As promised, the Windows Mobile team has rolled out some much awaited and anticipated updates for Windows Marketplace for Mobile. It attempts to tackle piracy with the introduction of a new anti-piracy feature, brings a more friendly environment for Windows Mobile developers and adds an online store for PC based users.
Improved Developer portal
Following enhancements have be made to the developer portal
- Image uploading process just got easier.
- Developers will be able to get a deeper insight into the state of their account
- A few other refinements
Advanced anti-piracy protection
Anti-piracy features have been improved to put up a better fight against piracy. Developers can get an insight of what are the new added anti-piracy features and how can they utilize them in their apps, by accessing the anti-piracy white paper provided by Microsoft.
Windows Marketplace offers two levels of protection to safeguard against piracy namely Standard Protection Level and Advanced Protection Level. Standard Antipiracy measures apply for all applications without the need to write any additional code. On the other hand, the advanced Anti-piracy procedure offers a more robust solution but also requires the developer to include additional lines of code to implement it.
The Standard protection level helps ensure that applications purchased in Windows Marketplace are delivered exclusively to the authorized user based on Windows Live™ ID authorization. No installation (.cab) files remain on the destination phone, which helps prevent the average user from copying the application to an unlicensed phone.
The Advanced protection level offers an additional layer of protection, based on the delivery of license keys that validate legitimacy of the bits at run-time. This measure is applied above all the other measures offered by the Standard protection level. Following table highlights the key differences between the two supported anti-piracy levels
Browse and buy applications from PC
One thing which was missing from the previous edition of Windows Marketplace was the inability for mobile users to shop using their PC. That is no longer the case. Mobile users can buy and download the applications they like, by visiting Windows Marketplace from their PC.
The purchased applications are delivered to the user’s Windows Mobile powered phone in a wireless mode. The application gets installed, once the user runs Windows Marketplace client on their phone.
All of the above mentioned changes are good enhancements, but here is the thing, Microsoft needs to do more, to be able to compete with its competitors such as Apple’s App Store and others. For starters, it should work on ways to attract more and more developers to its Windows Mobile platform. Hopefully, Microsoft can put compete with App Store better than others have so far.