Pretty big news over at the official Windows Phone Blog. First off, they’re removing Zune as a place to get Windows phone apps. It’s pretty simple why- people don’t use it. Most people get apps from their phone or from the website so they’re going to put their support behind what we use most. Makes sense. Zune will still be the method to push updates to your phone though.
The second big update is a requirement to update to Windows Phone 7.5. As they note “starting in the next few weeks anybody who wants to buy or download a new app, update an existing app, or submit app reviews to Marketplace will need Windows Phone 7.5 on their phone.” Of course, they want people to use the newest software to appreciate what it has to offer and there are some great benefits. But the most likely reason is the new app security model that’s present in Mango. According to Ars Technica “Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" includes support for a new kind of encrypted package that should rule out this kind of piracy. Microsoft is waiting to ensure that a high enough proportion of users have upgraded to Mango before throwing the switch and using these encrypted packages, however.” I’m 100% ok with protecting devs and ensuring that we don’t have piracy on this platform so if there’s a secondary benefit to forcing people onto Mango that’s fine with me.