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Windows Marketplace for Mobile: First Look

Microsoft hops on the app store bandwagon, introducing its first unified catalog for Windows phone applications on Windows 6.5 phones.

Now playing: Watch this: Windows Marketplace for Mobile

Microsoft launched its new Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system this week at the CTIA Wireless conference (see all stories) in San Diego. The OS includes a refreshed Internet Explorer Mobile, the new My Phone media sync and share service, and a brand new app store called, unceremoniously, Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

Microsoft may be the last major smartphone platform to get its application storefront, but to its credit, the app store is full-fledged, not in beta like Palm's App Catalog on Pre. Unlike Blackberry App World's use of PayPal at launch, there's a flexible payment system; you're not tied down to a single financial channel. And while the Marketplace may not be the sexiest design around, all the elements are here. All it lacks now is critical mass.

In this First Look video, we walk you through the app store, from search filters to a limited return policy that's still fairly lenient compared to other mobile app stores. Check it out.