Two Marketplace changes; An update on 9 new markets

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I wanted to make sure you saw the Windows Phone consumer blog today, because my colleague Mazhar highlights two changes to the Marketplace shopping experience that developers should be aware of.

First, we’re removing the option to browse and buy Windows Phone apps from the Zune PC software, a change that started rolling out this afternoon. Second, in the coming weeks we’ll also start requiring that customers have Windows Phone 7.5 installed on their phone to buy, download, update, or review apps in Marketplace.

Mazhar’s post has more details and background. But I want to highlight one important way the removal of the Windows Phone store from Zune impacts developers.

It’s important to make sure you’re using the correct protocol for direct links to your app in Marketplace. This “deep link,” as it’s also called, makes it easy for customers to pull up your app in the phone and web stores. The correct format is:

http://windowsphone.com/s?appId={GUID}

You’ll find more details on deep links here on MSDN. If you use the older zune:// format for links, customers will see an error message. Just something to keep in mind.

One final update for today: We just released the OS software required to bring Marketplace to customers in Bahrain, Israel, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, UAE and Vietnam. These nine markets—which are already open for app submissions—were part of the larger Marketplace  expansion I outlined last month. Our hardware partners can now create phones for these markets and begin their final launch preparations.

Mazhar will have more to say about these new storefronts in the weeks ahead.

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