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At the launch Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, we had a long chat with Sirpa Ikola, the Head of Smart Devices Product Marketing for Nokia South East Asia and apart from cluing us in on the availability of the white Lumia 800, she also replied to a query about operator billing for apps purchased from the Windows Phone Marketplace in Malaysia. Since many of you are wondering about the same thing, we thought we’d share what she has to say about the matter.
Sirpa said currently operator billing is not supported in Malaysia but local operators are working with Microsoft and Nokia to bring the feature to users as soon as possible. Sirpa didn’t reveal a timeline and mentioned that the three parties and local operators are still sussing out details. She however didn’t mention which operator will offer the feature.
With operator billing, paid apps are charged to a user’s mobile bill. This means you don’t have to tie a credit card to your Windows Live ID to purchase apps. Operator billing will also allow users to pay for apps using prepaid credit. This is great news for prepaid users and for those who don’t have a credit card or don’t want to have their credit card tied up to something that is as vulnerable as a mobile phone.
This is also good news for other Windows Phone users using devices from other brands because they will also get the same convenience.
So now with local support for Windows Phone Marketplace and the launch of the Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, will Windows Phone finally gain traction here? We certainly hope so. The mobile operating system from Microsoft certainly has a lot of potential, combine that with the marketing capabilities of Nokia and you have yourself a potent concoction to drive a lot of interest and desire to both the product and the platform. All that remains to be seen now is, will the Malaysian public buy it.
Its official, Microsoft has announced that the Windows Phone Marketplace is now available in Malaysia and four other countries – Argentina, Indonesia, Peru, and the Philippines.
Where previously Windows Phone users in Malaysia could only download free apps from the Marketplace, it is now possible to purchase apps as well. For users to have access to paid apps, they must have their devices updated to Windows Phone 7.5 (for update instructions see here).
Microsoft says the Marketplace may take a few hours to be fully activated in all regions and not all apps may be available right away. Developers are encouraged to make their existing apps available in these new countries.
With the addition of the five new countries, the Windows Phone Marketplace is now in 41 markets globally. Since December, the Windows Phone Marketplace boast a collection of 50,000 apps but the whole gamut might not be available for Malaysian users because apps submitted for Malaysia, Indonesia and China are subject to additional requirements due to local regulations.
A quick check on the Windows Phone Marketplace website reveals that the new countries are not yet listed at time of posting this article.
Windows Phone users, we’d like to hear from you. Let us know how the purchasing experience is. Send in screenshots too if you’re keen. Thanks!