In an effort to make Windows Phone the go-to device in emerging markets, Microsoft’s Developer Blog has announced that the company will be opening up online stores in 42 new countries. These countries cover most of the globe, with a specific focus on emerging markets.
A pretty smart move considering Apple, Samsung and Android have the markets in first world counties cornered at the moment. This development will see the Microsoft lock horns with RIM, as BlackBerry is still the favoured device in those countries.
The countries in question are:
Angola, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo (DRC), Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Pakistan, Paraguay, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
This news could result in an influx of budget friendly devices arriving in these countries during the coming year as Microsoft attempt to entice users to adopt the live tile experience.
The number of Windows Phone 8 specific apps was last tallied at 20 000 in late November, growing at a pretty steady rate. This latest development should be music to app developers ears and should open up avenues for the creation of some innovative new products for emerging markets. It should be interesting to see what they are able to come up with.
Microsoft also stressed the importance of age restrictive rating systems for all apps submitted of consideration, so developers will have one more things to worry about. We just hope that Microsoft don’t have the same issue they did with game ratings on its marketplace a couple of months ago.