Microsoft Mango Ups Ante Against Apple And Android

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In a bid to better position its struggling phone platform Microsoft have made several improvements to its software ecosystem, improving applications and giving developers better tools.

With Windows Phone 7 preparing for an upgrade, Microsoft has made a few little tweaks to its application market in anticipation of its innovated Mango platform.

It seems that Microsoft realised consumers don’t just purchase a phone, they buy into an electronic ecosystem riddled with applications, games and support. As a response, they’ve more than doubled the amount of countries WP7 users can purchase apps from.

At present only 16 countries were offering third party applications and games from the OS’s native application market, and this has been upped to a total of 35. Additionally, another 7 developer countries have been added, reports reuters.com.

Although the company’s performance has been limp, they have tapped into the success of their gaming console with downloadable Xbox Live games and integration points.

 

With Apple’s app market housing 425,000 applications and recently reaching 15 billion worldwide downloads, Microsoft need to up the ante.

In an effort to do just that the company is adding more applications for under $5, adjusting price tiers from one country to the next and offering beta versions of developer apps to 100 testers for 90 days in a bid to improve software quality.

Microsoft also seem to be taking a proactive approach to organising its application market, adding three top level categories and several sub-categories to help make searching for an app more efficient. The new three application categories include education, kids & family, and government & politics. They’ve also enabled developers with a clever way of embedding contests and promotions in the Marketplace.

Read: Microsoft Slaps Apple Back, Breaks Records here.

Independently these improvements are minor, but combined they amount to a more efficient, better equipped and more competitive virtual playground, giving the Windows Phone platform a better position against its Apple and Android rivals.

Rumour has it that the Mango software update will launch within the next couple of months, and will bring 500 updates, primarily improving three areas: communications, apps and the web.

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