Anything you can do...
By Anthony CARUANA
While Apple's iPhone has had a less than stellar introduction to the market with tales of data syncing issues via Mobile Me and poor data speeds (particularly with some carriers that seem to be intentionally limiting data speeds) they have had one huge success story - the App Store. Millions of applications have been downloaded with some developers reporting on how they are making money from their independent work for the first time.
Now, there's news that Microsoft is following suit with word that they'll be launching their own online application marketplace as part of Windows Mobile 7. Currently known as Skymarket, it's expected to be a place for users to buy and download Windows Mobile apps. At the same time, the folks at Google, with their Android mobile OS, have announced the Android Market.
At one level, I think this is a good thing. Being able to buy apps over the air, directly from the device means that the need to run desktop installers will finally disappear. It's good news for developers as it'll stimulate sales as users search for and buy games and other software while they're on the go.
So, are Microsoft and Google playing "catch up"? Of course they are. Is this a bad thing? Of course not. I think it's a good thing. It'll mean that users will have easier access to what has traditionally been one of the hardest things to do on their smartphone - buy and install applications. The only parties I feel sorry for are Handango, Pocketgear and the like who'll see their marketplaces shrink as more users move away from the "download and sync" model to over-the-air purchase and installation.
|Subscribe to Hydrapinion|