Microsoft today at its Worldwide Parterner Conference in New Orleans announced that Windows Marketplace for Mobile will be available not just on Windows Mobile 6.5 as previously believed, but on Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 as well. That's slightly stunning news as it allays fears of causing a pretty deep schism among current devices. It's still not known just how many phones will get the 6.5 upgrade later this year, and a lot of people were prepared to be left out in the cold.

Also announced was that the Marketplace will open up the app submission process on July 27, and a few screenshots have been made available.

That not enough? Microsoft is also building Windows Marketplace Business Center that "will contain mobile business applications across several common industries and line of business functions from leading companies that include Avanade UK, Formotus, Ilium Software, Pyxis Mobile and WebIS.  Business Center is another way for our partners to differentiate themselves and showcase their business applications, while making it easier for users to locate and purchase the latest mobile business tools."

Still no firm date on when anything's actually launching, but we're steaming right along. So how about it, folks? That put Windows Mobile 6.5 and Marketplace in a whole new light for you? Let us know in the forums.

There's more on the Windows Mobile Team blog, and a video of Microsoft's Todd Brix after the break.