updated 07:40 am EDT, Mon September 1, 2008
MS Skymarket Hiring
Microsoft is developing its own centralized app store to compete with similar offerings from Apple and Google, the company itself has revealed through a Seattle job listing. The firm is currently searching for a Product Manager for a service known as Skymarket that would become a key aspect of Windows Mobile 7 and launch at the same time. A recruit would effectively head the entirety of the project and set the business model as well as the pricing and other terms.
The company doesn't explain when it expects to launch Skymarket, though it notes the service is already in development and that developers will have initial access to the store framework during the fall. Windows Mobile 7 itself is commonly predicted for an announcement in early 2009 and a launch on shipping devices closer to the middle of the same year.
Microsoft doesn't explain its motivations behind offering the store, though Google when discussing what would become Android Market explained that its goal was to help distribution by placing apps in a central, universally accessible location. Windows Mobile in present form currently offers fragmented app shopping that either requires visiting company websites or relying on third-party stores that aren't necessarily available on every device, such as Handango.