A little over three weeks ago, Microsoft advised Windows Phone users about a few changes that were going to be coming to the Marketplace. Those included removing Windows Phone apps from the PC Zune client, making you do your searches on your phone or through your computer’s browser, as well as new restrictions on accessing the Marketplace. Today, with those changes almost ready to go, Microsoft is giving users another heads-up on the steps they’ll need to take to ensure continued Marketplace access.
Once these changes go through, only phones that have been upgraded to Windows Phone 7.5 will be able to use the Marketplace. That includes getting updates to existing apps, and searching for them through the web-based Marketplace won’t be a work-around; you’ll still need Mango or better on your phone in order to download and install apps.
Microsoft will be posting one last reminder when these changes are finally ready to go live, but you’re really getting down to the wire here; it’s time to get comfortable with Mango if you’d like to continue using Windows Phone with any sort of functionality left. From the sounds of things, it will only be a matter of days before Microsoft flips the switch. Once it does, users on older software will only be able to use the Marketplace to browse through apps they can no longer access.