Microsoft quietly launched earlier this month a new Microsoft-developed mobile retail app for Windows Phone known as Emporium.
Emporium, version 1.0 of which was released to the Marketplace on March 1, provides retailer location updates, loyalty program information and social sharing. The app also can make use of Microsoft Tags or QR codes to provide users with even more product information.
Emporium includes retail and comparative shopping information on Xbox 360 and games; Office, Windows Phones; and Windows PCs and more. Retailers can buy banner ads, landing pages, push notifications and other spaces inside the app and the accompanying site.
Microsoft officials behind the app are hoping that, in addition to increasing brand loyalty, Emporium also will "help tell the One Microsoft story," according to a roadmap for the product (dated February 2012), passed on to me by one of my contacts.
The roadmap also states that Microsoft is planning to take the app to additional platforms. In the first quarter of Microsoft's fiscal 2013, meaning some time between June and September this year, Microsoft is planning to publish the app to iOS and Android phones.
Here's Microsoft's roadmap for this year for Emporium:
Microsoft has been releasing more and more Microsoft-developed phone apps for non-Microsoft phones -- including PhotoSynth, Bing, OneNote, Lync and more.
I asked a Microsoft representative which teams are behind Emporium and received no answer to my query.