Let’s make it easy and just provide the small list of countries won’t have WP8 Marketplace availability
Microsoft provided a list of 191 countries that will have access to the WP8 Marketplace. Now that doesn’t mean handsets are coming to each of them, but it does mean that if you live there you can buy apps. And 191 countries is simply staggering. In fact, there are only about 196 countries (yeah it’s a moving target). But I figured I’d compare this list to Microsoft’s list to see who was left out and you won’t be too shocked: Cuba, East Timor (Timor-Leste), Iran, North Korea, Kosovo, Moldova, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Vatican City (somehow I think they still can buy apps there). Oddly, the official country list leaves off the following countries that Microsoft includes as having access:Faroe Islands, Greenland, Hong Kong, Macao. That’s weird, but anyway, if you’re reading this you’re getting access to the Marketplace.
Sorry North Korea, but until you play nice with the UN, no Windows Phone apps for you! And maybe Iran will take sanctions seriously now.
I live in Iran and have been using WP since a few months after launch, good news for us is: market place is open to Iranian IPs (unlike app store and google play), there also a few apps that give you the Farsi keyboard.
You must have noted that in the feature request website for WP8, number one request was Farsi language support and Joe Belfiore has confirmed that it is there in WP8.
Sanctions should target our government, not us the people, who are already suffering under our stupid rulers, I really think IT companies have to excempted from US sanctions as they will actually hive us the power to connect to each other, bypass governments media sensors…
Microsoft has not been public about it, but compared to Google and Apple they have treated Iranian users much better. (google has an official blog in Farsi, several Iranian executive… but using all these just trying to explain to us why they block us from their services!).
Don’t know about the other two, but Hong Kong and Macao are not countries. They are just a regions that belong to China.
Greeland belongs to Denmark, but it is self-governing: http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2353
And Faroe Islands is also part of Denmark, but is self-governing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faroe_Islands
I’m so good I don’t need sources! I know what I’m talking about!
J/k: here it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macau