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Microsoft launches online Marketplace app store

Jenny Williams

Microsoft is to launch an online version of its Windows Phone mobile application store, Marketplace.

The online app store, Web Marketplace, aims to make it easier and faster for Windows Phone users to download and access its 18,000 apps.

Todd Brix, senior director for Windows Phone Marketplace, said in a blog post that apps will be automatically downloaded "over-the-air to the customer's Windows Phone" or optionally installed later.

Brix said the web version of Marketplace provides Windows Phone apps with extra visibility, more merchandising possibilities and new end-user features to promote app sales.

Web Marketplace could make it easier to re-install apps when changing phones, as it stores users' download history. Users can also share favourite apps through social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Purchases on Web Marketplace will be charged to credit cards linked to users' Windows Live ID.

Earlier this week, Microsoft previewed the release of its Windows Phone operating system (OS) update, Mango. The web version of Marketplace will launch with the Mango release later in 2011.

To access the Windows Phone beta development tools, click here.

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