Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace is currently available for owners of devices running under the company’s mobile OS in 13 new countries.
The Redmond-based software giant has just announced the availability of the storefront in these markets, but pointed out the fact that it might take a while before applications were live for users.
Moreover, the company explained that those who already owned Windows Phone devices in these countries should set them up to take advantage of the local app portal now available for them.
For those who have never accessed the Windows Phone Marketplace before, we should note that they will need to be signed in with their Windows Live ID, and to have their accounts set up.
“During account setup, the Windows Live ID used at sign in is associated with a unique user ID. This user ID is where all purchase history and related information is stored,” Microsoft explains.
The company also notes that the accountlocale (Country/Region + language) of the User ID associated with the Windows Live ID will determine the Marketplace country users can access.
To use the Marketplace in a different country than the one originally set up on the mobile phone, users will have to reset their devices and get through the Marketplace setup process once again.
Resetting the phone will wipe out all data on it (including contacts, messages, ringtones and other personal files), and will also return the device to the default state (factory settings), although it won’t affect the OS version.
Thus, users are strongly advised to backup all data on their phones before proceeding with the update, to make sure that no important files are lost during the process. They can do that through Zune on Windows PCs, or through the Windows Phone Companion on Mac machines.
To get started with resetting the device, Windows Phone owners will need to flick to the App list, tap Settings, hit About, and then select Reset your phone (the button is located at the bottom of the phone). Detailed instructions on this are available on this support page.
The Marketplace country is determined by the locale of the user ID associated with the sign in account, and is not affected by the Country/region setting of the Windows Live ID.
For new accounts, users will be prompted to select a country/region during Account setup, and this info will be used to pre-populate the Marketplace Hub.
However, the locale will be set by default to the locale of the services associated with an existing Windows Live ID (such as Xbox LIVE, Zune), if the account has been used before.
“If the country associated with your account is different from the country used to pre-populate the Marketplace Hub, you may be instructed to restart your phone. You can either restart your phone, or just open Marketplace again to see the Marketplace Hub for your country,” Microsoft notes in a support article.