Microsoft Joins Google, Apple App Store With Windows Mobile's Skymarket

Software giant Microsoft looks set to release a rival to Apple's iPhone and iTouch App Store as well as Google's forthcoming Android Market, under the moniker "Skymarket".

Skymarket would do what only Apple has managed to do until now: federate and centralise all applications for a platform under a single umbrella, something that Microsoft has not been able to achieve on the desktop side even with its might.

A job advert posted on Seattle's points to a "unique opportunity and time of rapid change in the mobile industry for a Senior Product Manager in the Mobile Communications Services team to drive the launch of a v1 marketplace service for Windows Mobile."

Skymarket would be set for an Autumn 2009 release, which would mean that it would come after Google's own Android marketplace, and would complement Microsoft's next generation mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 7.

There are currently more than 18,000 applications for Windows Mobile, roughly 8 times more than Apple's iPhone.

It will be interesting to see whether Nokia with its S60 platform will manage to do something similar and earn revenue from it.

Interestingly, Apple is reportedly raking in north of USD 1 million a day with its App Store and this is set to increase as more iPhones are sold.