By Chuong Nguyen | October 6, 2009 3:01 AM
Microsoft is offering several ways for users to pay for, and purchase, applications with Windows Marketplace for Mobile. When Marketplace for Mobile launches alongside of Windows Mobile 6.5, users will soon able to peruse, view, and purchase applications from their devices. After that, Microsoft will also enable a way to purchase apps from the desktop in the near future. Read on to find out the ways in which you can purchase apps.
Desktop versus Phone Purchases:
Applications purchases will be easy and seamless with your Live ID. You can either purchase apps from your desktop in a browser or on a phone. Microsoft had implied in our press session with the company that all Windows Mobile 6.5 devices launched will come with Marketplace for Mobile pre-installed.
Hopefully, that means that carriers and OEMs can’t remove the Marketplace for Mobile application and services from the device through contractual agreement with Microsoft–we’ve been hearing that some carriers and manufacturers are launching their own applications stores. The ubiquity of having Marketplace for Mobile on every device means that developers will have a greater reach to consumers and the distribution channel for Windows Mobile applications will become huge. Consumers win here. Hopefully, as developers build economies of scale, prices for Windows Mobile apps will drop.
How to pay?
So you’ve found the application that you like on Windows Marketplace for Mobile (we just call it Marketplace or Marketplace for Mobile for short), how do you pay? Microsoft has enabled several payment schemes.
1. Pay with your Live ID: Associate a credit card with your Live ID for quick and easy checkout.
2. Pay with your phone: Link your Marketplace for Mobile account with your carrier’s phone billing system and your applications purchases will be billed to you with your phone bill.
3. Pre-pay and set your own limits: If you don’t want to run up your credit card or phone bill, or are giving a Windows phone away to a minor, you can set up a pre-paid account with a set amount.
4. Pay with PayPal: Whether you’re paranoid with Microsoft having your credit information or just don’t want to deal with credit cards, Microsoft is allowing users to pay with PayPal–a nice move.
Moble carriers–like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless–will be given the option to have their own storefronts featured on Marketplace for Mobile. Consumers who purchase through the carrier option from within Marketplace for Mobile will do so seamlessly. If you purchase via a carrier, developers still get the 70% revenues that they are guaranteed; it is Microsoft who will probably work out a deal to give carriers a commission this way.
Bought something and didn’t like it? Returns are made easy and are self-service so you don’t have to email a monkey at the other end of the system to credit your account–everything works on a “self checkout” basis with Microsoft. At launch, to prevent users from abusing the system, Microsoft is limited returns to 1 per month.
Free versus Paid:
For those that love freeware, don’t worry. Microsoft is hoping to have a number of freeware and premium apps available for you to run your credit card through their self checkout system.
DRM and Piracy:
For those interested in this topic, check out our anti-piracy article.