Following on from the last post about Windows Phone 7 and the shortcomings of its Marketplace infrastructure, here’s some information about the different types of services offered by the Marketplace around the globe. As you can see, it’s a bit of a mess.
It’s particularly bad here in the Netherlands, because although there are currently three models of Windows Phone 7 available on the open market (with more on the way), you can’t actually buy any applications, because there’s no Apps Marketplace available. Some people set the Location in their Windows PC to the US or the UK. That allows the Zune software on their PC to display the Apps Marketplace for those countries. However, unless you have a credit card issued by either a US or a UK bank, you may still find that you won’t be able to buy any applications. A few people have reported success, but others are saying that their credit cards are being refused by the Marketplace because they are issued by Dutch banks.
I note that, currently, Table 1 in Andrew’s post is showing that both India and Hong Kong have the App Marketplace available. I don’t think this is correct. I’m seeing people from both territories (India and Hong Kong) complaining in the Zune and Windows Phone 7 forums that the App Marketplace is not available to them. As far as I’m aware, there’s an easy way to test this. Just set your Location in Windows 7 to a particular country, and then start up the Zune software on your PC (which is used to browse the App Marketplace in those countries where it is offered). Most country settings will not even display the Marketplace menu (e.g. India and Hong Kong do not), and even for some that do, the App Marketplace is still not available (e.g. the Netherlands).
While I can understand that the deals with third parties to offer music and video media via the Marketplace can take Microsoft some time to set up, I don’t think that’s a valid excuse for Windows Phone 7 applications. If the phones are being openly sold in your country, and supported by your local carriers, then the App Marketplace should be available to you. That’s clearly not the case in many countries, some of them (e.g. India) being major markets. I really want Microsoft to succeed with WP7, but they seem intent on shooting themselves in the foot at every opportunity.