The illustration to the left is inspired by something I was told today: the forthcoming Windows Mobile Marketplace is going to be for Windows Mobile 6.5 phones only, not back-ported to Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.0 phones. That’s right – the millions and millions of Windows Mobile phones out there today (40+ million I’d say in the past few years alone) will not have access to this forthcoming software directory. Only people that buy brand new phones, or perhaps a tiny percentage that will get a 6.5 upgrade for their phone, will be able to access this. They might as well made it available only to unicorns – both are mythical at this moment in time.
The strength of a software platform comes in numbers. Being the only one in the world with a fax machine means it’s useless. Developers are excited about the Marketplace because, for the first time, they’ll have direct access to the customer and can easily offer their software to them. But that audience is going to be very small at first, when it should have been very large.