Microsoft gives more marketplace details! Themes!, Upgrades to 6.5!

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.

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

  • Is the "marketplace" going to be the ONLY place we can get third party apps for WM? Or will we still be able to download pirated copies of everything free of charge?
  • You're kidding right?
  • i think we will be able to install cab files just fine. i dont think alot of people will install pirated programs when ur favorite ones will be a couple of $$, i am not trying to lecture you, but if u want this to work u have to support the Devs "may be available for an upgrade. But that's will up to the partners (read: Manufacturers/carriers) to choose to do so." Now why would HTC give 6.5 to the Diamond and Touch pro, i dont think that they will because it will hurt the Diamond2 and TouchPro2's sales
  • i dont think it will hurt Diamond2 and TP2 because the WM 6.5 will be realesed later this year (September, November).
    These two devices are almost coming out to the market (with 6.1) and they will get upgrade for 6.5.
    And if Microsoft/HTC decide to give updates to other devices wont be on the same time as the new ones... so once again i dont think its gonna hurt the sales.
  • will the XPERIA get it? also - please tell me you can pay through PayPal! Plus + when is 6.5 coming out ima getting excited!
  • If the store will only work on 6.5, then they have to get it in to more hands fast and not rely on on new phones. (my treo pro would up date fine). Plus the Diamond and Touch Pro lack windows buttons, which it was reported that 6.5 would require it to have. Would they even be on the possible list to update?