Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile may be no more than a website, a new discovery seemingly confirms. A placeholder page shows a cellphone-sized teaser promising that the Windows Mobile software store is "coming soon" to that location. The posting suggests that Microsoft's promised accessibility through the desktop web and pre-6.5 versions of Windows Mobile will be accomplished by requiring that every user access a website instead of a native app.
While using the web would give Microsoft a level of portability not possible through most other centralized portals, the feature would also limit the Marketplace's ability to compete against the iPhone App Store, BlackBerry App World and other stores that have dedicated clients. Microsoft's store theoretically prevents it from allowing more than one download at once on a smartphone, background downloading or for on-the-fly software updates.
Microsoft has primarily positioned the Marketplace as an alternative to existing third-party store options on Windows Mobile, like Handango or carrier-run stores, rather than as a direct competitor.