Not quite sure what to believe here but Microsoft says, through one of its French Answers forum Moderator, that you can only install a Windows Phone 7 application you already purchased for a maximum number of five times. We think she got it all wrong.
While it is true that we don’t Hard Reset Windows Phone 7 smartphones on a daily basis, charging for the same application you have already bought with the occasion of the sixth reinstall might make some customers angry — and some developers happy. We’re also not sure if this is the case — so if you ran into this situation before, please let us know — but if the answer is yes, Microsoft should do something to tie the purchased title to the Marketplace ID or the hardware it’s been purchased from.
Also, another question arises: are application updates considered as being reinstalls of the previously purchased app? Technically, they should be regarded so, in which case actioning on the application to remove it is not necessary for the system to ask you for money the second time. Again, we’re not sure of the status quo but the text says: “<...>you can install an application 5 times before being charged again<...>“.
The way we see it, Windows Phone 7 titles can be installed on up to five devices tied to the same Windows Live, Xbox or Zune ID with the ability of swapping one out every 30 days. We also believe that the app purchases are indeed tied to the ID used for purchasing it and that ID can install and reinstall forever without being charged. Did the Microsoft moderator get it wrong? Let us know of your thoughts below!
Update: Looks like the issue has been clarified and it’s just the way we said above under “the way we see it” paragraph. In my first language — which is Romanian — there’s a saying which roughly translates into something like “only those who don’t work don’t make mistakes”.