Microsoft Announces, then Withdraws its Own App Store: SkyMarket

Perhaps Microsoft wanted to make a splash with its annoucement for a manager to run Microsoftis own version of Appleis App Store, according to Internetnews on Wednesday. However, the job posting has been withdrawn, and Microsoft wonit comment.

The advertisement was found at and described a services for Windows Mobile called SkyMarket. The lead item in the job posting said it was looking for someone to provide, "Definition of the product offering, pricing, business model and policies that will make the Windows Mobile marketplace ithe place to bei for developers wishing to distribute and monetize their Windows Mobile application."

Microsoft declined to comment on the posting, according to Andy Patrizio, but Microsoftis Scott Rockfield, group product manager for Windows Mobile did say: "Microsoft is always innovating on Windows Mobile and as such weire always working on future versions and projects, however we have nothing to announce today."

Gartner Analyst Van Baker told Internetnews that he would be very surprised if the carriers would let Microsoft take their online software sales away from them.

"A lot of us were astounded that AT&T let Apple have the App Store," Mr. Baker said. "Thatis a valuable customer link between carriers and customers and a good touch point, a good way to get information on the customer, and carriers will be reticent to give that up."

According to a related story at InformationWeek, Windows Mobile 7 isnit scheduled for release until some time in 2009, and SkyMarket would depend on that release first. The timing puts Microsoft, apparently jealous of Appleis App Store, considerably behind both Google and Apple, according to IWis Eric Zeman.