Windows Phone Marketplace Losing Zune Software Support

Developer & Design

Share this Post

All the major smartphone operators - Apple, Google and Microsoft - allow users to download apps from the Web or the smartphone itself. Microsoft strangely enough had a third option that allowed users to download Windows Phone 7 apps from the Zune HD store. Probably due to the fact that nobody knows what a Zune is anymore, Microsoft is removing this third option.

Let's back up a little bit first though. Microsoft has found through their research that most app users obtain apps via their phones. If that obvious nugget of wisdom didn't floor you, maybe the fact that the Web portal has become popular as well might do the trick. Again, if you have ever used an Android or iPhone, you know this to be basic app shopping protocol.

Microsoft decided that it wasn't worth it to keep the Windows App option open on the Zune store. I'm just surprised that it took them this long to figure out that even Zune users (all three of them) don't even use the Zune store anymore. Of course, it would be mean to close the entire store, so Microsoft is keeping the Zune HD apps store open.

Microsoft does want to point out that the Zune software still has a purpose for Windows Phone users. You can use it to install Windows software updates, making backup copies of photos and videos store on your phone, and, of course, buying music.

Speaking of software updates, Microsoft is soon requiring every Windows Phone to be updated to Windows Phone 7.5 to buy, submit or review apps. Why? It's all part of an effort to unify the platform. Similar in a way to how the latest version of iOS runs on the last three makes of the iPhone. Now if only Android smartphone manufacturers would roll out official ICS updates to all of us Android 2.3 users.

In another part of the Windows Phone blogosphere, Todd Brix detailed how the new changes will affect developers. He mentions that "deep links" to apps on the marketplace will need to be changed if they use the zune:// format for links. The proper way to link to your app is{GUID}.

The same post also revealed that Microsoft has released the OS software required to bring Marketplace to smartphone users in Bahrain, Israel, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, UAE and Vietnam. This allows developers in these regions to officially start developing apps for Windows Phone as well as setting up hardware manufacturers to start selling Windows Phones to the people of these countries.