On the Windows Phone Blog, Microsoft gives all the info on the upcoming launch of the Windows Phone Marketplace. While geared mostly towards developers, there's a few interesting things mentioned. Their schedule looks like this:

  • Oct 4: All registered developers have been contacted and invited to request early submission to the Marketplace certification process.
  • Oct 6: Deadline for registered developers to respond to the invitation to participate in early submission. Of those that request access, an initial group of a couple of thousand developers will be accepted on a first come, first served basis to receive guidance and early access to the new application submission and certification process.
  • Oct 11: Participating early certification developers will receive instructions on submitting their xaps, allowing those apps to be published in Marketplace in the lead up to, and after, launch.
  • Oct 12-November: Microsoft will continue processing submissions and prioritizing new requests in the order they are received until the self-serve submission process is broadly enabled.

We like the part about "an initial group of a couple of thousand developers will be accepted". That sure sounds like they have quite a bit of interested developers on hand itching to get their wares in the Marketplace. It also insures when you, the end user, turn on your new device, you'll have quite the selection of apps to choose from.

Take a read of the article. It'll make you feel good that Microsoft is betting on quality and not quantity of programs and are really looking to deliver a classy experience. We have high hopes.