If you’ve loaded up the Zune software today you may have noticed a curious message pop up, telling you that “some features may have changed” since your last visit. Well the Windows Phone Blog has detailed exactly what that message is all about and also reveals some new information regarding the Marketplace going forward.
First of all the Zune desktop software for Windows PCs is getting scaled back a bit in its functionality today, removing the option to browse and download apps to your phone from its built-in Marketplace. According to Microsoft’s Mazhar Mohammed, a majority of users had taken up to getting the latest apps and games from the Marketplace with their phones or the Web Marketplace, making the need for another Marketplace in the Zune desktop moot.
The second important Marketplace-related change is the fact that people using any pre-Mango software on their devices will no longer be able to download or update apps and games “in the next few weeks”. Yes if you can believe it, some users out there still have yet to update to Windows Phone 7.5 but there’s a reason why Microsoft is finally playing hardball with these users:
“Requiring Windows Phone 7.5 is part of a larger effort aimed at improving Marketplace performance and security, and paving the way for even faster growth and more new features.”
The statement appears generic but WMPU has pointed out that this may be a step in preparation of the new Marketplace server-side encryption we’ve been hearing about since last year. If you need help updating your Windows Phone to 7.5, we recommend checking out Microsoft’s official Update Central help page as well as Nokia’s video tutorials (which apply for all Windows Phones).
There’s only question we have left wondering to ourselves after this announcement: if pre-Mango devices will be barred from the Marketplace soon, will Microsoft mandate app updates to support Mango? What do you think?