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Monday, 01 September 2008 05:32

Microsoft Skymarket: the non-Apple App Store

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It is amazing what you can stumble across when reading the Seattle section of the computerjobs.com website: how about plans for a Microsoft Windows Mobile App Store, for example?

Job offers can be a great way to get under the skin of otherwise well hidden corporate secrets. iTWire reported how Apple seemed to be having trouble finding someone to hack the iPhone in order to root out security problems earlier this year.

Now we can reveal that Microsoft is quite possibly looking to emulate Apple. Not in the search for a hacker, but rather in opening an App Store.

This one called Skymarket, and for Windows Mobile software downloads.

The otherwise well kept secret has apparently been blown wide open by the posting of a position vacant advert in the Seattle area section of the ComputerJobs.com website.

The advert, posted by Microsoft, for a flexi-time position has the less than subtle job title of: Senior Product Manager - Skymarket.

Now if that was not just made to raise the eyebrows of the media, then I do not know what is. Microsoft Skymarket, what could that be? All is revealed in the advert itself.

"This is a unique opportunity and time of rapid change in the mobile industry for a Senior Product Manager in the Mobile Communications Services team to drive the launch of a v1 marketplace service for Windows Mobile" it says.

Hmm, could this be getting ready to launch alongside Windows Mobile 7, by any chance? The advert is only saying it needs someone to start ASAP, but I suspect they will need the lucky candidate in post before the end of the year if Skymarket is to launch for the consumer early (ish) in 2009.

So what does the job entail? Well, the key responsibilities would seem to be:

"Definition of the product offering, pricing, business model and policies that will make the Windows Mobile marketplace the place to be for developers wishing to distribute and monetize their Windows Mobile applications."

Aha, that kind of gives the game away doesn't it? And this next bit kind of gives the date away as well.

"Preparation and driving the cross group collaboration for the initial launch of the marketplace offering to the developer community this fall."

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