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Microsoft SkyLine, SkyMarket and SkyBox

A CNET story about a potential Windows Marketplace service for Windows Mobile--oh, sorry, it's an iPhone App Store rip-off for those not aware of history--has led me to a few other obviously related services. But first the CNET article:

It appears Microsoft expects to launch an applications store called "Skymarket" this fall for its Windows Mobile platform, if a recent job posting is accurate. According to the ad posted Sunday on, the Skymarket senior product manager will head a team that will "drive the launch of a v1 marketplace service for Windows Mobile."

Annoyingly, the article doesn't link to the Job posting so I searched for SkyMarket on and came up with two hits (here and here). The first references two other presumably-related services, SkyLine and SkyBox.

Only a few details are revealed by the job postings. The first, for Director, Mobile Office Communications - Services, says:

You will ... develop a vision and strategy for mobile services. You will also work closely with the SkyLine, SkyMarket and SkyBox teams as well as with the Office Live team to ensure that we are leveraging all the resources across Microsoft.

The second posting, for Product Manager - Commercial Integration, talks more directly about SkyMarket (emphasis mine):

This is a unique opportunity ... to drive the commercial operations and infrastructure integration for the v1 launch of an applications marketplace service for Windows Mobile 7.

Key responsibilities:

Drive the commercial operations and infrastructure integration that will enable the Skymarket service and enable revenue collection from consumers of the service and payments to 3rd party developers selling applications/content through the marketplace.

Enable initial launch of the marketplace with the launch of WM 7.

The jobs were both posted today. Start date on both is "ASAP."

I wonder if SkyMarket is intended to be an OTA/deeply integrated marketplace. I'd say the Windows Mobile world is already pretty well served on the PC by Handango.

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