IT LOOKS LIKE Windows Phone 8 might not be delayed after all, as Microsoft rolled out the software development kit (SDK) today and has launched its Windows Phone Store.
What's interesting is that the SDK is being released only to an elite subset of developers, a bizarre move on Microsoft's part. According to the firm, it's releasing the SDK only to developers of the best-selling apps on Windows Phone 7, which means that only a select few will be able to get on with optimising their apps for the updated Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system (OS).
Today might not deliver great news for developers, but it's good news for those pained by Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace. Microsoft has launched an updated version of its Google Play rival named Windows Phone Store, which promises to offer better search and a more intuitive interface.
"Starting today we're retiring the name Marketplace and renaming it the Windows Phone Store. By doing so, we're following the lead of Windows 8 and its Windows Store for apps and games," Microsoft said in a blog post.
As well as its slick new user interface and improved search, thanks to the addition of Bing, Microsoft has split games and apps into two different categories to "ensure new customers know where to find downloads for their phone".
This has been further boosted by Microsoft's new "smarter app lists", which offer better sorting and browsing options.
Despite rumours that it has been delayed until November, Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 mobile OS is still expected to be available from the end of October. µ
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