Windows Phone 8 launch: Windows Phone Store opens, SDK hits devs
Microsoft is readying itself for the arrival of the latest iteration of its mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8, renaming and rebuilding Marketplace and launching the SDK.
Microsoft has announced that it is updating its Windows Phone website with a fresher cleaner look, but in the process is also ditching the Marketplace name.
The Marketplace name was a hangover from the early days of Windows Phone, originally receiving criticism for being called Marketplace for Windows Mobile, while the company was pushing the new Windows Phone brand.
Three years later, we're glad to see Microsoft has moved on. Now you'll be dealing with the Windows Phone Store, which is precise and succinct, unlike Google Play, which still feels rather awkward.
The new Windows Phone Store promises to make searching better, thanks to Bing power and better presentation of related apps.
Microsoft is also adding a mechanism to report apps that cause concerns, and making sure that sexy apps are less prominent to casual browsers. We've been searching for Fifty Shades of Lumia 920…
In other related Windows Phone news, Microsoft has announced the limited roll-out of its SDK, or software development kit.
This will enable app developers to ready their Windows Phone 8 apps so they are optimised for the new mobile OS.
Currently this isn't a public SDK program, as Microsoft still hasn't announced the full range of features that Windows Phone 8 will bring with it.
The launch date of Windows Phone 8 is still to be confirmed, but we've already seen several devices that will run on the new platform, including the Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820, Samsung Ativ S and rumoured HTC 8X.