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Microsoft rolls out full list of countries with access to Windows Phone 8 apps

Microsoft this week revealed the list (below) of 180 countries that will gain access to the Windows Phone Marketplace with the launch of Windows Phone 8.

With the launch of the updated mobile OS expected in the autumn, users in 180 countries will be able to browse and download apps. For those keeping score, that's about three times the 63 markets currently served.

Developers will also be able to get in on the action and submit apps to the same 180 markets, up from 38, via App Hub.

Microsoft revealed plans for an expanded Windows Phone footprint at last week's Windows Phone 8 launch, but did not release the full list of countries until yesterday. That includes Afghanistan, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Libya, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and many more. On its blog, however, Microsoft cautioned that some regions could drop on or off before Windows Phone 8's official launch.

Todd Brix, senior director for Windows Marketplace, talked up the in-app purchasing capabilities coming to Windows Phone 8, which he said will boost developer revenue and extend the shelf-life of an app.

The Marketplace and App Hub have been rebuilt from the ground up, Brix said, to be more "robust and scalable." The new system allows for app filtering based on various characteristics, including screen resolution.

"This is just the beginning of what we'll be saying about Windows Phone 8 and the new store for apps and games in the weeks and months ahead," Brix said.