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More Details On The Beta and Private Marketplaces and Why Enterprise Is Still Neglected

Walt Ritscher was able to get a lot more details about the separation of the public, private and beta Marketplaces that Mango will be bringing. It’s very interesting to see the segregation but ultimately, the way it plays out, there’s still not a robust method to deploy apps on a private corporate level. let’s get into it. Here’s a chart he’s put together to let you see an overview of what the different markets are:



So let’s get into the nitty gritty. The first option is the Public Marketplace. That’s the thing we have now. Developers can obviously share their apps this way after they pass certification and if they ask others to test it then they need to share the underlying XAP that has to be sideloading to an unlocked phone. We already know this market.

Next up is the Beta market. This was established to let developers provide apps to test. They can share their app with up to 100 users but they must each share their live ID and the app expires after 90 days. You don’t need to have an unlocked phone for this and you’ll receive an email to permit the app to install when you sync with Zune based on your Live ID. There’s no certification requirement to distribute apps this way. This is a good mechanism for testing apps but updates aren’t pushed and it expires so this is intended just for testing purposes.

And finally we come to the Private market. These apps must pass certification and you do not need to have an unlocked device to load it. The apps have a unique deeplink so only people with that link will be able to download the app and it will not show up on Marketplace if you search for it. You can push updates to these apps in the same manner as the Public market. So really, this is the same as a public app it’s just not discoverable without the direct link. Todd Brix stated that this is “not an enterprise software distribution mechanism, by any means, but it is a way of distributing applications and games to a set of users.” These apps are ‘hidden’ from the public but if the link is shared then it’s downloadable by them and there’s no way to restrict the user base who install the app. And while companies can further restrict apps by requiring a login and password upon installation, it still lacks the control levels that the enterprise markets will be expecting. However this may server as a better testing ground than the beta market so it gives developers a few options on how they want to test and share apps.

So ultimately this is a start but we’re not at the point where there’s a complete set of tools for an enterprise solution. 

Great work Walt Ritscher and thanks for the clarifications!

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