Interview with Sumeet Gugnani of Microsoft India on Windows Marketplace for Mobile

FoneArena had the chance to interview Sumeet Gugnani, Director of Mobile Communications Business , Microsoft India.

Sumeet Gugnani2

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In a hour long interview Sumeet spoke about Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5 , Marketplace and also answered our queries about Windows Mobile. Dive in to catch the text of the interview.

Can you please tell us what is Windows Marketplace for Mobile?
Marketplace_HomeWindows Marketplace for Mobile represents a tremendous opportunity for the developer community to generate revenue by enabling them to reach millions of Windows mobile phone users directly .

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The  applications will be made available to customers after a simple security and compatibility check from Microsoft. There are over 50 million Windows  Mobile-powered devices worldwide. The Marketplace will help the developer community reach this large user base. It will also work as a centralized repository of applications for users to browse, experience and purchase applications.

How do developers get started ?
Windows Marketplace for Mobile has opened for developers to submit their applications starting May 1, 2009 for a period of three months. All that the developers need to do is log on to and register. There is an annual registration fee of $99 for developers to participate in Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Once they have submitted their application Microsoft will do the vetting and certification of the application. 

What is the revenue share developers would get ?
Developers will receive a 70 per cent revenue share of the application, once chosen by Microsoft. 

Student Community has always been special for Microsoft , anything for students in store ?
For students enrolled in the DreamSpark program, the registration fee will be waived.

Marketplace_ISV List
Criteria for Approval of Apps
Some application types may be blocked from the marketplace, in order to ensure security, privacy policies, and a friendly use of the mobile operator network resources. Further, there are some things that the developer must keep in mind while developing the application, specifically that the application should not have any pornographic content, the application should not be over 10 MB etc.

  • No offensive content 
  • should be less than 10 Megabytes
  • No VOIP and GPS Turn by Turn Navigation.Your browser may not support display of this image. Your browser may not support display of this image.

Free and Paid Apps in Marketplace . Pricing 
We want Indian Mobile Developer community to build applications for the global market. Cannot comment about pricing of individual apps.

What tools does one need to build apps for Windows Mobile ?
The best part about Windows Marketplace for Mobile is that the developers will be able to use familiar development tools and technologies to create global market opportunities for themselves. Most of the developers have been developing on this platform and can leverage their .NET and Visual Studio development experience and connect with millions of Windows Mobile users worldwide. For new developers as well this is a great opportunity as they can use their expertise in Microsoft technologies to develop some cool applications.

What do you think about Windows Mobiles’s Marketplace , OVI Store and Apple App store
Can’t comment about the competitors. But for Microsoft , Software is the stamina . Our developers are our strength.

Can you tell us about My Phone ? Does it work with both WM 6.1 and 6.5 phones ?
My Phone is a brand new and free service for Windows Mobile 6 and newer phones, My Phone allows the user to access, manage and back up personal and professional information onto the device to a password-protected Web-based service. With automatic syncing and backup capabilities for all contacts, appointments, text messages and other information, MyPhone keeps all things up-to-date and easily restores them should the user lose or upgrade their phone. They will also be able to automatically upload photos and video from their Windows phone directly to the My Phone service, making it simple to preserve content that, in the past, would have lived and died on the phone.

Can you tell us about the success of Windows Mobile in India in terms of market share  ,  growth  ?
In India, Windows Mobile is the fastest growing OS with 11 per cent share in the merged device market space and the popularity and growth for Windows Mobile phones remains strong.

What has been your marketing strategy for Windows Mobile considering the fact the its a highly competitive market ?

  • We do joint campaigns with brands or for specific handsets . We did a campaign centered around the Digital Lifestyle called  WhatsMyPhoneStyle which was very successful

Why don’t we see multimedia rich phones running Windows?
We try to make all rounder phones for digital life style. We see what’s best for the consumer and suits their lifestyle.

What is the estimated release date for WM 6.5 devices to hit the market ?
You can expect phones running Windows Mobile 6.5 to be available by Sep-Oct 2009

When is Window Mobile 7 coming out ?
it’s in development . We have no word on the release date as its part of our roadmap.

What is your take on Samsung going with Symbian on Omnia HD , the first version of Samsung Omnia ran Windows Mobile
Our device partners have partners the same way we have partners . it’s their wish to go with any platform.
We have a very good relationship with our device partners

Microsoft is  a software company and not getting into the business of making phones . is that a good bet ?
Software and our Developer Community is our strength. Yes, We could continue to build great software and let our device partners consume the same.

What are the popular windows mobile phones till now ? Was Samsung Omnia the most popular ?
We have had great handsets from HTC, O2, iMate , Dopod . Right now we have 7-8 device partners including Samsung , HTC, Sony Ericsson, Acer and Asus

Please comment on your relationship with HTC
We have a strong relationship with HTC in india .They sell the most number of phones running windows mobile in India.

What’s your take on HTC making android phones
it’s the freedom of device manufacturers to choose any platform.

Do you see android as a threat to Windows Mobile
Can’t comment specifically about any particular case but for Microsoft , software is our stamina and developers are very comfortable with our tools and platform.

Author: Varun Krish

Varun Krish is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast and has been blogging about mobile phones since 2005. His current phones include the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge , Apple iPhone 6S Plus & Nexus 5X. You can follow him on Twitter @varunkrish and on Google+ You can also mail Varun Krish