After almost a year of waiting, Microsoft is finally finishing up the work on their app store and has announced they will be ready to accept app submissions beginning July 27th.

windows marketplace

Dubbed as the Windows Marketplace (formerly referred to as Skymarket), their Windows Mobile app store will officially be launched with Windows Mobile 6.5 later this fall. App submissions, however, will be limited to those coming from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States. Likewise, to spice things up a bit, a developer contest will also be kicked off on the 27th as well.

Although Windows Marketplace will be launched as part of Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 users will eventually enjoy the benefits of this app store as Microsoft assures us that it will also be made available on these devices before the year ends. They’re also boasting of a Business Center section in the Marketplace wherein their partners can easily showcase their latest business tools and applications for consumers. Microsoft may have been late in joining the app store party, but as the old adage goes, better late than never.

Will Windows Marketplace be as successful as the Apple App Store or the Palm Catalog? This is what we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on once it goes live later this year.