Windows Marketplace for Mobile will be extended to older versions of Microsoft's handset operating system, after initially being announced for a yet-to-arrive upgrade.
By the end of 2009, the application store will be accessible using Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1, Microsoft said on Tuesday at its Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans.
Windows Marketplace for Mobile was announced in February alongside Windows Mobile 6.5, with both expected to arrive in autumn 2009. The application store, a rival to Apple's iPhone App Store, Nokia's Ovi Store and the Android Market, was initially usable only on Windows Mobile 6.5 phones.
According to a blog post from Microsoft mobile platform executive Todd Brix, extending the application store's availability to handsets that are already in existence "means that developers will have an opportunity to reach more than 30 million Windows Mobile devices".
Brix also wrote that business users would get a special category in the application store, the Windows Marketplace Business Center. This category will include enterprise-focused applications from companies including Avanade UK, Formotus, Ilium Software, Pyxis Mobile and WebIS.
Developers will be able to submit their Marketplace applications to Microsoft from 27 July. The company will also launch a developer contest on that date.