The biggest issue that most people have with Windows Phone, including yours truly, is the lack of marketplace availability in many countries. What use is the platform if you can’t buy its apps or games? Apple has had this covered since the beginning, even in places where iPhone isn’t officially available but only iPod Touch is. Android has been following slowly but has covered most countries as well. We’re not sure why Microsoft, a company with global reach, is being so slow at it, though.
We’ll still give them the nod of approval for their effort though as they’re slowly expanding in more countries. As per the news coming out today from the Windows Phone blog, Marketplace is now available in five new countries: Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and Philippines. Since this announcement, it might take a few hours for it to be available for all.
Just one note thought: you’ll need to have Windows Phone 7.5 installed to be able to access the Marketplace goodies in these new countries. There’s no reason why one should still be on Windows Phone 7 anymore so don’t complain if you are.
Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7 back in 2010 with a brand new Metro UI and design language. While it wasn’t a breakthrough of a platform to start with, it has had some effects on competitors though such as Apple’s inclusion of Game Center as Windows Phone ships with Xbox Live built in. Similarly, Google has taken many design cues from Metro in their latest Android updates.
Microsoft followed up with an update to Windows Phone 7, dubbed Mango, and bumped up the version number to 7.5 to include features such as multi-tasking, better performance, new features in camera and default apps and much more. Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8 update, called Apollo, is expected to have support for more screen resolutions, multi-core processors and more. With Windows Phone, Microsoft definitely has a mobile OS that can take the third place in the market.
You can find out more about Windows Phone here.