By Stephen Schenck | February 3, 2012 8:05 PM
Earlier this month, Microsoft told us about its plans to expand the global reach of the Windows Phone Marketplace to six new nations. It was giving developers the heads-up first, so they could start submitting apps in advance. Considering that some of the countries on that list impose stricter-than-usual control of which apps are allowed for sale within their border, that head-start gave devs time to double-check their work for appropriate content. Today Microsoft announced that end-users finally have access to the Marketplace in these nations, but the list now only includes five; what happened?
The original list included Argentina, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and the Philippines. Today, all those countries can access the Marketplace, with the exception of China. Microsoft doesn’t explain the country’s absence from the group today, but it’s almost certainly due to the forthcoming launch of Windows Phone handsets there.
We’ve already seen signs that Chinese retailers are accepting pre-orders for Windows Phone models. We’ve heard that the launch will be sometime before July, but it’s really looking like it could be nearly any time now.