Hot on the heels of yesterday's news of Microsoft clarifying some of its Marketplace policies comes a treasure trove of new info regarding Windows Mobile 6.5, Marketplace and personalizing your 6.5 experience. Here's the lowdown on just a bit of what we expect this week at CTIA in Las Vegas:
Marketplace: Will be available in April as a free download, and more than 125 software vendors are already on board. The Facebook application (already snagged from a 6.5 ROM) will allow you to take and upload video directly from your phone. AP Mobile will be there (that's significant for a news organization because the AP also got in on the iPhone nearly from the beginning).
Also in the Marketplace from the get-go will be SPB and Resco (which we spoke to recently), MySpace, Accuweather, CNBC, 3deep by Litescape, EA Mobile, Developer One, Fameloft, Glu Mobile, Handmark, Ilium Software, Jeyo Inc, Kinoma, Magmic, Melodis Corp., Namco, Pandora, Phatware, SBSH Mobile, Shozu, Sling, Web Information Solutions and Zagat.
The fine print: As reported yesterday, devs can submit updates for free. You can pay with a credit card, or Marketplace purchases can appear on your bill. You can "return" an application after 24 hours for a full refund.
Themes and personalization: We'll be hearing more this week about customizing your Windows Phone experience, including a partnership with the Design Museum London and Council of Fashion Designers of America to create themes and such. Designer Isaac Mizrahi is on board. Maybe you've heard of him. There also will be a theme generator that lets you take a photo from your computer and generate an entire theme, which then will be sent straight to your phone.
Upgrading to Windows Mobile 6.5: We know of a few phones that will be upgradable from 6.1 to 6.5, and Microsoft is clarifying this position a little. Mainly in that if they meet a minimum hardware standard — 128MB RAM, 400 MHz processor — they may be available for an upgrade. But that's still up to the partners (read: Manufacturers/carriers) to choose to do so.
Loads more pics of all this after the break. Check back early and often this week as we'll have lots more news coming out of CTIA.