Windows Phone Store available in 42 new markets

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Microsoft's Windows Phone Developer Blog has announced that the Windows Phone Store is now available in an addition 42 markets, taking the total number to 113. This brings Windows Phone closer to Google Play (129 countries) and Apple App Store (155 countries).

The new markets are being added as part of the latest in the series or regular updates to the Windows Phone Store and Dev Center. For developers the other updates of note are added ratings requirement for games published in Taiwan and Russia, support for the addition of a privacy link, the ability to validate beta tester email addresses, and the keyword field length is now limited to 30 characters.

There are also a number of changes to the front end of the Windows Phone Store, including a few design tweaks, and support for side loading apps via a microSD card.

The 42 new markets for the Windows Phone Store 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.

However, some of these markets are only supported by Windows Phone 8. Due to inherent limitations in the platform (language and characters sets) Windows Phone 7.5 and 7.8 is unable to fully support some markets.

The full details of the new game rating requirements are available on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, but in both cases the rating requirement is relatively simple, with developers required to go through a self service system to obtain the the relevant rating.

For consumers, as result of this update, there are a number of interesting updates to the apps and games pages on As we have mentioned in a separate post it is now possible to side load apps and games (.xap files) via a microSD card. This is restricted to Windows Phone 8 devices with support for microSD cards (Nokia Lumia 820, HTC 8S and Samsung ATIV S).

Individual app and game pages now make compatibility information clearer, with each supported version of the platform listed separately (i.e. Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8, rather than Windows Phone 7.5 or higher). The individual page now also link to a developer's other apps and games by showing icons from the relevant listings (rather than just a text link). In addition the site is now using blended search results, which mix game and apps listings with results (e.g. how to's) from the rest of the site. Finally the design of the front page has been updated to give added emphasis to featured apps (large tiles used).

Windows Phone Store

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Developer Blog