Back at the end of March, we heard from Microsoft that it was adding support for a number of new countries to the Windows Phone Marketplace. While Zune support was going live nearly straight-away, at the time the company indicated that these countries would get access to the web-based version of the Marketplace within about a week. The entirety of April has passed in the time since then, and that web-based support never happened. Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about things, though, and today announced that the Marketplace is now accessible in twenty-two new nations.
All told, Windows Phone users in Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Israel, Thailand, and Vietnam can use the web-based Marketplace as of this afternoon.
In addition to this expanded access, Microsoft also discussed its efforts to make keywords a more useful tool for finding relevant apps. The company will be pouring through keywords currently tied to apps and doing a bit of pruning, removing those without strong ties to the application they’re associated with. By effectively cutting down on the level of noise, those keywords that remain linked to apps should be more on-target than ever.