In Asia, Windows Store now open to developers in 19 markets and consumers in 24 markets
Analysts put total number of Windows Store apps at over 1000
WITH the upcoming global launch of Windows 8 on October 26, Microsoft has opened up its built-in application marketplace – Windows Store – to an additional 82 markets around the world.
In Asia, the 19 new markets for developers are: Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.
The Windows Store has also been made available to consumers in Bhutan, Cambodia, Christmas Island, Macau and Myanmar.
Developers in a total of 120 markets are now able to register for a Windows Store developer account and submit apps to the Windows Store for Windows 8 and Windows RT.
In addition, Microsoft is throwing in a free, one-year Windows Store developer account to all eligible Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers.
Students under Microsoft's DreamSpark program will also have the Microsoft Store subscription fee waived and the company will soon be issuing an offer for businesses participating in the BizSpark program.
When asked what will happen to the current Windows Phone 7 marketplace, Ed Quek, developer and platform strategy director for Microsoft APAC, said the company was focused on the launch of the Windows Store and did not have an update to share.
Quek also declined to share how many apps in the Store are from Asia-based developers or which markets in the region lead in terms of number of apps submitted to date.
The company however, does have plans to ramp up awareness of the Windows 8 platform, Windows Store and developer opportunities in the lead-up to the consumer launch.
“We will be rolling out a host of events including trainings, labs, community and influencer engagement and customer and partner consultation drives across Asia to engage with consumer application developers, traditional independent software vendors and students,” said Quek, but declined to share when these outreach efforts would officially kick off.
When asked whether Microsoft had a target for the numbers of apps for and from Asia, Quek said the “goal right now is to engage as many developers as possible within these new markets.”
“We are very excited about the future of the Windows Store and look forward to sharing more updates as we hit new product milestones,” he added.
An official figure for the total population of apps in the Windows Store has yet to be released by Microsoft; however analyst Wes Miller with Directions on Microsoft said via Twitter that there are 1,033 Windows Store apps available internationally as of Sept 12.
The Microsoft-focused analysis site has also released a report with further breakdowns on available Windows 8 and Windows RT apps.
When Windows 8 is generally available, customers in over 200 countries and regions around the world are expected to be able to shop for apps in over 100 languages through the Windows Store.
Payments in local currencies are available for many of these markets, including Malaysia, with Microsoft stating that these payment schemes “are based on local payment and banking provider availability.”
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