On Wednesday, Microsoft announced the availability of its Windows Phone Marketplace over the web for users in 22 new markets around the world.
Through the online store, users can browse applications and games for their Windows Phone devices straight from their desktop computers.
“I’m happy to announce that nearly two dozen new online stores for Windows Phone
apps and games went live around the world this afternoon,” Microsoft’s Mazhar Mohammed notes in a recent blog post
The markets in which access to the web app store is now available include Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Israel, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In addition to expanding the reach of the Windows Phone
Marketplace, Microsoft also made a series of changes under the hood, so as to ensure that users can find software much easier than before.
For that, the company is imposing a limit of five keywords for each application, so that searches results deliver the expected results.
“Some of you have told us that when you search for apps by keyword or name, you don’t always see the results you’re expecting,” Mazhar Mohammed notes.
“To help address that, this week we’ve started reviewing the keywords that developers assign to their apps and removing ones that aren’t relevant.”
The process is expected to take a few weeks to complete, but the first fruits of this change should already be visible. Users will be provided with more relevant results when searching for applications.
They should also keep in mind that the Marketplace is currently offering content only for devices
that run under Windows Phone 7.5.
“This new requirement is part of a larger Marketplace improvement effort. You’ll find a handy checklist and instructions for updating your phone on Update central, our comprehensive how-to and troubleshooting resource,” Mazhar Mohammed concludes.