunities to challenge the App Store, but the fact that Apple has a significant head start, combined with the slow pace of Windows Mobile 7 development, could make that an elusive goal.
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