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Even as Apple iPhone and iPod
touch owners gained the power to download the Skype application from
Apple’s App Store,
Microsoft was lining up its partners for its own next generation of
Windows phones, Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

Microsoft announced that EA Mobile, the mobile unit of the Electronic
Arts gaming company, and MySpace have joined the effort to provide greater form
and functionality to users of Windows phones by making their applications
available through Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

Other companies that offer applications through Windows Marketplace for
Mobile include, The Associated Press, CNBC,
Developer One Mobile Software, Facebook, Gameloft, Glu Mobile, Handmark, Ilium
Software Inc., Jeyo Inc., Kinoma, LiteScape, Magmic Games, Melodis Corp., Namco
Networks, Netflix, Pandora, PhatWare Corp., Resco s.r.o., ShoZu Inc., Sling
Media Inc., SBSH Mobile Software, Spb Software, Web Information Solutions Inc.
and Zagat Survey.

Windows mobile developers who create apps can earn 70 percent of the revenue
generated from the sales of their applications, according to Microsoft. Those
applications can be priced and sold in 29 markets, and they can also be
distributed through Windows Marketplace for Mobile
for free.

Microsoft will certify applications before making them available via Windows
Marketplace for Mobile. Developers can submit applications starting
at the beginning of the summer, Microsoft says. Each developer will be able to
submit up to five applications for the annual registration price of $99. Each
additional application within the annual period will cost $99.

Microsoft says that developers can use tools such as Visual Studio and .Net
Compact Framework 3.5 to build applications. The Windows Mobile 6 SDK is
available here.