Now that the world knows that Windows Phone 8 (WP8) will roll out later this year, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT - News) is also keen  to let people know that its app store is expanding globally as well. An official Microsoft blog has just announced that its Marketplace is expanding three-fold to cover more than 180 nations by the time WP8 arrives.
In Asia, it’s good news for the likes of Indonesia and Cambodia, which will get the Marketplace - for downloading free and paid apps and games - for the first time. There’s an even bigger list (see below) of Asian countries where developers will now be granted access to the WP App Hub so that they can submit and sell their apps. Newcomers to the App Hub will include Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Here are the new additions in Asia to both the App Hub and the Marketplace. If a country isn’t mentioned at all, that’s because it already has either or both these services, such as the big WP launch and push into China earlier this year. Here are the newcomers:
Newly-launched Marketplace in Asia, for local WP users to download apps: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Fiji, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macao SAR, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Outer Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tajikistan.
Newly-launched App Hub in Asia, for local developers to submit apps: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macao SAR, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Outer Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
Microsoft has already been active in Indonesia, way ahead of its App Hub starting there, in order to encourage local developers. Earlier this year we attended a Windows 8 Bootcamp in Bandung where Indonesian app devs got a practical and technical intro to the mobile OS.
How are readers using Windows Phone enjoying it so far? Fire away in the comments!
[Source: Windows Team blog - which includes a full global listing]
Microsoft is not so keen, however, on everyone realizing that none of its current WP7 phones will get the WP8 update when it arrives. That’s because the new version will be fundamentally different. This could cause a big fall in sales. ↩