Need to Know: Windows Mobile 6.5

This is Microsoft's mobile applications store. It'll offer a wide range of apps, not unlike Apple's App Store, for both business and leisure pursuits, with users able to download both free and paid for apps directly to their handsets.

Some 731 developers are working on populating the Marketplace with mobile app goodness. There should be more than 200 apps from day one, a number that is expected to grow rapidly.

If you're a developer, keen to get involved and create apps for Windows Phone, check out the video below.

So what's next for Windows Phone after this?

Windows 7 for the desktop will be making its mark on the industry from 22 October, but mobile fans will have to wait a bit longer for the phone version. Microsoft has confirmed that Windows Phone 7 will be available from next year, but it's keeping details of the exact date close to its chest.

However, it has provided a few tid bits of information as to what users can expect when Windows Phone 7 arrives, mainly the fact that it may well lend itself more towards consumers than businesses.

Of late, rumours abounded that Microsoft was gearing up to launch a smartphone of its own, hardware and all. Far from it, according to Microsoft's business marketing manager James McCarthy who claimed that any blueprints people claim they've seen of this new device as in fact, chassis requirements for Windows 7.

"In the future, we are looking to deepen our development work with a handful of key OEMs at the hardware design phase, with much more carefully defined hardware specifications to match software requirements, which in turn will deliver even more powerful mobile experiences for our customers," he told IT PRO last month.

He added: "This has led to this chassis concept that is familiar to the work Microsoft does with hardware partners in the PC industry to create high quality products."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.