All the way back in May, Microsoft revealed that they were hard at work developing a web version of the Windows Phone marketplace. Now that the new Mango update is nearly upon us, Microsoft has officially flipped the switch on their web marketplace for markets across the world.
In true Windows Phone style, the marketplace’s web version sticks closely to Metro UI’s slick, minimalist design roots. Back in the May reveal, Microsoft hinted at “extra visibility [and] more merchandising possibilities” for developers and their applications, and they’ve delivered on their promise with a rotating slideshow of standout apps.
Cosmetics aside, all the expected functionality is all accounted for here: potential customers can sort through the myriad apps at their disposal by category or genre, and each app’s entry provides screenshots and user reviews for the discerning customer. A good portion of Windows Phone apps allow you to try them before actually making the purchase, and playing with a demo version on your phone only takes one click from inside your browser.
Purchasing an app is similarly a one-click affair, since it automatically charges the credit card tied into the user’s Windows Live ID. Once an app has been paid for, it downloads over-the-air to the user’s Windows Phone. Simple enough, right?
The Marketplace is now accessible through Microsoft’s Windows Phone portal, but users may want to be careful: sometimes the temptation to spend hours poking through app lists is too strong to overcome.