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Microsoft to extend the Windows Phone Marketplace to 23 new countries

Microsoft has revealed plans to extend the Windows Phone Marketplace to new countries. The software giant is making an updated SDK available for developers to develop apps on low-spec devices.

With each country where Microsoft has supported the Windows Phone Marketplace comes along the opportunity for developers to sell their applications to app consumers, on the other side, consumers have acces to apps and games where the Marketplace is availabe. For the additional 23 markets that Microsoft plan to extend the Marketplace to, this trend will certainly remain true.

In concurrence with the continuous growth of the Windows Phone Marketplace, which according to unofficial reports has reached nearly 71,000 published apps, Microsoft is extending to the Windows Phone Marketplace to 23 new countries including: Bahrain, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Referring to the imminent markets, Joe Belfiore from the Windows team writes that “28 new consumer markets this year alone, for a total of 63 markets worldwide where your Windows Phone apps may be sold. In terms of actual potential app customers, the addition of new price points and customers in China and the other new markets represents a near 60% increase in the total addressable market for Windows Phone. I told you it was a big step!”

To avoid as much fragmentation as possible and to “preserve the customer experience”, Microsoft is working with its hardware partners to ensure that the OS is optimized on newly-released devices, even the ones with low-specs. And unlike other operating systems with low-specs, notably devices that support Android OS, Windows Phone OS is optimized to work fluidly. An example of this is Lumia 610 which was recently introduced by Nokia at the Mobile World Congress.

“We also did significant engineering optimization work on the OS to deliver a great customer experience on lower cost phones. This work will be largely invisible to you. For instance we improved our paging support to enable apps to automatically take advantage of more memory than is physically on the device. Our approach is balanced to provide the greatest amount of application compatibility with the least possible overall performance impact,” Microsoft added.

On the developer side, Microsoft is already making available the SDK that will allow developers to test their current applications for the low-specs devices as well as developing new ones. As for the current collection of apps that are available, Microsoft estimated that only 5% of these apps are not low-spec-device compatible and developers will need to take steps to make their application compatible on these new devices. For more information, you can visit the Windows Phone developer blog.

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