With as close as Nokia is to Microsoft, it’s no surprise the company gets away with a little more than other Windows Phone partners. The latest example of that tight relationship is showing-up in the latest software to hit Nokia Lumia-series devices, featuring some re-branding for the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Users with Lumia phones running Tango have discovered that their phones now feature a Nokia logo for the Marketplace tile. Earlier, the extent of Nokia’s influence on the Marketplace was confined to the manufacturer’s exclusive Nokia Collection app listing.
For the moment, this new change appears to be superficial, with no alternation to Marketplace functionality to speak of. There are rumors, though, that this could just be the first step in some sort of move to increase Nokia’s role in how its users choose apps for their phones. Since the company was recently talking about all the partnerships it’s made with developers and the various Nokia-exclusive releases we’ll be seeing over the coming months, it stands to reason that a Nokia-themed Marketplace could end up playing a substantial part in the arrival of those apps.
Of course, there’s always the fear that moves like this, no matter how well-intentioned, are contributing to a slippery slope that will eventually lead to Windows Phone fragmentation.